Idea: Honors Program Public Art Purchases

In every city, county and state, artwork by some of the long time resident artists with exceptional careers not been purchase for the public art collection.  These artists are the artistic foundation of the community and deserve to be celebrated and remembered long into the future.

Some of these artists work in durable materials suitable for public art, but many are painters, printmakers, photographers, filmmakers, digital artists, etc.  Others like ceramic artists may never have worked a large scale.   But with today’s many fabrication techniques, their artworks can be transformed into the public works.

An “Honors Public Art Program” would select a living or deceased artist each year to purchase/commission and display her/his artwork in public space or buildings.  In City Hall, a permanent board would recognize the artists commissioned in the program.

We might have missed someone, but Jeff Halverson and Mark Fuller might be the only West Palm Beach residents in the collection.    Marsha Montoya lives in Palm Beach and Michael Singer in Delray Beach.  Privately owned works by WPB artists Luis MontoyaJane Manus and Ann Norton are on public display outside.   Ralfonso has sculpture in an office lobby.  Mural exist by Leslie DavidsonCraig McInnis, Eduardo Mendieta and Amanda Valdez.

For example, a similar program was operated in Seattle in the 1980s & 1990s.   Below are two examples of public artworks by prominent resident painters:  Jacob Lawrence and Michael Spafford.  Lawrence is porcelain enamel and Spafford is concrete panels.

Michael Spafford, Tumbling Figures, Seattle
Michael Spafford, Tumbling Figures, Seattle
Jacob Lawrence, Washington State Convention Center, Seattle
Jacob Lawrence, Washington State Convention Center, Seattle

The artwork of Bruce Helander, inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame in 2014, is used for the header.

 

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