Public art
The term public art properly refers to works of art
Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect....

 in any media
Media (arts)
In the arts, a media or medium is a material used by an artist or designer to create a work.-Architecture:In the art and science of architecture, the design and construction of buildings and interiors, infrastructure and other physical structures are created...

 that have been planned and executed with the specific intention of being sited or staged in the physical public domain
Public domain (land)
Public domain is a term used to describe lands that were not under private or state ownership during the 18th and 19th centuries in the United States, as the country was expanding. These lands were obtained from the 13 original colonies, from Native American tribes, or from purchase from other...

, usually outside and accessible to all. The term is especially significant within the art world, amongst curators, commissioning bodies and practitioners of public art, to whom it signifies a particular working practice, often with implications of site specificity, community involvement and collaboration. The term is sometimes also applied to include any art which is exhibited in a public space
Public space
A public space is a social space such as a town square that is open and accessible to all, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, age or socio-economic level. One of the earliest examples of public spaces are commons. For example, no fees or paid tickets are required for entry, nor are the entrants...

 including publicly accessible buildings.

In recent years, public art has increasingly begun to expand in scope and application - both into other wider and challenging areas of artform, and also across a much broader range of what might be called our 'public realm'. Such cultural interventions have often been realised in response to creatively engaging a community's sense of 'place' or 'well-being' in society. After all, a public right to experience such culture should not only be enjoyed as an optional extra, but is actually one of our basic human rights: A principle of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights states, at principle 27.1], "Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits."

Such commissions can still result in physical, permanent artworks and sculptures. These also often involve increasingly integrated and applied arts type applications. However, they are also beginning to include other, much more process-driven and action-research based artistic practices as well. As such, these do not always rely on the production of a physical or permanent artwork at all (though they still often do of course). This expanded scope of public art can embrace many diverse practices and artforms. These might be implemented as stand-alone, or as collaborative hybrids involving a multi-disciplinary approach. The range of its potential is of course endless and ever-changing. The only real restriction to its scope and ambition is that created by the blinkered vision and opinionated prejudice of a inadequate commissioning client, funder and/or curator.


A monument is a type of structure either explicitly created to commemorate a person or important event or which has become important to a social group as a part of their remembrance of historic times or cultural heritage, or simply as an example of historic architecture...

s, memorials and civic statuary
Statues is a popular children's game, often played in Australia but with versions throughout the world.-General rules:# A person starts out as the "Curator" and stands at the end of a field. Everyone else playing stands at the far end...

 are perhaps the oldest and most obvious form of officially sanctioned public art, although it could be said that architectural sculpture
Architectural sculpture
Architectural sculpture is the term for the use of sculpture by an architect and/or sculptor in the design of a building, bridge, mausoleum or other such project...

 and even architecture
Architecture is both the process and product of planning, designing and construction. Architectural works, in the material form of buildings, are often perceived as cultural and political symbols and as works of art...

 itself is more widespread and fulfills the definition of public art. Increasingly most aspects of the built environment are seen as legitimate candidates for consideration as, or location for, public art, including, street furniture
Street furniture
Street furniture is a collective term for objects and pieces of equipment installed on streets and roads for various purposes, including traffic barriers,...

, lighting and graffiti
Graffiti is the name for images or lettering scratched, scrawled, painted or marked in any manner on property....

. Public art is not confined to physical objects; dance
Dance is an art form that generally refers to movement of the body, usually rhythmic and to music, used as a form of expression, social interaction or presented in a spiritual or performance setting....

, procession
A procession is an organized body of people advancing in a formal or ceremonial manner.-Procession elements:...

, street theatre
Street theatre
Street theatre is a form of theatrical performance and presentation in outdoor public spaces without a specific paying audience. These spaces can be anywhere, including shopping centres, car parks, recreational reserves and street corners. They are especially seen in outdoor spaces where there are...

 and even poetry have proponents that specialize in public art.
Sculpture intended as public art is often constructed of durable, easily cared-for material, to avoid the worst effects of the elements and vandalism
Vandalism is the behaviour attributed originally to the Vandals, by the Romans, in respect of culture: ruthless destruction or spoiling of anything beautiful or venerable...

