Public art is art in any media that has been planned and executed with the intention of being staged in the physical public domain, usually outside and accessible to all. Public art is significant within the art world, amongst curators, commissioning bodies and practitioners of public art, to whom it signifies a working practice of site specificity, community involvement and collaboration. Public art may include any art which is exhibited in a public space including publicly accessible buildings, but often it is not that simple. Rather, the relationship between the content and audience, what the art is saying and to whom, is just as important if not more important than its physical location.

  • 1. [Site-specific art] Site-specific art is artwork created to exist in a certain place. Typically, the artist takes the location into account while planning and creating the artwork. The actual term was promoted and refined by Californian artist Robert Irwin, but it was actually first used in the mid-1970s by young sculptors, such as Patricia Johanson, Dennis Oppenheim,
  • 2. [Percent for Art] The term percent for art refers to a program, often a city ordinance, where a fee, usually some percentage of the project cost, is placed on large scale development projects in order to fund and install public art. The details of such programs vary from area-to-area. Similar programs, such as "art in public places", attempt
  • 3. [Save Outdoor Sculpture!] Save Outdoor Sculpture! (SOS!) is a community-based effort to identify, document, and conserve outdoor sculpture in the United States. By fostering awareness and appreciation, SOS! aims to advocate proper care of a nationwide public resource.
  • 4. [Environmental sculpture] Environmental sculpture is sculpture that creates or alters the environment for the viewer, as opposed to presenting itself figurally or monumentally before the viewer. A frequent trait of larger environmental sculptures is that one can actually enter or pass through the sculpture and be partially or completely surrounded by it. Also, in the same spirit, it may be designed to generate shadows or reflections, or to color the light in the surrounding area.
  • 5. [Public Art Fund] The Public Art Fund is a non-profit organization founded in 1977 by Doris Freedman (died 1981), a Director of New York City's Department of Cultural Affairs, and the President of the Municipal Art Society. They have organized highly visible artists' projects, new commissions, installations and exhibitions in public spaces throughout New York City. The Public
  • 6. [Installation art] Installation art is an artistic genre of three-dimensional works that are often site-specific and designed to transform the perception of a space. Generally, the term is applied to interior spaces, whereas exterior interventions are often called public art, land art or intervention art; however, the boundaries between these terms overlap.
  • 7. [Sustainable art] The expression sustainable art has been promoted recently as an art term that can be distinguished from environmental art that is in harmony with the key principles of sustainability, which include ecology, social justice, non-violence and grassroots democracy.
  • 8. [Land art] Land art, earthworks (coined by Robert Smithson), or Earth art is an art movement in which landscape and the work of art are inextricably linked. It is also an art form that is created in nature, using natural materials such as soil, rock (bed rock, boulders, stones), organic media (logs, branches, leaves), and water with
  • 9. [Infecting the City] Held in Cape Town, South Africa Infecting the City is a public arts festival that is committed to making art freely available to everyone. The festival hosts a range of different types of site-specific art, art intervention and performance art in the central part of the City. Each year the festival takes on a social
  • 10. [Street art] Street art is visual art created in public locations, usually unsanctioned artwork executed outside of the context of traditional art venues. The term gained popularity during the graffiti art boom of the early 1980s and continues to be applied to subsequent incarnations. Stencil graffiti, wheatpasted poster art or sticker art, and street installation or sculpture are common forms of modern street art. Video projection, yarn bombing and Lock On sculpture became popularized at the turn of the 21st century.
  • 11. [Lock On (street art)] Lock On is a genre of street art, where artists create installations by attaching sculptures to public furniture using lengths of chain and old bike locks. The installations themselves are referred to as "a Lock On" (singular) or "Lock Ons" (plural).
  • 12. [Apollo Pavilion] The Apollo Pavilion, also known as the Pasmore Pavilion, is a piece of public art in the new town of Peterlee in County Durham in the North East of England, designed by British artist and architect Victor Pasmore.
  • 13. [Seth Wulsin] Seth Wulsin (born in Spring Valley, NY) is an artist working primarily with space and light through large-scale, site-specific, ephemeral sculpture and drawing.
  • 14. [Big Art Mob] The Big Art Mob is a website founded in 2006 and re-launched in 2012 that provides a platform and toolset for documenting and mapping public art. It is dedicated to showcasing and celebrating all forms of public art including ephemeral works such as street art, performance art and graffiti. The crucial aim of the site
  • 15. [Claes Oldenburg] Claes Oldenburg (born January 28, 1929) is an American sculptor, best known for his public art installations typically featuring very large replicas of everyday objects. Another theme in his work is soft sculpture versions of everyday objects. Many of his works were made in collaboration with his wife, Coosje van Bruggen. Van Bruggen died in 2009 after 32 years of marriage. Oldenburg lives and works in New York.
