Aesthetic Grounds: January 2008 Archives

Not to reveal too much, but I typed "public art" into the job search site, Indeed. The public art field and civic leaders have under-estimated the role of public art in job recruitment, especially among doctors and nurses. Many medical recruiters highlight the excellent quality of a city's pedestrian environment by listing public art. I wonder if the Creative Cities researchers have linked up this data.

Perhaps the recruitment is it part due to years of artworks in hospitals. As city and county art programs receive most of the credit for public art, hospitals and medical centers have been quietly commissioning public art through private donors and government funding. Frequently, courageous work is commissioned for hospitals after artists interview patients and staff. Concepts that might seem offensive to an outside observer turn out to be comforting to the people in the hospital. James Rosenquist's used Band-Aid on the children's hospital in St. Petersburg Florida is an example of normalcy among the medical staff and children that is strange to the general public.
James Rosenquist, St. Petersburg, Florida

The medical advertisements state the value of public art to the average employee. These are not art supporters, but just regular people describing the quality of the space. Here are some examples:

....take a walk downtown to find public art at every turn.

A strong public art program helps to sustain and encourage downtown economic development.

A community that gets involved is shown throughout the city with the public art displays.

The Complex offers many amenities including 24 site-specific public art projects.....

Other institutions stressing public art are the universities and government campuses where public art has at least a 30-year history. Technology has a significant link to public art, as artists such as Cliff Garten need CAD operators to complete computer files for laser and other fabrication techniques. Interactive software designers recognize public art as a market. In the future, I will continue to check in on the employment websites to discover the attributes of value in civic spaces.

All the following are quotes from a variety of Internet advertisements.

Rhino/Maya/CAD Designer for Cliff Garten Studio in Venice, California

Nationally recognized artist's studio located in Venice, CA seeks responsible designer to provide design and documentation support for public art projects incorporating engineering, infrastructure, architecture, urban design and landscape architecture. Cutting -edge work with 3D digital design, modeling, and transferring unconventional forms into digital fabrication (laser, water jet, CNC, 3D printing) and conventional fabrication and construction techniques. Applicant should enjoy problem solving complex structural and visual designs. You must be fluent in graphic and 3D modeling and rendering digital programs- AutoCAD, Maya, Rhino, Photoshop, Illustrator, and possess excellent three-dimensional modeling skills. Experience in architectural office and Masters Degree are desirable.

Position responsibilities include:
•3D computer modeling and renderings used during the design process and for presentations, primarily in Rhino, AutoCAD and Maya
•Participate in concept design, design development and design drawing process
•Proven experience in the construction of digital files and models used to fabricate physical objects
•Supervise specific and specialized construction methods with fabricators using geometric data from computer and physical models, stereo lithography, CNC and water-jet cutting
•Produce fabrication and construction documents of completed designs
•Must know how to put together a good construction detail in Auto CAD, be inventive and communicate with fabricators, architects and contractors
Cliff Garten Harborview

Immersive Media Software Engineer at Snibbe Interactive, Inc in San Francisco Bay Area
Snibbe Interactive is a fast-growing company that creates large-scale interactive installations for science museums, public spaces, corporations, and other public and private clients. Our work has unique characteristics of bringing joy, social engagement and meaning to the everyday lives of ordinary people. Our market is worldwide and includes clients in a number of vertical markets including science museums, branding, entertainment and PUBLIC ART. We have installed works worldwide including the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Israel, Thailand, Japan and Korea.
Still photo from Snibbe Interactive work


