Category Archives: Art Ideas

Final Public Art Questionnaire for West Palm Beach

QUESTIONNAIRE:  Before the public art meeting on Wednesday,  please take the final questionnaire on public art locations and ideas.

Click Here for Final Questionnaire.
Click Here for Final Questionnaire.

PUBLIC ART SITES ON GOOGLE MAP:  Before Wednesday evening, please check out the Google Map with locations of existing art, possible future art sites and major private developments.

West Palm Beach Google Public Art Map
West Palm Beach Google Public Art Map
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Don’t be afraid of Ethnicity

Don’t be afraid of public artwork that strongly demonstrates its origination in  ethnic visual traditions.  Murals can be show people from different backgrounds or painted in the art traditions of non-western cultures.  Why can’t public sculptures be bronze castings of African masks.  Why can’t ceramic murals clearly originate in the traditions of Spanish or Moroccan wall and floor tiles?

In the 19th and 20th century, the dominant art establishment and intellectuals believed that progress and newness in art came exclusively from the artistic inventions in Europe and then the Americas.  Still today, despite the great respect in museums and universities for all traditions in art, the vast majority of public art is dominated by euro-american art.

One major flaw of public art thinking is that works from other cultural traditions should only be seen in the neighborhoods of those ethnic communities.  It is sometimes known as “race matching”.   Art about or by African Americans should be seen in African American neighborhoods, not in the center of downtown.

Given the 150 years of public art in the USA and Florida, some catching up may be required in African American, Caribbean, Mexican and South American neighborhoods.  Pride in community through public art is still a valuable service.

In the 21st century, many mature and talented artists exist from any cultural or ethnic backgrounds.  Many ethnic traditions have been continued by contemporary artists and craftspersons.  Perhaps ethnic and cultural diversity in a public art collection is the true new future.

Idea: Artist-in-Residence or Social Practice

Across the world, artists are now embedding themselves in communities of people before imagining any art or art project.   The community and artist work together to discover the kinds of projects that address areas of  community concern.   The artist provides the leadership to bring people together that might not connecting at the moment.  Then the artist imagines art projects that the community implements together.

These artists work under a number of names including Socially Engaged Artists, Social Practice, Artist-in-Residence or Community Artists.   Several American universities offer special training in this cultural role for artists.

Issue:  Young Boys are Not Reading Books.
Artist Idea:  Place Special Books for Boys in Barber Shops.

Artist Alvin Irby. Barbershop Books for Boys
Artist Alvin Irby. Barbershop Books for Boys
Barbershop Books for Boys
Barbershop Books for Boys

Issue:  Burned House in Center of Small Town
Artist Idea:  Recycle the Unburned Parts into a Gathering and Performance space.

The burned house in York Alabama
The burned house in York Alabama
"open house" by Artist Matthew Mazzotta,  and the people of York Alabama
“open house” by Artist Matthew Mazzotta, and the people of York Alabama
"open house" by Artist Matthew Mazzotta,  and the people of York Alabama
“open house” by Artist Matthew Mazzotta, and the people of York Alabama

Issue:  The Aspirations of Regular People are Not Being Heard
Artist Idea:  Giant chalk boards on the sides of buildings to write ideas

Artist Candy Chang.  Black board in South Africa
Artist Candy Chang. Black board in South Africa
First chalk board in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina
First chalk board in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina

Feature picture is Candy Chang’s “I wish this was…” stickers for community members to comment on changes in the neighborhood.

 

 

Ideas from Artists

In the last week, two artists send us two ideas.

From Noah Verrier, an artist teaching at FSU.  The idea is based on his project titled 150 Sunsets.

Project HOPE

– Pick a single location to paint, then paint that location on the same day and time each week (possibly several times per week).
– Invite the entire community to paint along with me, interpreting the scene with their own unique vision, in a show of support and hope.
– Finished paintings displayed and installed as a large grid along with the paintings done by the community.
NoahV
Installatoin by Noah Verrier
From  Laurence Gartel, a digital artist.