; however, many works are intended to have only a temporary existence and are made of more ephemeral
Ephemeral things are transitory, existing only briefly. Typically the term is used to describe objects found in nature, although it can describe a wide range of things....

 materials. Permanent works are sometimes integrated with architecture
Architecture is both the process and product of planning, designing and construction. Architectural works, in the material form of buildings, are often perceived as cultural and political symbols and as works of art...

 and landscaping
Landscaping refers to any activity that modifies the visible features of an area of land, including:# living elements, such as flora or fauna; or what is commonly referred to as gardening, the art and craft of growing plants with a goal of creating a beautiful environment within the landscape.#...

 in the creation or renovation of buildings and sites,an especially important example being the programme developed in the new city of Milton Keynes
Milton Keynes
Milton Keynes , sometimes abbreviated MK, is a large town in Buckinghamshire, in the south east of England, about north-west of London. It is the administrative centre of the Borough of Milton Keynes...

, England.

Some artists working in this discipline use the freedom afforded by an outdoor site to create very large works that would be unfeasible in a gallery, for instance Richard Long's
Richard Long (artist)
Richard Long is an English sculptor, photographer and painter, one of the best known British land artists. Long is the only artist to be shortlisted for the Turner Prize four times, and he is reputed to have refused the prize in 1984...

 three week walk, entitled "The Path Is the Place in the Line". In a similar example, sculptor Gar Waterman
Gar Waterman
Gar Waterman is an award–winning sculptor based in New Haven in Connecticut who is notable for large public arts projects which beautify public places as well as creations which mimic sealife. He works in marble, stone, bronze, wood, and sometimes glass. Some of his sculptures resemble "giant...

 created a giant arch measuring 35x37x3 feet which straddled a city street in New Haven, Connecticut
New Haven, Connecticut
New Haven is the second-largest city in Connecticut and the sixth-largest in New England. According to the 2010 Census, New Haven's population increased by 5.0% between 2000 and 2010, a rate higher than that of the State of Connecticut, and higher than that of the state's five largest cities, and...

. Amongst the works of the last thirty years that have met greatest critical and popular acclaim are pieces by Christo
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
Christo and Jeanne-Claude were a married couple who created environmental works of art...

, Robert Smithson
Robert Smithson
Robert Smithson was an American artist famous for his land art.-Background and education:Smithson was born in Passaic, New Jersey and studied painting and drawing in New York City at the Art Students League of New York....

, Andy Goldsworthy
Andy Goldsworthy
Andy Goldsworthy, OBE is a British sculptor, photographer and environmentalist producing site-specific sculpture and land art situated in natural and urban settings. He lives and works in Scotland.-Life and career:The son of F...

, and Anthony Gormley where the artwork reacts to or incorporates its environment.

Artists making Public art range from the greatest masters such as Michelangelo
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni , commonly known as Michelangelo, was an Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet, and engineer who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art...

, Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso
Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso known as Pablo Ruiz Picasso was a Spanish expatriate painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and stage designer, one of the greatest and most influential artists of the...

, and Joan Miró
Joan Miró
Joan Miró i Ferrà was a Spanish Catalan painter, sculptor, and ceramicist born in Barcelona.Earning international acclaim, his work has been interpreted as Surrealism, a sandbox for the subconscious mind, a re-creation of the childlike, and a manifestation of Catalan pride...

, to those who specialize in public art such as Claes Oldenburg
Claes Oldenburg
Claes Oldenburg is a Swedish sculptor, best known for his public art installations typically featuring very large replicas of everyday objects...

 and Pierre Granche
Pierre Granche
Pierre Granche was a French-Canadian sculptor.Having studied at the École des Beaux-Arts de Montréal and the Université de Vincennes in Paris, he taught in the art history department of the Université de Montréal for more than twenty years until his death in Montreal.As a sculptor, his works are...

, to anonymous artists who make surreptitious interventions.