Licensed Practical Nurse in Tacoma, Washington
The medical center is located in the vicinity of Tacoma, north of the Main Post of Fort Lewis, in the evergreen state of Washington. Nestled on the shores of Commencement Bay on the West Coast of the U.S., Tacoma is an international gateway to the Pacific Rim and the world. The city also serves as a gateway to some of the most magnificent natural wonders in the world such as Puget Sound, Mount Rainier National Park and the Olympic Peninsula. From art galleries to actor guilds, museums to music groups - Tacoma is serious about arts and culture. There is something for everyone. Catch a local performance, meander through a museum, or TAKE A WALK DOWNTOWN TO FIND PUBLIC ART AT EVERY TURN. There´s more to Tacoma than meets the eye - from odd architecture like Bob´s Java Jive to wonderful events that got their start in the city like the American Cancer Society Relay for Life. The Far Side cartoonist Gary Larson and old-time crooner and movie star Bing Crosby along with some of its infamous history such as the 1940 collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, or Galloping Gertie.
Buster Simpson in downtown Tacoma

Physician in Mesa, Arizona
This Phoenix suburb is a great place to live, with a highly attractive lifestyle. Events, activities, dining and shopping keep its residents and its surrounding communities busy all year long. Some key attractions are: Arizona Museum for Youth, Arizona Museum of Natural History, Commemorative Air Force Aircraft Museum , Concerts, Dobson Ranch Golf Course, Hohokam Stadium - Spring Training with Chicago Cubs, Mesa Arts Center, PUBLIC ART, Riverview Golf Course There are solid reasons why more than 450,000 people live here: low costs of doing business, reasonable tax structure, skilled and well-educated workforce, low crime rate, superior schools, affordable housing and an excellent quality of life.

Physician for city in Colorado
This area offers some of the most spectacular recreation opportunities available in the United States. There's something here for everyone. A family destination for both young and old alike and you're sure to find fun for everyone.
1. Outdoors - Blessed with 300 days of sunshine a year, it is a lively city with a great love of the outdoors: a brand-new urban kayak course, bike trails, rivers and lakes for fishing and sunny golf courses
2. Events - From car rallies to historic tours, there is activity all-year round
3. Families - Families can enjoy an award-winning Children's Museum, quarter rides at the City Park or the Zoo
4. Culture - This area boasts cultural amenities including art galleries, PUBLIC ART PROJECTS and a variety of theatre offerings
5. Nightlife - From diverse dining opportunities to an energetic live-music scene, the nights are full of entertainment and options

Radiologists for Southwest Nevada
Radiologists seeking Interventional Radiologist to join group of six. Excellent Compensation - Excellent Location - Excellent Vacation Allowance - Position based at 2007 Distinguished Hospital of Excellence! The community is experiencing huge, fast growth. This city is a leader in arts and culture. The community has a rich variety of special events, historic buildings, performing arts and galleries. A STRONG PUBLIC ART PROGRAM HELPS TO SUSTAIN AND ENCOURAGE DOWNTOWN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. Cultural diversity and history are embraced and interwoven within the fabric of the city. Art galleries, Ice skating rink, skiing, hiking, and golfing are just a few of the activities you can expect throughout the community.

Physician for Chicago
Seeking physician to join group as an employee with a salary of $310,000. No sub-specialties are required for this position and general is preferred. Full benefits will be included with this offering and will equal to about 27% of your salary. This is a very exciting major metropolitan city that has evolved over the years into a place where all should at least visit to experience what it has to offer. A COMMUNITY THAT GETS INVOLVED IS SHOWN THROUGHOUT THE CITY WITH THE PUBLIC ART DISPLAYS. ONE OF THE DISPLAYS IS THE RIVERWALK GATEWAY PUBLIC ART DISPLAY WHICH ARE SEVERAL MURALS THAT DEPICT THE HISTORY OF CHICAGO AND ARE DISPLAYED IN AN OPEN AREA ALONG THE RIVER. There is so much to see and do within this great city.

