Sunday, March 24, 2013

Conference Report: Public Art and the City 2013

The Symposium’s Keynote Presentation was delivered by Mary Miss who has founded the City as Living Laboratory—a framework for making issues of social and environmental sustainability tangible through collaboration and the arts. Trained as a sculptor, Miss's work creates situations emphasizing a site’s history, its ecology, or aspects of the environment that have gone unnoticed. She has worked closely with architects, planners, engineers, ecologists, and public administrators on projects as diverse as creating a temporary memorial around the perimeter of Ground Zero, marking the predicted flood level of Boulder, Colorado, revealing the history of the Union Square Subway station in New York City or turning a sewage treatment plant into a public space. For more information visit

Mary Miss walking on Maya Lin's
earthwork near Crestwood, KY

The earthwork from afar

Morning panelists discussed recent public art projects in St. Louis, Nashville, and Long Beach, Calif. The featured artists have created or managed works in outdoor settings such as vacant city lots, flooded waterfronts and alongside urban waterways. Those speakers included Tiffany Carbonneau, Bellarmine University; Leslie Markle, Curator for Public Art, Washington University; and Caroline Vincent, Nashville Metro Arts Commission. Dan Jones, chairman and CEO of 21st Century Parks, gave the luncheon talk about the Parklands of Floyds Fork urban parks system project. The afternoon roundtable session about perspectives on public art brought U of L scholars to the table to address sacred sites in a global perspective, environmental history, urban planning and mapping as a tool to understand landscape.

We're already looking forward to Public Art and the City 2014. More info this fall!

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