Mikaela’s Weblog

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What is Public Art? September 1, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — pokadotstripe8 @ 7:52 am

I thought the best way to begin my digital diary was first to ask  “what is public and community art?”

The term public art properly refers to works of art in any media that has been planned and executed with the specific intention of being sited or staged in the public domain, usually outside and accessible to all….The term is sometimes also applied to include any art which is exhibited in a public space including publicly accessible buildings.”

Knights (1998:79) defines public art as ….projects which are developed in relation to a site with the expectation that the work produced be tangible and permanent, have lasting aesthetic and financial value, be sensitively integrated into the space and provide some benefit for those who own or use the area.

The major difference pointed out by Oppermann (2001) between public art and other art is that of ownership.

But where is the line between architecture, advertising, functionality and public art?

I think that really depends on the viewer …there are many blurred boundaries between these domains. For example while permanence is a common attribute, there are more inclusive definitions of public art in other sources allowing for ephemeral forms. Eg. Fireworks, parades. Some people even consider sunsets as public art.


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