Helen Lessick

There are three reasons public art file searches are performed: Cultural Tourism, Community Practice, and Critical Assessment.

1. Cultural Tourism: Where is the artwork (GPS/location info), what is it (art work title sometimes is what is being searched), who made it (artist’s name), and what does it look like (a clear image of piece as experienced by the viewer)?

2. Community Practice: How the community achieves the project, a lessons-learned toolkit, documenting what was done, who did it, and how. This type of material includes artist selection, proposal, contacts, contracts, maintenance report, community engagement, and fabrication records.

3. Critical Assessment: These are materials generated outside the work of the artist and any commissioning agency. They may include critical writing mentioning the project, press releases, art dedication, and project description. Currently, art administration educators and their TAs are building courses about our practice. Art critics and bloggers are writing about stuff in public. Professional media outlets seem to shout the loudest, and turn up first in online searches.   Read the rest of this entry »

Helen Lessick

Project management in public art is, increasingly, information management.

As I travel, research and learn for WRAP, the Web-based Resources for Art in Public initiative, I see the potential for dots to connect across disciplines and efforts.

In public art administration we manage selection committees, contracts, and community processes to get an artist selected.

When the project is done, we manage documentation of the project, including its presence as a cultural object in our facility; its contractual life as a community building tool; and its online informational profile.

In public art competition and design, we manage our images and artists’ statements, documenting (and endlessly resizing) our creative works and our innovations in outreach, process, and community engagement. We write letters, articles, proposals and master plans, stored on the cloud, a hard drive, or memory stick, to help us apply for the next creative opportunity.   Read the rest of this entry »