From the Americans For the Arts website:
Americans for the Arts Public Art Network (PAN) 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.
The Public Art Network is a great resource for artists and administrators. $50 in annual membership dues supports nationwide arts advocacy efforts, (so you are helping as you learn), and it includes a daily digest email with calls for entry and technical advice on a range of issues: insurance, contracts, durability, technology and more. Knowing what these issues are before you propose a project is helpful.
AFTA organizes an annual conference that includes a two-day public art preconference. They open the event with a presentation called Year In Review, which recognizes “outstanding public art projects that represent the most compelling work for the year…Selected jurors review hundreds of project applications and develop a “year in review” presentation of projects from across the country. Temporary and permanent projects in a range of budget sizes are eligible. Year In Review 2014 was presented at the Nashville Omni Hotel on Thursday, June 12th. This year’s selected projects ranged in size from $7,000 to $1.2 million.
The jurors for Year In Review are selected by the PAN Council. The 2014 jurors were Ralph Helmick, Janet Zweig and Cath Brunner. Helmick and Zweig are both working public artists whose projects have been selected for Year In Review 8 and 10 times respectively. Cath Brunner directs the highly regarded public art program for 4culture in Seattle.
Sometimes panelists decide that each will select and present based only on their own likes and dislikes, but this year, the jurors chose to work together, reportedly spending many hours on the phone reviewing each project and hearing each other’s opinions. In the end, their hard work was evident.
Cath Brunner commented, “We chose to learn from each other”. In spending all that time on the phone, they gained insight into ‘unfortunate trends’, originality and ambition. They prioritized projects that “connected to the viewer and connected to place” “without being “crushingly literal”. They asked, ultimately, “Is it interesting?”
Working together with one “hive mind” as Helmick called it, they determined that they would designate a “Love Letter” for every project that received a unanimous vote. Out of 37 awarded, there were 6 of these. When Love Letters were presented, the audience heard a lilting melody.
The team also came up with a unique way to grapple with the times when they didn’t agree at all: Each juror was allowed two wild cards for projects that they insisted must be included even though the other two didn’t choose to honor them. When Wild Cards were presented, the audience heard a Tarzan Call.
Initially, there were 342 entries to consider. The panel ultimately chose 37 projects.
- Inversion +/- by Lead Pencil Studio for the Portland, OR Regional Arts & Culture Council
- Open House by Matthew Mazzotta for the Coleman Center For the Arts, York, AL
- Murmuration by Jennifer Steinkamp for the Long Beach Judicial Partners, Long Beach, CA
- The Time And The Temperature by Jon Rubin for the Capital Crossroads Special Improvement District As A Fiscal Agent For “Finding Time Columbus Public Art 2012, Columbus, OH
- Grand Central Lights by Improv Everywhere for MTA Arts For Transit And Design, New York, NY
- Del Paso Words On Walls by Hans Bennewitz, Paco Marquez, Benjamin Della Rose, Susan Kelly-DeWitt, Laura Edmisten-Matranga, Danny Romero, Barbara Hennely, Catherine French, William Leung and Tim Kahl for the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission, Sacramento, CA.
- Desert Spring by Rosario Marquardt & Roberto Behar, R & R Studios, for the Phoenix Office Of Arts & Culture, Phoenix, AZ
- The Lexington Tattoo Project by Kurt Gohde and Kremena Todorava, self commissioned and funded by private individuals, foundations and organizations in Lexington, KY.
- Wonderland by Jaume Plensa for the EnCana Corporation, Calgary, AB, Canada
- Cacher Pur Mieux Montrer (Hide To Show Better) by Sans Facon for the City of Saskatoon, Placemaker Program, Saskatoon, SK, Canada
- Funnel Tunnel by Patrick Renner for the Art League Houston,
- Houston, TX
- Heard _NY by Nick Cave for MTA Arts For Transit & Urban Design,
- New York, NY
Click here for a complete list of awarded projects.
For more information
Americans For the Arts: http://www.americansforthearts.org/
Public Art Network: http://www.americansforthearts.org/by-program/networks-and-councils/public-art-network
Janet Zweig: http://www.janetzweig.com/
Ralph Helmick: http://www.helmicksculpture.com/
Cath Brunner: http://convention.artsusa.org/presenters/profile/cath-brunner