In Cape Town, South Africa, Africa Centre
Africa Centre
The Africa Centre is structured as a not-for-profit organisation whose purpose is to provide a platform for Pan-African arts and cultural practice to function as a catalyst for social change. All the projects it conducts, facilitates or supports have some social intention...

 presents Infecting the City
Infecting the City
Held in Cape Town, South Africa Infecting the City is a public arts festival that is committed to making art freely available to everyone. The Festival hosts a range of different types of site-specific art, artistic interventions and performance art in the central part of the City. Each year the...

 the Spier Public Art Festival. Its curatorial mandate is to create a week-long platform for public art - whether it be visual or performative artworks, or artistic interventions - that shake up the city spaces and allows the city's users to view the cityscapes in new and memorable ways. The Infecting the City Festival believes that public art should to be freely accessible to everybody in a public space

Online documentation

Online databases of local and regional public art emerged in the 1990s and 2000s. Aside from electronic archives at national libraries (such as the Smithsonian American Art Museum), online public art databases are usually specific to individual cities or public agencies (such as transit authorities) and are therefore geographically limited. A few web-based databases have emerged from efforts to provide more regionally comprehensive online public art lists, such as the Public Art in Public Places Project, completed in 2010 for the Los Angeles and Southern California area and providing information on thousands of public artworks.

Other online database efforts have focused on particular public art forms, such as sculptures or murals. From 1992-1994 Heritage Preservation funded the survey project Save Outdoor Sculpture!
Save Outdoor Sculpture!
Save Outdoor Sculpture! is a community-based effort to identify, document, and conserve outdoor sculpture in the United States. By fostering awareness and appreciation, SOS! aims to advocate proper care of a nationwide public resource....

, whose acronym SOS! references the international Morse code
Morse code
Morse code is a method of transmitting textual information as a series of on-off tones, lights, or clicks that can be directly understood by a skilled listener or observer without special equipment...

 distress signal
Distress signal
A distress signal is an internationally recognized means for obtaining help. Distress signals take the form of or are commonly made by using radio signals, displaying a visually detected item or illumination, or making an audible sound, from a distance....

, "SOS
SOS is the commonly used description for the international Morse code distress signal...

". This project documented more than 30,000 sculptures in the United States. The records of this survey are available in the SOS! Database.

Starting in 2009, WikiProject Public art has worked to document public art around the globe. While this project received significant attention within the academic community, it remains relatively obscure.

Interactive public art

Some forms of public art are designed to encourage audience participation in a hands-on way. Examples include public art installed at hands-on science museums such as the main architectural centerpiece out in front of the Ontario Science Centre. This permanently installed artwork is a fountain that is also a musical instrument (hydraulophone
A hydraulophone is a tonal acoustic musical instrument played by direct physical contact with water where sound is generated or affected hydraulically. Typically sound is produced by the same hydraulic fluid in contact with the player's fingers...

) that members of the public can play at any time of the day or night. Members of the public interact with the work by blocking water jets to force water through various sound-producing mechanisms inside the sculpture.

Federation Bells in Birrarung Marr, Melbourne
Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia. The Melbourne City Centre is the hub of the greater metropolitan area and the Census statistical division—of which "Melbourne" is the common name. As of June 2009, the greater...

 is also public art which works as a musical instrument.

Percent for art

Public art is usually installed with the authorization and collaboration of the government or company that owns or administers the space. Some governments actively encourage the creation of public art, for example, budgeting for artworks in new buildings by implementing a Percent for Art
Percent for Art
The term "percent for art" refers to a program, often a city ordinance, where a fee, usually some percentage of the project cost, is placed on large scale development projects in order to fund and install public art. The details of such programs vary from area-to-area...

 policy. 1% of the construction cost for art is a standard, but the amount varies widely from place to place. Administration and maintenance costs are sometimes withdrawn before the money is distributed for art (City of Los Angeles for example). Many locales have "general funds" that fund temporary programs and performances of a cultural nature rather than insisting on project-related commissions. The majority of European countries, Australia and many cities and states in the USA, have percent for art programs. The first percent-for-art legislation passed in Philadelphia in 1959. This requirement is implemented in a variety of ways. The government of Quebec
Quebec or is a province in east-central Canada. It is the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking population and the only one whose sole official language is French at the provincial level....

 requires that the budget for all new publicly funded buildings set aside 1% for artwork. New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 has a law that requires that no less than 1% of the first twenty million dollars, plus no less than one half of 1% of the amount exceeding twenty million dollars be allocated for art work in any public building that is owned by the city. The maximum allocation for any commission in New York is $400,000.

