Wish Trees and Public Relations

All My Works Are A Form Of Wishing Yoko Ono Blogger and journalist Mary Louise Schumacher at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wrote she was "cranky" this week about "Public Relations" stealing the artistic mission of public art. "Visit Milwaukee" will commission a bronze statue of "the Fonz" from the 1970s TV show "Happy Days". Apparently, Milwaukee is copying a TV Land project that donated bronze … [Read more...]

Boston’s Powerful Nun and Her Gas Tank

Not to keep the nun theme alive, but yesterday the Boston newspapers reported that the new owner of the Boston Gas Tanks painted by Corita Kent in 1971 would be preserved. The original tank was demolished in 1992, but the owner at that time - KeySpan - repainted another tank. Ms. Kent was an anti-war nun until 1967 when she left her Catholic order and her position as head of the art department at … [Read more...]

Nuns in Bronze

In 1988, Philippine Duchesne was canonized by Pope John Paul II. She is one of only six American saints: five nuns and one bishop. An organizer of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart in France, she was granted her dream to serve as missionary in the USA in 1817. Traveling up the French Catholic Mississippi to St. Charles, Missouri, she founded the first Sacred Heart house in the USA. At the end of … [Read more...]

Obelisco and Obelisk

My black face fades, hiding inside the black granite. I said I wouldn't, dammit: No tears. I'm stone. I'm flesh. First 5 Lines "Facing It", Yusef Komunyakaa, 2001 Komunyakaa wrote the poem at national Vietnam War Memorial. Its polished granite also reflects the white Washington Monument, a strange object of Masonic symbolism at the political heart of America. The Egyptian obelisk was reborn in … [Read more...]

Conflux Festival: A Joyful Return to the Street

Conflux takes me back. Those days in your 20s when engaging people on the street was so powerful. You need a break from the white walls. Time to put art out there with a lot of other artists out there. For a month ahead of time, you talk with your friends and quasi-friends about your plans. On the day, you set up and go. Something a little strange happens with the non-art people. They say … [Read more...]

European Perspective: Game of Mathematics and the Body

British artist, Julian Beever, must be the most popular public art on the Internet. At least once every two months, a family member, friend or associate sends me a set of his street chalk drawings. I politely reply "Thank you." Julian Beever, Sidewalk Chalk Drawing on High Street, London, UK Date Unknown Beever's fans always describe the illusions as "amazing!" with the exclamation mark. Not a … [Read more...]

Argent and Denver’s Bear: Critique Method 3

Around 1985, two architects in Chicago got access to one of the first giant photocopy machines. The photocopier could make images 36 inches wide and very long. Several architects drew 1 inch by 3 inch drawings that were then enlarged to 3 ft x 9 ft through multiple photocopying. The ensuing exhibition was titled: "The Idea of Big". 22 years later - so crude, so small. Emperors, architects and … [Read more...]

Online Lectures on Art and Space

Are you missing the crucial lectures on contemporary public art, urban design and architecture? Well I am. Please help me put together an online list to lectures in video or other formats that include visuals and serious thoughts together. Below are a very few that I have found. Must be a lot more. UPDATE: On September 5, 2007, slate.com launched slateV.com with 2-4 minute video essays by … [Read more...]