Digital Screen Based Public Art

We have seen the paradigm shift of our entire culture entering the Digital Age.  I see an aspect of Public Art employing more “Screen” based projects. Who knows where the future will be in terms of “substrate,” but the idea of monitor display on a surface should be  considered for a city of sustainable technology.
GrammyCar585s

 

Honoring Ann Norton with New Sculpture

Norton SculptureIn March 2012 three years ago, the AiPP Committee endorsed the idea constructing in brick an Ann Norton sculpture as major significant public artwork in West Palm Beach.   Only thru the fence at the Norton Sculpture Garden can you see parts of her sculptures.

In 2014, the AiPP Committee and City Commission “unreserved” the funds for the project on Okeechobee as rendered below.  During the master plan process, they would re-examine the project that would include other locations and different scales.   Now is that time.

photo_3 NortonA&Edrawing

More information on Ann Norton on this blog, click here.  Also information of an program idea to purchase works by long-time WPB artist, click here.

Ann Norton in Cambridge, Mass.
Ann Norton in Cambridge, Mass.

Send Us your Ideas and Locations for Public Art Projects

Sloss Design
Sloss Design

Forward to your friends!   For the April 22, 2015, Community Meeting on the AiPP Master Plan, please send us your ideas to ibiARTwestpalm@gmail.com.  We will add them to the discussion list next week and post them online.

All this week new ideas will be posted with a summary distributed and chance to vote in a survey in Monday and Tuesday next week. Ideas to be posted this week:  Artist in Residence in a Neighborhood, Ann Norton Sculpture, Art on Quadrille at new downtown train station, Art in Parks, Culturally Diverse Artworks, Bi-annual “submit your idea for public art” competition, etc, etc…..

Below are the ideas already posted online.

Ideas for New Development

Sustainable / Eco Art
Parking Garage Facades
Building Entrances
Health and Exercise
Building Tops

Locations

Gateways
City Park at new Major League Baseball Facility
In the Intracoastal on the Waterfront Downtown
Move the Henry Rolf Sculpture
Giant Mural on Railroad Track Parking Garage

Specific Projects

Remake Augusta Savage Sculpture “The Harp”
Troll under the Bridge
Bring Back Lost Signs from WPB Past
George Gershwin at Tri-Rail Station
Large Paintings or Murals of WPB families and groups
Purchase work by longtime WPB artists

Slide1

Idea for Developers: Sustainability and Public Art

zöld8Artists across the world are contributing ideas and works of art to help make our built environment more sustainable.  In south Florida, improvements to reduce electrical use in building and smart uses of rain water are particularly important.  Most art projects are equal parts reality and poetry to remind the public about the need to change and a symbol to tenants or buyers about the environmental concerns of the owner.

Generate Electricity:  Wind Turbines

Design for Miami (Unbuilt)
Design for Miami (Unbuilt)
Hilton turbines, Fort Lauderdale
Hilton wind turbines, Fort Lauderdale
Wind Turbine in park in Fort Lauderdale,
Wind Turbine in park in Fort Lauderdale,
Colorful turbines
Colorful turbines

Clean the Air and Cool Building:  Green Facades

40815422

foundation-for-polish-science-f251114-6-520x347

Miami Beach
Miami Beach

Generate Electricity:  Solar Collectors

Solar flower, Dallas, TX by Harries and Heder
Solar flower, Dallas, TX by Harries and Heder
Solar flower, Dallas, TX by Harries and Heder
Solar flower, Dallas, TX by Harries and Heder
Solar panel clad, floating duck
Solar panel clad, floating duck

Designed Wetlands and Water Retention

Seattle water retention by Lorna Jordan
Seattle water retention by Lorna Jordan
Broward water retention by Harries and Heder
Broward water retention by Harries and Heder

Wetlands Style Water Feature

Michael_Singer_Seminole_Sculptural_Biofiltration_Wall
Michael_Singer_Seminole_Sculptural_Biofiltration_Wall

flow-form-2

Roof Water Reuse

Water collection sculpture by Buster Simpson
Water collection sculpture by Buster Simpson
Water collection sculpture by Buster Simpson
Water collection sculpture by Buster Simpson
Michael_Singer_Seminole_Sculptural_Biofiltration_Wall_7
Michael_Singer_Seminole_Sculptural_Biofiltration_Wall in Coconut Creek, Fl

Reuse Rain Water

Buster Simpson downtown spouts
Buster Simpson downtown spouts
Stacy Levy downspouts
Stacy Levy downspouts

 

 

Idea for Developers: Health and Public Art

As lack of basic exercise has contributed to a decline in American health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Pew Charitable Trust  and others have funded research and programs to increase healthy living in the cities.  Active Living by Design and Health Impact Project are programs looking at urban design, building design and urban policies that encourage exercise.    Many of Knight Foundation “Cities Challenge” and “Art Challenge” grants results in more activity use of the city.