In contrast, the city of Toronto
Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the largest city in Canada. It is located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A relatively modern city, Toronto's history dates back to the late-18th century, when its land was first purchased by the British monarchy from...

 requires that 1% all of construction costs be set aside for public art, with no set upper limit (although in some circumstances, the municipality and the developer might negotiate a maximum amount). In the United Kingdom percent for art is discretionary for local authorities, who implement it under the broader terms of a section 106 agreement otherwise known as 'planning gain', in practice it is negotiable, and seldom ever reaches a full 1%, where it is implemented at all. A percent for art scheme exists in Ireland and is widely implemented by many local authorities.

Arts Queensland, Australia supports a new policy (2008) for 'art + place' with a budget provided by state government and a curatorial advisory committee. It replaces the previous 'art built-in' 2005–2007.

Public art and politics

Public art has often been used for political ends. The most extreme and widely discussed manifestations of this remain the use of art as propaganda
Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position so as to benefit oneself or one's group....

 within totalitarian
Totalitarianism is a political system where the state recognizes no limits to its authority and strives to regulate every aspect of public and private life wherever feasible...

 regimes coupled with simultaneous suppression of dissent. The approach to art seen in Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

's Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 and Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong, also transliterated as Mao Tse-tung , and commonly referred to as Chairman Mao , was a Chinese Communist revolutionary, guerrilla warfare strategist, Marxist political philosopher, and leader of the Chinese Revolution...

's Cultural Revolution
Cultural Revolution
The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, commonly known as the Cultural Revolution , was a socio-political movement that took place in the People's Republic of China from 1966 through 1976...

 in China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 stand as representative.

In more open societies artists often find public art useful in promoting their ideas or establishing a censorship
thumb|[[Book burning]] following the [[1973 Chilean coup d'état|1973 coup]] that installed the [[Military government of Chile |Pinochet regime]] in Chile...

-free means of contact with viewers. The art may be intentionally ephemeral, as in the case of temporary installations and performance pieces. Such art has a spontaneous quality. It is characteristically displayed in urban environments without the consent of authorities. In time, though, some art of this kind achieves official recognition. Examples include situations in which the line between graffiti
Graffiti is the name for images or lettering scratched, scrawled, painted or marked in any manner on property....

 and "guerilla" public art is blurred, such as the art of John Fekner
John Fekner
John Fekner is an innovative artist who created hundreds of environmental and conceptual outdoor works consisting of stenciled words, symbols, dates and icons spray painted in New York, Sweden, Canada, England and Germany in the 70s and 80s...

 placed on billboards, the early works of Keith Haring
Keith Haring
Keith Haring was an artist and social activist whose work responded to the New York City street culture of the 1980s.-Early life:...

 (executed without permission in advertising poster holders in the New York City Subway
New York City Subway
The New York City Subway is a rapid transit system owned by the City of New York and leased to the New York City Transit Authority, a subsidiary agency of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and also known as MTA New York City Transit...

) and the current work of Banksy
Banksy is a pseudonymous England-based graffiti artist, political activist, film director, and painter.His satirical street art and subversive epigrams combine irreverent dark humour with graffiti done in a distinctive stencilling technique...

. The Northern Irish murals
Northern Irish murals
Murals in Northern Ireland have become symbols of Northern Ireland, depicting the region's past and present political and religious divisions.Northern Ireland contains arguably the most famous political murals. Almost 2,000 murals have been documented in Northern Ireland since the 1970s...

 and those in Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

 were often responses to periods of conflict. The art provided an effective means of communication both within and beyond a distressed group within the larger society. In the long run the work proved useful in establishing dialogue and helping to bridge the social rifts that fuelled the original conflicts.


Public art sometimes proves controversial. A number of factors contribute to this: the desire of the artist to provoke; the diverse nature of the viewing public, with widely varying degrees of familiarity with art and its syntax; issues of appropriate uses of public funds, spaces, and resources; issues of public safety and civic oversight.
  • Richard Serra
    Richard Serra
    Richard Serra is an American minimalist sculptor and video artist known for working with large-scale assemblies of sheet metal. Serra was involved in the Process Art Movement.-Early life and education:...

    's minimalist piece Tilted Arc
    Tilted Arc
    Tilted Arc was a sculpture commissioned by the United States General Services Administration's Arts-in-Architecture program for the Federal Plaza in New York, NY, USA...

    was removed from a New York City plaza in 1989 after office workers complained their work routine was disrupted by the piece. A public court hearing ruled against continued display of the work.