Chicago Riverwalk. Photo by Jyoti Srivastava at Chicago Public Art Blog

Nurse for Tucson, Arizona
A top-notch facility in Tucson, Arizona is looking for a qualified Nurse Practitioner that specializes in Internal Medicine and they are offering top benefits and great wages.
Tucson truly has something for everybody. Whether you're looking for history or high tech, local artists or the masters, shopping 'til you drop or quality family time. Discover our fabulous array of museums, galleries, PUBLIC ART, concerts and theater. Tucson offers a mild climate and about 350 sunny days a year, our outdoors is always open.
RVL Arts in Tucson, AZ

Public Art and Design Manager for Business Improvement District
The Times Square Alliance (formerly the Times Square Business Improvement District), founded in 1992, works to improve and promote Times Square so that it retains the energy, edge and distinctiveness that have made it an icon for entertainment, culture and urban life for almost a century. In addition to providing core services with 50 Public Safety Officers and 50 Sanitation associates, the Alliance promotes local businesses, co-coordinates numerous major events in Times Square like New Year's Eve and Broadway on Broadway, manages an Information Center and advocates on behalf of its constituents with respect to a host of public policy, planning and quality-of-life issues.


Director of Blanton Museum of Art of The University of Texas at Austin
While it supports teaching and research activities throughout the University, the Blanton Museum is part of the College of Fine Arts. The College also includes the Department of Art and Art History, the School of Music, the Department of Theatre and Dance, and the Performing Arts Center, a nationally leading performing arts presenter and production facility. The Museum serves and collaborates broadly with Art and Art History on exhibitions, public lectures and events, arts education programs, and more recently on the creation of a Museum Studies curriculum, an emerging research center for Latin American Art, and A CAMPUS-WIDE PUBLIC ART PROGRAM.

Secretary II for University of Central Arkansas
The person hired will be the first line of contact for inquiries regarding the College of Fine Arts and Communication, either by regular mail, email or telephone, therefore the ability to work well with the public is essential. This individual will also be responsible for and/or assist with the following: file maintenance (personnel, purchasing, accounting, etc.), travel requests, purchase orders, administration of the Artists in Residence Program and PUBLIC ART INITIATIVES..............

Winning design by Andrew Leicester for Central Arkansas

Assistant Professor Art/Sculpture for University of Nevada Las Vegas
Qualifications include MFA in Sculpture or related field and expertise in a wide range of three-dimensional practices. Applicants engaging new practices are encouraged. The candidate must demonstrate an OUTSTANDING EXHIBITION/PUBLIC ART RECORD with national exposure and have teaching experience


Office Technician (Typing) General Services for the State of California
The East End Complex, located in Region IV in Sacramento, California, includes five state-of-the-art structures ranging in height from five to seven stories. THE COMPLEX OFFERS MANY AMENITIES INCLUDING 24 SITE-SPECIFIC PUBLIC ART PROJECTS, an auditorium and conference center, an on-site child care facility, a full service restaurant, and a firm commitment to sustainable practices and energy efficiencies.

Associate Dean for Digital Futures, Information Technology and Technical Services at the King Library in San Jose, California

The King Library is a collaboration of San Jose Public Libraries and San Jose State University Library. Our King Library is the largest, all-new library west of the Mississippi, an innovative collaboration which has created an invaluable community resource open and free to all. A FEAST FOR THE MIND, AS WELL AS THE EYES, THE KING LIBRARY BOASTS A COLLECTION OF ROUGHLY 1.5 MILLION ITEMS AS WELL AS DELIGHTFUL PUBLIC ART INSTALLATIONS AWAITING YOUR DISCOVERY ON EVERY FLOOR

Babel by Mel Chin for the King Library

Landscape Architect for the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation

Preferred Qualifications: Knowledge of any/all of the following specialized disciplines: brownfields, landfills, sustainable/"green" design, ecological restoration, conservation, ADA/universal design concepts, horticulture, urban design, PUBLIC ART and architecture.

New York City is entering an unprecedented period of growth and development as part of Mayor Bloomberg's PLANYC2030-the most sweeping plan to enhance New York's urban environment in the city's modern history. By 2017 we plan to plant an estimated 220,000 street trees with over $200 million in funding. Parks & Recreation is the steward of almost 29,000 acres of land--14 percent of New York City--from Yankee Stadium to Central Park to community Gardens and Greenstreets.