These ideas match with the desires of new residents and employee to activate downtowns.    Instead of only the gym, the new generation enjoys using the public spaces of the city for walking, biking, jogging, dancing and games.   Below are public art projects that developers might consider to expand physical (and social) activity around the site and building.

Urban Swings:  Boston and Montreal

Montreal Musical Swings
Montreal Musical Swings
Montreal Musical Swings
Montreal Musical Swings
Lawn D, Boston
Lawn D, Boston

Encourage Walking on Stairs

Olafur Eliasson, Germany 2004
Olafur Eliasson, Germany 2004
San Francisco Stairs
San Francisco Stairs
Circulate by Erik Carlson, Nashville
Circulate by Erik Carlson, Nashville
Circulate
Circulate by Erik Carlson, Nashville

 

Watch/Listen to the Video of Piano Stairs in Sweden

Piano Stairs in Sweden
Piano Stairs in Sweden

Encourage Walking/ Jogging with Markers

Walk/Jog markers at Inglewood Forum by Michael Massenburg
Walk/Jog markers at Inglewood Forum by Michael Massenburg
Winged Figure Walk/Job Markers in Tampa by Michele Oka Doner
Winged Figure Walk/Job Markers in Tampa by Michele Oka Doner

Encourage Biking with Cool Looking Bike Racks

Bike Rack
Bike Rack
Bike Rack, Salt Lake City
Bike Rack, Salt Lake City
Bike Rack
Bike Rack
Bike Rack in Berlin
Bike Rack in Berlin

Outdoor Games

Larry Kirkland, Story Garden, Oregon
Larry Kirkland, Story Garden, Oregon
Ping Pong
Ping Pong
Ping Pong by artist Lee Wen
Ping Pong by artist Lee Wen

Places for Organized Activities

 

Basic Training Plaza, San Francisco
Basic Training Plaza, San Francisco
Golf and Dancing
Golf and Dancing

The Integration of New Technologies

Watch the Video of the Roar of the Crowd.

Perform to the Roar of the Crowds, Times Square, by Adam Frank
Perform to the Roar of the Crowds, Times Square, by Adam Frank

You Must do It Once Project

Pathway by RO-AD Architecten in France
Pathway by RO-AD Architecten in France

 

 

Idea: Move Henry Rolfs Sculpture

Henry Rolfs Statue

In 1994, the City of West Palm agreed with the family of Henry Rolfs, Sr. to honor his contribution to the City with a sculpture in the median of Okeechobee Blvd.    Artist Marsha Montoya Meyer made the statue that  welcomes visitors to West Palm at the intersection of Tamarind/Parker and Okeechobee.

Mr. Rolfs and his partner David Paladino were responsible for consolidating all the 77 acres that eventually became City Place, the Kravis Center and the Convention Center.  Without their visionary purchases, it is very unlikely that City Place would exist.   Unfortunately for Rolfs and Paladino, the economic downturns of the late 1980s and early 1990s ruined their opportunity to complete their vision and the land was acquired by the City.

Land Purchased by Rolfs and Paladino
Land Purchased by Rolfs and Paladino

In our community discussions on public art, we learned that most people don’t know anything about the sculpture.  If they have  thought about it, then most assume it is second memorial to Henry Flagler.  Part of the reason for the lack of knowledge is that sculpture is undersized for the site and almost no pedestrians cross at this location to learn about Mr. Rolfs.

Henry Rolfs, Sr. by Marsha Montoya Meyer
Henry Rolfs, Sr. by Marsha Montoya Meyer

Given the contribution of Mr. Rolfs, the sculpture seems better located near or in City Place.  Pedestrian could enjoy the artwork and read information about Mr. Rolfs’ life and activities in West Palm.

What do you think?  Should the sculpture be moved or remain in place?

rolfs9d
Existing and Possible New Locations
rolfs1
Current Location
rolfs5
Rosemary and Okeechobee

 

 

 

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.