  • Victor Pasmore's Apollo Pavilion
    Apollo Pavilion
    The Apollo Pavilion, also known as the Pasmore Pavilion, is a controversial piece of public art in the new town of Peterlee in County Durham in the North East of England, designed by British artist and architect Victor Pasmore.-Design and construction:...

    in the English New Town
    New Town
    New Town may refer to:*New town, a generic name for a planned city development or expansion*In the United Kingdom, any of a specific set of towns created under various Acts of Parliament for population moved out of overcrowded conurbations-Places:...

     of Peterlee
    Peterlee is a new town in County Durham, England. Founded in 1948, Peterlee town originally mostly housed coal miners and their families.Peterlee has strong economic and community ties with Sunderland and Hartlepool.-Peterlee:...

     has been a focus for local politicians and other groups complaining about the governance of the town and allocation of resources. In this case artists and cultural leaders from the region mounted a campaign to rehabilitate the reputation of the work with the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art
    BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art
    The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art is an international centre for contemporary art located on the south bank of the River Tyne alongside the Gateshead Millennium Bridge in Gateshead, North East England, United Kingdom...

     commissioning artists Jane and Louise Wilson
    Jane and Louise Wilson
    Jane Wilson and Louise Wilson are British artists who work together as a sibling duo. Jane and Louise Wilson's art work is based in video, film and photography...

     to make a video installation
    Video installation
    Video installation is a contemporary art form that combines video technology with installation art, making use of all aspects of the surrounding environment to affect the audience. Tracing its origins to the birth of video art in the 1970s, it has increased in popularity as digital video production...

     about the piece in 2003.

  • House, a large 1993–94 work by Rachel Whiteread
    Rachel Whiteread
    Rachel Whiteread, CBE is an English artist, best known for her sculptures, which typically take the form of casts. She won the annual Turner Prize in 1993—the first woman to win the prize....

     in East London, was destroyed by the local council after a few months. In this case the artist and her agent had only secured temporary permission for the work.

  • Pierre Vivant's Traffic Light tree
    Traffic Light tree
    The Traffic Light tree was created by French sculptor Pierre Vivant following a competition run by the Public Art Commissions Agency. It is situated on a roundabout near Canary Wharf, at the junctions of Heron Quay Bank, Marsh Wall and Westferry Road...

     (1998) near Canary Wharf, also in East London, caused some confusion from motorists when first constructed, some of whom believed them to be real traffic signals. However, once the piece became more famous, by 2005 it was voted the favourite roundabout in the country by a survey of Britain's motorists.

  • Maurice Agis' Dreamspace V, a huge inflatable maze erected in Chester-le-Street, County Durham, killed two women and seriously injured a three-year-old girl when a strong wind broke its moorings and carried it 30 ft into the air, with thirty people trapped inside.

  • 16 Tons, Seth Wulsin
    Seth Wulsin
    Seth Wulsin is an artist working primarily with space and light through large-scale, site-specific, ephemeral sculpture and drawing....

    's vast 2006 work includes the demolition of the raw material it works with, namely a former jail, Caseros Prison
    Caseros Prison
    The Caseros Prison was a panopticon prison in Parque Patricios, a neighborhood in the southern part of Buenos Aires, Argentina.Caseros Prison was conceived by the military dictatorships of the 1960s, originally intended as a short term holding station for prisoners awaiting trial. It was built...

    , located in the middle of Buenos Aires
    Buenos Aires
    Buenos Aires is the capital and largest city of Argentina, and the second-largest metropolitan area in South America, after São Paulo. It is located on the western shore of the estuary of the Río de la Plata, on the southeastern coast of the South American continent...

    . The prison is guarded by the Argentine military 24 hours a day, so that, in order to gain authorization to carry out the project, Wulsin had to engage a huge network of local, city and national government agencies, as well as groups of former prisoners of the jail, former political prisoners, human rights groups, and the military.

