Hanoi Ceramic Mural on Red River Dyke: 2007-2010

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The Hanoi mural, which is built on the walls of the Red River dyke, was constructed between 2007-10.   The concept came from  Vietnamese artist, Nguyen Thu Thuy, a journalist and painter who works for the Hanoimoi newspaper.  Ms Thuy wanted to mark the city’s millennium with an artistic mural which reinvigorated urban Hanoi and bring local communities together through public art.  WATCH THE … [Read more...]

Electrical Utility Boxes as Public Art

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Around the nation, public works departments, downtown associations and neighborhoods have focused on sidewalk electrical utility boxes as public art sites.  Hand painting appears in the neighborhoods and smaller cities, while printed vinyl wraps are preferred by more urban downtowns. Overall Preparing the box itself by removing rust and other imperfections is essential. Hand painting … [Read more...]

Mosaics and Ceramic Murals: Freeport, Bahamas

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Let's put mosaics and ceramic murals on the public art table.    For permanent, community-based public art - nothing is better.   And as a very beautiful artform in the hands of experts and craftspeople.    You can visit and walk-on Roman mosaics almost 2,000 years old.  The tiles of Persians, the Ottomans and other Asian Islamic cultures glow with the blues and greens and reds in the 500 year old … [Read more...]

Kara Walker Tangent: Romancing Sugar on Vacation

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So I took a four day cruise to the Bahamas.  Only one 60 minute session of smartphone use permitted.  Laptop left at home. But I took my new sugar baby brain with me to the Bahamas.  Of the 319,000 people, 85% are dissidents of African slaves that were brought to the Caribbean for sugar production.  But not directly to the Bahamas.  The Bahamas were semi abandoned until British loyalist arrived … [Read more...]

Kara Walker Tangent: Remember Fred Wilson

Fred Wilson, 2010

The sugar baby is not public art.  I am stubbornly holding onto the idea that an essential part of the definition of  "public art" is the capacity for any person to stumble across the work in accessible public space.  Once the art is locked inside a structure, the key element of the "any person" disappears.  And more importantly it loses it's power as a threat or collaborator to public … [Read more...]

Best of the Week in Public Art

Moaffak Makhoul, Syria 2014

Friend me at glenn.weiss.100 for the originals in real time. Two best finds of the week are the giant mural in Syria complete this year in the middle of the war and the Smokey Hollow Memorial to the African American Community that was demolished in the late 1960s. Most popular this week is the Edmonton, Canada, pavilion by Marc … [Read more...]

Round-up of Articles on Kara Walker’s sugar baby

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First:  Kara Walker's sugar baby is NOT public art.  It is big sculpture.  To qualify as public art, the work must be accidentally available to any person in real space.  The best public art engages a public space that is truly owned and protected by a community of people.    Once behind the walls - like a strip club - the vast public allows anything as long as the establishment does not attract … [Read more...]