Roxy Paine in Madison Park, NYC


Learning through an Expanded Arts Program (LEAP) in NYC

Energetic and experienced teaching artists needed to work with NYC public school classes K-12, integrating arts into academic subjects. URGENT NEED for: Visual Arts, Science, Slam Poetry, PUBLIC ART/Murals, Dance (Hip Hop), and for experience with Special Needs students.
Public Art Effort of LEAP

Students face more obstacles and issues today than ever before. Through Leap's new Public Art program, eighth graders in ten schools across New York City will have the opportunity to actively voice their feelings and ideas about social issues in their communities through the creation of public art.

The Public Art program will involve 700 students who will participate in 15 sessions with a professional artist. Together they will explore social issues in their communities, examine the history and practice of public art, and create original public art works.

The students' final creations will be displayed in parks and public spaces throughout New York City during the summer of 2008. Through the public art program, the students will recognize the importance of their own ideas and learn how to communicate them in creative, constructive, and effective ways.

January 26, 2008 4:19 PM | | Comments (2)

The Aventura Mall, 10 miles north of Miami Beach, is building a contemporary public art collection. Jorge Pardo and Lawrence Weiner made unique installation and Julian Opie set-up his LED walking man and woman.

See the Aesthetic Grounds Visual Essays for More Downloadable Pictures

Higher rent shopping arcades, centers and malls have been commissioning artworks since they were invented in the 18th century. (New urbanist shopping villages in the USA have NOT utilized artworks. Another essay.) Generally these shopping areas have commissioned artworks to attract high-income clients. Unlike other public artworks, the artworks are prominently located in the central space or the main façade. Spending money for a back corner, as is seen in many government buildings or parks, would seem foolish to the operators of the shopping place.

My highest praise Jacqueline Fletcher, the director of the art program at the Mall. The works are not "designed" into the building, but rather installed. The works appear in locations that the artist might have discovered on site. I felt like this very expensive mall was being used like the old warehouse shows. Artists found their spaces.

Lawrence Weiner

Weiner's work is the best for prominence, readability and site relatedness. The rough, yet controlled character of the stenciled "Admired, Desired, Required, Acquired" in English and Spanish matches the simple signage of the mall "Boss, Macy's, Penny's", but inappropriate in materials. Somehow you feel the texture of the paint and the stucco. The work jumps out in the "common space" of the skylight and holds its prominence from many views. (My Argentine wife tells me the mall is very popular with South Americans.)

Jorge Pardo

Pardo's "paper cut out" butterflies have very little impact on the space. Remove them and the space is the same. Perhaps at night the work is successful. But I would recommend a visit to the thousands of golden butterflies hanging in a cubic volume filling and sparkling the skylight space of Neiman Marcus in Boca Raton's Town Center Mall (I cannot find the artist or an online source to the in store art collections).

Julian Opie (Excellent website)

Opie's work is appropriate in the pedestrian zone on the mall's floor. But the work is much better in video. The contrast between the stylized, slinky, fluid movement of the LED woman and real walkers in the mall become dramatic in video and was unnoticed in the actual space. The video flattens the movement of people into the same realm as the LED woman. In real time, the people are too 3-D.

Rainbow Valley by Friends with You

Unfortunately, Friends with You created the children's play area called Rainbow Valley. I must admit that I thought the smiling snow covered mountaintops were mediocre commercial constructions. I did not think it was by talented artists until I discovered it via the Internet. (In 2002, the Mall PR praised the new artwork, but today the work is not on the Mall artwork's brochure).

My ignorance shows two things. One: I am out of it. Another proof of the pre-conceptions and limitations of the second wave public art club. (First: 1970s & 80s. Second: 80s and 90s. Third: Today.) The second wave is not even looking for the new. Two: Sometimes utilizing the language of something in the correct space causes it to disappear. The simplistic imagery of "Friends with You" fails to spark adult thought when in a kid's space. The same thing can happen with artists making architectural elements. This is danger for the public art curator.