In any given controversy, complexities are involved. Though press reports often present community debates as contests between two rival camps, a variety of views exist among both art specialists and lay public. Neither subset of the population is a monolithic group. Art is challenged and defended in a variety of ways by a number of individuals.
Recent developments in public art now demonstrate an appeal to a friendlier notion of the public in the form of "community" art. Artists accept the many contexts brought to public art by its diverse audience, along with their own standing as members of the communities they address. They design pieces that generally curb avant-garde tendencies in favour of work that celebrates shared experiences. This approach validates the concerns of most public arts administrators and granting agencies. The approach encourages community involvement and critique of art works in the planning stages. It can head off controversies before large expenditures of public resources are involved.

This approach tends to alienate those who wish to see art take a more confrontational approach to social issues. Work that emphasizes common experiences within a community, they charge, plays down unpleasant conditions that persist within that community. Art groups like the Viennese Wochen Klausur (Weeks of Enclosure) aim to offer an alternative by working with expert agencies and using contemporary art idioms to explore possible solutions to pressing social problems.

In terms of economic controversies concerning public vs. private art, there exist a number of different viewpoints and propositions to make art more publicly available. In an age of increasing technological advancements and modernizations, the business aspect of art has become all the more complex. Whether a part of the art world or not, many people believe that for the industry to maintain its’ integrity and honorable intentions, art should be made more available. Curator Jon Ippolito states in his article “Why Art Should be Free” that “property, intellectual or personal, is the enemy of art…the art market’s presumption that art is a physical property…serves as a smokescreen”.2 If the market in deed deems art a physical property, then many ideas support the fact that it should be considered part of a public domain available to all without potential consequences.
If we look at the people who profit notably within the art market, it becomes apparent that the artist rarely reaps the majority of the monetary credit. In modern day society, those who profit are primarily the middlemen. Ippolito explains that this business issue is often condemned due to the fact that “There is no way for a market-driven art world…to survive without a rich culture of art to draw from..”.2 In purchasing art and paying museum entrance fees, we as a society support most avidly, not the artists who created and produced their own forms of intellectual property, but the people whose occupations depend on the privatization and sale of art. This idea, coupled with the notion of commission rates, creates an unsteady market for artists to be a part of.
There exists the additional problem concerning style specificity when it comes to the sale of art. Certain styles are seen and appreciated by certain collectors. Ippolito explains the downfall and possible justification of this trend, concluding that “It’s possible…that the need to find a marketing niche is responsible for the pluralism apparent in recent contemporary art”.2 The market does not take into consideration the various exploratory natures of artists and their works, nor does it encourage experimental techniques and methods. Instead, galleries, museums and other institutions will accept only a specific style that they deem profitable and appropriate in order to create opportunities for monetary advancements. With the privatization of art comes the inability for artists to experiment outside the realms of certain determined styles and methods despite the fact that artistic inspirations constantly adapt to changing ideas and events in our society.
Now that we’ve established some of the opposing viewpoints that argue the art world is better off without being market driven, lets look at some modern advancements that have created the opportunity to support art as a public domain. Before the introduction of the Internet, it was difficult to consider the possibility that artists would continue to make art regardless of whether or not there was a market to handle their works. We as ordinary citizens reap the benefits of this new age demonstration of art as public property. Online accessibility allows for an unlimited amount of art and ideas to be viewed, swapped, and advertised, sans purchase. This makes for a globalizing effect in that people countries apart can now gain access to genres and styles never before witnessed. Even though the Internet facilitates artistic awareness and accessibility, co-editor of the Center for Economic and Policy Research Dean Baker notes the setbacks in terms of enforcement and copyright problems associated with new technology. He writes that “The size of these inefficiencies and the extent of the enforcement problems have increased dramatically in the Internet Age, as digital technology allows for the costless reproduction of…material”.1 Baker proposes an approach that would take the place of copyrights in the form of an artistic freedom voucher (AFV) that would “take full advantage of the potential created by new technology”.1 This system would allow for a wide distribution of material and would create incentives to facilitate the transference of material. The controversy remains; with museums and other institutions in the art industry now catching up in terms of Internet publicity, will Internet artists be able to survive and prosper on their own in a world where art is publicly accessible and economically gratis?

1Baker, Dean. “The Artistic Freedom Voucher: An Internet Age Alternative to Copyrights”. Center for Economic and Policy Research. November 5, 2003.
2 Ippolito, Jon. “Why Art Should be Free”.