  • 16. [Christo and Jeanne-Claude] Christo Vladimirov Javacheff and Jeanne-Claude, were a married couple who created environmental works of art. Christo and Jeanne-Claude were born on the same day, June 13, 1935; Christo in Gabrovo, Bulgaria, and Jeanne-Claude in Morocco. They first met in Paris in October 1958. They then fell in love by creating art work together.
  • 17. [Plop art] Plop art (or Plonk art) is a pejorative slang term for public art (usually large, abstract, modernist or contemporary sculpture) made for government or corporate plazas, spaces in front of office buildings, skyscraper atriums, parks, and other public venues. The term connotes that the work is unattractive or inappropriate to its surroundings - that is,
  • 18. [Michael Heizer] Michael Heizer is a contemporary artist specializing in large-scale sculptures and earth art (or land art). He currently lives and works in Hiko, Nevada.
  • 19. [Alfie Dennen] Alfie Dennen is a British creative technologist, Artist, and founder of several prominent websites dedicated to mobile blogging.
  • 20. [Africa Centre] The Africa Centre, in Cape Town, South Africa, is structured as a not-for-profit organisation whose purpose is to provide a platform for Pan-African arts and cultural practice to function as a catalyst for social change. All the projects it conducts, facilitates or supports have some social intention. These projects are supported by a variety of Pan-African artists.
  • 21. [Mural] A mural is any piece of artwork painted or applied directly on a wall, ceiling or other large permanent surface. A distinguishing characteristic of mural painting is that the architectural elements of the given space are harmoniously incorporated into the picture.
  • 22. [Banksy] Banksy is an English-based graffiti artist, political activist and film director whose real identity is unknown. His satirical street art and subversive epigrams combine dark humour with graffiti executed in a distinctive stenciling technique. His works of political and social commentary have been featured on streets, walls, and bridges of cities throughout the world. Banksy's
  • 23. [Agnes Denes] Agnes Denes (Dénes Ágnes; Budapest, 1931) is a Hungarian-born American conceptual artist based in New York. She is known for works in a wide range of media - from poetry and philosophy writings, to complex hand and computer rendered diagrams (which she terms Visual Philosophy), sculpture, and international environmental installations, such as Wheatfield -- A Confrontation (1982), a two-acre wheatfield in downtown Manhattan.
  • 24. [Richard Serra] Richard Serra (born November 2, 1939) is an American minimalist sculptor and video artist known for working with large-scale assemblies of sheet metal. Serra was involved in the Process Art Movement. He lives and works in Tribeca, New York, and on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia.
  • 25. [Public Delivery] Public Delivery is an organization for contemporary art, founded in Seoul, South Korea in 2011. They organize exhibitions, initiate non-institutional art projects and distribute artwork. Their focus is on public space however they work in a variety of mediums.
  • 26. [Community arts] Community arts, also sometimes known as "dialogical art", "community-engaged" or "community-based art," refers to artistic activity based in a community setting. Works from this genre can be of any media and is characterized by interaction or dialogue with the community. Often professional artists collaborate with people who may not otherwise normally actively engage in the
  • 27. [Sculpture] Sculpture is the branch of the visual arts that operates in three dimensions. It is one of the plastic arts. Durable sculptural processes originally used carving (the removal of material) and modelling (the addition of material, as clay), in stone, metal, ceramics, wood and other materials but, since modernism, shifts in sculptural process led to
  • 28. [Smithsonian American Art Museum] The Smithsonian American Art Museum (commonly known as SAAM, and formerly the National Museum of American Art) is a museum in Washington, D.C. which has one of the world's largest and most inclusive collections of art, from the colonial period to the present, made in the United States. The museum has more than 7,000 artists
  • 29. [Pierre Granche] Pierre Granche (1948–1997) was a French-Canadian sculptor.
    Having studied at the École des Beaux-Arts de Montréal and the Université de Vincennes in Paris, he taught in the art history department of the Université de Montréal for more than twenty years (1975–1997) until his death in Montreal.
  • 30. [Antony Gormley] Sir Antony Mark David Gormley, OBE (born 30 August 1950) is a British sculptor. His best known works include the Angel of the North, a public sculpture in Gateshead in the North of England, commissioned in 1994 and erected in February 1998, Another Place on Crosby Beach near Liverpool, and Event Horizon, a multi-part site installation which premiered in London in 2007, around Madison Square in New York City, in 2010, in São Paulo, in 2012, and in Hong Kong in 2015-16.
  • 31. [Maya Lin] Maya Ying Lin (born October 5, 1959) is an American designer and artist who is known for her work in sculpture and landscape art. She first came to fame at the age of 21 as the designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
  • 32. [John Fekner] John Fekner (born 1950 in New York City) is an innovative multidisciplinary artist who created hundreds of environmental and conceptual outdoor works consisting of stenciled words, symbols, dates and icons spray painted in New York, Sweden, Canada, England and Germany in the 1970s and 1980s. A seminal figure in the Street Art movement, Fekner participated
  • 33. [House (sculpture)] House was a temporary public sculpture by British artist Rachel Whiteread, completed in East London on 25 October 1993 and demolished eleven weeks later on 11 January 1994. The work won Whiteread the Turner Prize for best young British artist that year. She also received the K Foundation art award for worst British artist in 1994.