Traditional Mall Public Art in Aventura Food Court

Banksy book for sale with other street artist books at Urban Outfitters.

As my time in shopping malls is infrequent, I discovered Banksy at Urban Outfitters along with other Street Art and Graffiti books. More signals of crossover between the creative industries of fashion, graphics and public art. But it is not the official art, but the unofficial. How can capture the spirit without killing the spirit as happened in the East Village by the 1990s?

I just liked this store.
Very nice changing rooms at Miss Sixty. (Great hotel project with 30 rooms by 30 artists in Italy. The Miss Sixty Hotel. )

Click on More for More Works by Wiener, Opie and Friends with You.

January 14, 2008 6:42 AM | | Comments (0)

Ave Maria, Florida, is the first 21st Century town created in the "middle of nowhere" with a Catholic oratory and university at its heart. The future 11,000 houses, townhouses and apartments will consume the 5000 acres (2000 hectares) "nowhere" of farms and wetlands and force the future residents to drive miles to work and the local cities. The final result will be 5 houses to the acre - very low density. But this blog is not about stupid planning decisions or even a 250 million dollar philanthropy that could have restored urban blight with same new university and housing. Visit the Aesthetic Grounds Picasa Albums to see more images of Ave Maria and a 2006 powerpoint presentation on Florida new urbanism explaining the repetitive format.

Ave Maria, Florida. Town Center and University

What I find interesting is the small cathedral (oratory) in the center of the plaza violating most new urbanist rules for a surburban village. At first the cathedral dominates your eye in contrast with the toy buildings surrounding it. The Catholicism is not an option - everything points toward it like piglets to a female hog. The goal is to feed from the spirit of God. This use of architecture and planning to reinforce the power of God is not seen anymore and rarely in the entire village history of America. Even a non-believer feels the purpose of the planners. In that way, the design works.

Yet another three story new urbanist pop-up village. Click here for Aesthetic Grounds photoessay of Florida new towns.

Cynically, we can see that the cathedral is an attraction to support shopping around its base and make an icon for a university and real estate development. But the founder Tom Monaghan, who has given massive amounts of his Domino Pizza fortune to Catholic causes, is a serious believer in which cynism is a thoughtless and easy reaction. Churches, temples, mozques, shrines, etc have been surrounded by commerce since the begining of urban religion. It is actually sururbanism that has isolated these religious buildings from shopping districts and pedestrian environments.

Monaghan is using New Urbanism for its deep implication that the shape of the village can build a community. Here we have a true test of its social value - something that the new urbanist leaders avoid in the official documents. But many Christian blogs and websites exist dedicated to understanding the relationship between faith and urban design - especially new urbanist principles. Here are some discussions:
Sacred Architecture,
Mirror of Justice.
Sidewalks in the Kingdom
A Theology of the Built Environment
University of Virginia Spring 2006 Conference on Lived Theology

As per the Aesthetic Grounds comparative method, I thought of the aggressive and pretty 1956 chapel of the US Air Force Academy in Colorado. I seem to associate modern planning composition with freedom of choice and symmetrical classical planning with control - but this is an 20th century critique that is ridiculous in the age of electronic control. Or is it?

Not listed as an inspiration, but compare with SOM's Air Force Acedemy Chapel, 1956

Oratory dominates the town like a medieval village.

Chapel punctuates the modern composition

Oratory in the dead center.

Chapel addresses the main court

The 2004 Oratory was designed to repeat Thorncrown Chapel by Fay Jones - at three times the size. Perhaps six hurricanes of 2004 & 2005 caused the design to change.

A completely ignored public art form are the artists of religion. The 200 year old, Talleres de Arte Granda has been hired for the interior of the oratory.

Talleres de Arte Granda of Madrid: Past work

TallerGrande3.jpg Talleres de Arte Granda: Past Work

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January 4, 2008 9:49 AM | | Comments (3)



About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries written by Aesthetic Grounds in January 2008.

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Apollinaire Scherr talks about dance
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