Public art faces a design challenge by its very nature: how best to activate the images in its surroundings. The concept of “sustainability
Sustainability is the capacity to endure. For humans, sustainability is the long-term maintenance of well being, which has environmental, economic, and social dimensions, and encompasses the concept of union, an interdependent relationship and mutual responsible position with all living and non...

” arises in response to the perceived environmental deficiencies of a city. Sustainable development
Sustainable development
Sustainable development is a pattern of resource use, that aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but also for generations to come...

, promoted by the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 since the 1980s, includes economical, social, and ecological aspects. A sustainable public art work would include plans for urban regeneration and disassembly. Sustainability has been widely adopted in many environmental planning and engineering projects. Sustainable art
Sustainable art
The expression sustainable art has been promoted recently as an art term that can be distinguished from environmental art that is in harmony with the key principles of sustainability, which include ecology, social justice, non-violence and grassroots democracy....

 is a challenge to respond the needs of an opening space in public.

See also

  • Community arts
  • Creative time
    Creative Time
    Creative Time is a New York-based nonprofit arts organization. It was founded in 1973 to support the creation of innovative, site-specific, socially engaged works in the public realm, especially in vacant spaces of historical and architectural interest...

  • Digital public arts
    Digital Public arts
    Digital Public Art is a nascent field of public art practice resulting from a combination of Public art and Digital art. Like traditional public artworks they differ from those found in galleries and museums in that they takes place in public and it has been claimed, adhere to the following...

  • Fairmount Park Art Association
    Fairmount Park Art Association
    The Fairmount Park Art Association was founded in 1872 in Philadelphia to provide public art in Fairmount Park. The Association now maintains and provides information to the public for outdoor sculpture throughout Philadelphia....

  • Murals
  • Trompe l'oeil
    Trompe l'oeil
    Trompe-l'œil, which can also be spelled without the hyphen in English as trompe l'oeil, is an art technique involving extremely realistic imagery in order to create the optical illusion that the depicted objects appear in three dimensions.-History in painting:Although the phrase has its origin in...

  • Site-specific art
    Site-specific art
    Site-specific art is artwork created to exist in a certain place. Typically, the artist takes the location into account while planning and creating the artwork...

  • Installation art
    Installation art
    Installation art describes an artistic genre of three-dimensional works that are often site-specific and designed to transform the perception of a space. Generally, the term is applied to interior spaces, whereas exterior interventions are often called Land art; however, the boundaries between...

  • List of sculptors
  • Sculpture trail
    Sculpture trail
    A sculpture trail—sculpture walk - also known as "a culture walk" - is a walkway through open-air galleries of outdoor sculptures along a defined route with sequenced viewings encountered from planned preview and principal sight lines.-Settings:...

  • Plop art
    Plop art
    Plop art is a pejorative slang term for public art made for government or corporate plazas, spaces in front of office buildings, skyscraper atriums, parks, and other public venues...

  • Public Art Fund
    Public Art Fund
    The Public Art Fund is a non-profit organization founded in 1977 by Doris Freedman , a Director of New York City's Department of Cultural Affairs, and the President of the Municipal Art Society. They have organized highly visible artists' projects, new commissions, installations and exhibitions in...

  • Sustainable art
    Sustainable art
    The expression sustainable art has been promoted recently as an art term that can be distinguished from environmental art that is in harmony with the key principles of sustainability, which include ecology, social justice, non-violence and grassroots democracy....

  • Environmental sculpture
    Environmental sculpture
    The term environmental sculpture is variously defined. A development of the art of the 20th century, environmental sculpture usually creates or alters the environment for the viewer, as opposed to presenting itself figurally or monumentally before the viewer...

  • Street art
    Street art
    Street art is any art developed in public spaces — that is, "in the streets" — though the term usually refers to unsanctioned art, as opposed to government sponsored initiatives...

  • Statue
    A statue is a sculpture in the round representing a person or persons, an animal, an idea or an event, normally full-length, as opposed to a bust, and at least close to life-size, or larger...

  • Salon des Tree
    Salon des Tree
    Salon des Tree was a series of three renegade art exhibits that took place in 1995 and 1996 in New York City's Central Park. The events were organized by artists Austin Ackles and Mary Jones, and were held in the heavily wooded rambles section of the park without permits or approval from park...

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.