Why Public Art?
“Public art is a reflection of how we see the world—the artist’s response to our time and place combined with our own sense of who we are.” (Association for Public Art)
You’ve probably walked past a wild sculpture or mural on the corner (maybe on your own street) and wondered, “Um… what?” We’ve all been there. Sometimes that’s exactly what the artist wanted you to do! But when it comes to your own public art projects, you want them to be rooted in purpose, reflecting local interests and values, and enhance your community’s identity.
Public art examples in Indiana
- Rushville (story coming soon!)
- Local policy can support public art, even in small communities (story coming soon!)
- Firefighter's Local 416 (story coming soon!)
Indiana Arts Commission Public Art Blog Posts
- A checklist for public art success (and resources to help along the way)
- How to be a public artist: Four parts of the journey ahead
Keep your eyes peeled for public art that is rooted in local identity—it’s everywhere!
- The Traveling Museum connects public art to ice fishing in rural Minnesota.
- Celebrating industry using residents’ memories in Pittsburgh.
- Connecting public art to steel industry and job skills for students in Erie, Pennsylvania.
- Reflecting local culture and values.
General Public Art Resources
- Americans for the Arts-Public Art Network develops professional services for the broad array of individuals and organizations engaged in the diverse field of public art. PAN is the only professional network in the United States dedicated to advancing public art programs and projects through advocacy, policy, and information resources to further art and design in our built environment.
Through the Public Art Network, Americans for the Arts provides professional development opportunities as well as the tools and resources needed to develop public art in communities across the country. For those looking for a deeper engagement with colleagues in the public art field, Americans for the Arts offers a professional membership which represents a cross-section of public art leaders, including arts administrators, artists, community stakeholders, and field partners who engage in making public art happen in their communities. Members also elect the Public Art Network Advisory Council to provide guidance on the development and execution of programs and services that meet the needs of public art professionals nationwide. Click here to learn how you can become a member of Americans for the Arts.
- Project for Public Spaces (PPS) is a nonprofit planning, design, and educational organization dedicated to helping people create and sustain public spaces that build stronger communities.
- Americans for the Arts-Public Art Tools & Resources
- Animating Democracy is a program of Americans for the Arts, we bring national visibility to arts for change work, build knowledge about quality practice, and create useful resources.
- Exploring Our Town-NEA responds to requests from the arts community for ready access to an easy-to-search resource on best practices. Divided into two sections, Project Showcase and Project Insights, Exploring Our Town offers practical information gleaned from the experiences of those who have successfully completed Our Town projects.
- FAQ’s-Americans for the Arts, Public Art Network These FAQ’s represent some of the most common questions about the field of public art from artists, administrators, and the many stakeholders involved with public art commissions. They were sourced from over 15 years of member questions on the PAN Listserv, which has served artists and professionals since 2004 as a means to connect with peers in the field, discuss current issues, trends and best practices, and to share Calls for Artists, planning documents and other items developed by the field.
Photo: Rensselear Mural Unveiling, Tippecanoe Arts Federation, 2016 (Artist, Cameron Moberg)