The search "civic art" yielded
45 articles

Movable, misunderstood apparitions.

In certain subcultures, it’s become a meme.  But it took me a little while to catch on. Only after driving past this curiosity for three consecutive days did I realize what it was.  It’s not exactly showy, but that’s the point.  Look slightly to the left of the center of this photo, and it should

Water tower repartee.

Even if it’s not a commissioned piece like the mural from my previous post, the landscape of artistic expression in Detroit is rich.  Since such a huge portion of it comes in the form of graffiti—which is almost always by definition an act of vandalism—it’s understandable that my opening sentence might carry a whiff of

Testing the mutability of murals.

Urban murals, once a rarity outside of a few pioneering cities such as Philadelphia, have emerged in the last decade or so as a sine qua non for any big-city civic art initiative.  Philadelphia might still be the national (or even global) leader through its Mural Arts Program, but many other cities are trying to

Reviving with the wave of a wizard’s wand.

Earlier this past fall, I featured the accomplishments of the City of Kokomo, Indiana in reinventing itself over the past few years, after two decades of rust-belt, deindustrialized stagnancy.  Civic leadership successfully elicited a certain degree of buy-in among its constituent, all toward sundry capital improvements, the likes of which most similarly sized cities still

No need to move mountains; just plant the right kind of trees.

Across the country—but particularly in the heavily industrialized Northeast and Midwest—smaller cities have confronted the grim realities of the unflattering “Rust Belt” moniker, and all of its associated characteristics, with varying degrees of success.  With an aging work force, difficulty in retaining college graduates, and a frequently decaying building stock, the challenges they face are

Tending the student flock.

With any urban infrastructure project dedicated exclusively to separating pedestrians from vehicular traffic, the benefit is typically a double-edged sword.  While the investment may allow pedestrians to cross on their own volition at any point in time, it also expedites the flow of traffic at higher speeds through what could be a pedestrian-dense area.  Instead

Gateway to navigational confusion.

In recent years, the various public and private agencies in Indianapolis have collaborated on the commissioning of public art projects in what would appear to many to be unlikely places: off the side of some the region’s busiest interstate highways.  The most prominent location for these installations is along the I-70 corridor connecting the Indianapolis

Elevating street art, through both the laws of physics and of popular taste.

Murals are a time-tested method of urban beautification that generally eschew political controversy, thanks to a number of factors: the low cost when compared to other capital improvement projects; the minimal disruption of other routine urban patterns (traffic, utility operation) involved in the “installation” of the mural; their persistent success at attracting private or non-profit

Dressing the wounds with paint.

My suspicion is that the majority of the readers here have at least a vague knowledge of the Broken Windows Theory, and how it can apply across a variety of social contexts. For the unacquainted, it’s simple: an inanimate object showing signs of neglect or a general lack of maintenance invites the further degeneration of

Streetscape enhancements in a spray can.

Most of us living in reasonably large metropolitan areas have witnessed the fallout from the bursting real estate bubble—one of several, successive machine-gun misfortunes to befall our economy during this ruthless recession. Even if you don’t live in a city that has suffered as greatly as Las Vegas or Phoenix or Naples, Florida, you most

Movable, misunderstood apparitions.

In certain subcultures, it’s become a meme.  But it took me a little while to catch on. Only after driving past this curiosity for three consecutive days did I realize what it was. 

Water tower repartee.

Even if it’s not a commissioned piece like the mural from my previous post, the landscape of artistic expression in Detroit is rich.  Since such a huge portion of it comes in the

Testing the mutability of murals.

Urban murals, once a rarity outside of a few pioneering cities such as Philadelphia, have emerged in the last decade or so as a sine qua non for any big-city civic art initiative. 

Reviving with the wave of a wizard’s wand.

Earlier this past fall, I featured the accomplishments of the City of Kokomo, Indiana in reinventing itself over the past few years, after two decades of rust-belt, deindustrialized stagnancy.  Civic leadership successfully elicited

No need to move mountains; just plant the right kind of trees.

Across the country—but particularly in the heavily industrialized Northeast and Midwest—smaller cities have confronted the grim realities of the unflattering “Rust Belt” moniker, and all of its associated characteristics, with varying degrees of

Tending the student flock.

With any urban infrastructure project dedicated exclusively to separating pedestrians from vehicular traffic, the benefit is typically a double-edged sword.  While the investment may allow pedestrians to cross on their own volition at

Gateway to navigational confusion.

In recent years, the various public and private agencies in Indianapolis have collaborated on the commissioning of public art projects in what would appear to many to be unlikely places: off the side

Dressing the wounds with paint.

My suspicion is that the majority of the readers here have at least a vague knowledge of the Broken Windows Theory, and how it can apply across a variety of social contexts. For

Streetscape enhancements in a spray can.

Most of us living in reasonably large metropolitan areas have witnessed the fallout from the bursting real estate bubble—one of several, successive machine-gun misfortunes to befall our economy during this ruthless recession. Even

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