  • 34. [Robert Smithson] Robert Smithson (January 2, 1938 – July 20, 1973) was an American artist famous for his use of photography in relation to sculpture and land art.
  • 35. [James Turrell] James Turrell (born May 6, 1943) is an American artist primarily concerned with light and space. Turrell was a MacArthur Fellow in 1984. Turrell is best known for his work in progress, Roden Crater, a natural cinder cone crater located outside Flagstaff, Arizona that he is turning into a massive naked-eye observatory.
  • 36. [Creative Time] Creative Time is a New York-based nonprofit arts organization. It was founded in 1973 to support the creation of innovative, site-specific, socially engaged works in the public realm, especially in vacant spaces of historical and architectural interest. Creative Time focuses on presenting artworks that both create inspiring personal experiences and foster social progress, while pushing artists beyond their normal boundaries.
  • 37. [Jane and Louise Wilson] Jane Wilson and Louise Wilson (born 1967 in Newcastle upon Tyne) are British artists who work together as a sibling duo. Jane and Louise Wilson's art work is based in video, film and photography. They are YBA artists who were nominated for the Turner Prize in 1999.
  • 38. [Murals in Northern Ireland] Murals in Northern Ireland have become symbols of Northern Ireland, depicting the region's past and present political and religious divisions.
    Belfast and Derry contain arguably the most famous political murals in Europe. It is believed that almost 2,000 murals have been documented since the 1970s. In 2014, the book, The Belfast Mural Guide estimated that, in
  • 39. [Andy Goldsworthy] Andy Goldsworthy, OBE (born 26 July 1956) is a British sculptor, photographer and environmentalist producing site-specific sculpture and land art situated in natural and urban settings. He lives and works in Scotland.
  • 40. [Skulptur Projekte Münster] Skulptur Projekte Münster (English: Sculpture Projects Münster) is an exhibition of sculptures in public places in the town of Münster (Germany). Held every ten years since 1977, the exhibition shows artworks for free in different places all over the town, thereby confronting art with public places.
  • 41. [Gar Waterman] Gar Waterman is a sculptor based in New Haven, Connecticut. He is notable for large public arts projects for public places and creations which mimic sealife.
  • 42. [Richard Long (artist)] Richard Long RA CBE (born 2 June 1945) is an English sculptor and one of the best known British land artists.
    Long is the only artist to have been short-listed four times for the Turner Prize. He was nominated in 1984, 1987 and 1988, and then won the award in 1989 for White Water Line. He currently lives and works in Bristol.
  • 43. [Doual'art] doual'art is a non profit cultural organisation and art centre founded in 1991 in Douala, Cameroon and focussed on new urban practices of African cities.
  • 44. [Keith Haring] Keith Allen Haring (May 4, 1958 – February 16, 1990) was an American artist and social activist whose work responded to the New York City street culture of the 1980s by expressing concepts of birth, death, sexuality, and war. Haring's work was often heavily political and his imagery has become a widely recognized visual language of the 20th century.
  • 45. [Heidelberg Project] The Heidelberg Project is an outdoor art project in Detroit, Michigan. It was created in 1986 by artist Tyree Guyton and his grandfather Sam Mackey ("Grandpa Sam") as an outdoor art environment in the McDougall-Hunt neighborhood on the city's east side, just north of the city's historically African-American Black Bottom area. The Heidelberg Project is
  • 46. [Tilted Arc]
    Tilted Arc was a site-specific sculpture originally commissioned by the United States General Services Administration Arts-in-Architecture program for the Foley Federal Plaza in front of the Jacob K. Javits Federal Building in Manhattan, New York City. The post-minimalist artwork was designed by the well-known artist Richard Serra and constructed in 1981. However, after much debate,
  • 47. [Mary Jane Jacob] Mary Jane Jacob is an American curator, writer, and educator from Chicago, Illinois. She is a professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and is the Executive Director of Exhibitions and Exhibition Studies. She has held posts as Chief Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.
  • 48. [Public space] A public space is a social space that is generally open and accessible to people. Roads (including the pavement), public squares, parks and beaches are typically considered public space. To a limited extent, government buildings which are open to the public, such as public libraries are public spaces, although they tend to have restricted areas
  • 49. [Joseph Beuys] Joseph Beuys (German: [ˈjoːzɛf ˈbɔʏs]; 12 May 1921 – 23 January 1986) was a German Fluxus, happening and performance artist as well as a sculptor, installation artist, graphic artist, art theorist and pedagogue of art.
  • 50. [Wolf Vostell] Wolf Vostell (14 October 1932 – 3 April 1998) was a German painter and sculptor and is considered one of the early adopters of Video art and Environment/Installation and pioneer of Happening and Fluxus. Techniques such as blurring and Dé-collage are characteristic of his work, as is embedding objects in concrete and the use of television sets in his works.
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