Contract - May 2011 - (Page 120)

process cultural connection Art in public buildings must reflect both the vision of the artist and the mission of the architecture By Mark Schatz, FAIA, principal at Field Paoli Architects in San Francisco A sculpture in light by Ray King creates a fantastic impact for visitors to the Almaden Community Center and Libra in San Jose (top; photo by David Wakely). At the new George Sim Community Center in Sacramento, the goal of creating a beacon of light is attained thanks to this stained glass window by artist Elizabeth Deveraux (above; photo by Jay Graham). Including an art component in new or renovated civic buildings is a win-win strategy. It makes the facility more welcoming and pleasurable for those who use it, gives the public greater access to works of art— o en substantial ones—and helps support local arts communities. But there is more to it than simply commissioning a mural or plopping a sculpture in a courtyard. Time-tested strategies for selecting the artists, integrating art with architecture, and incorporating public input can make all the difference between something enduring that engages the community and something the public barely notices—or worse, loathes. Smaller cities may rely on a private art consultant who has expertise in the selection of public art. “My methodology for the selection of art for public spaces involves developing a dialogue between the client and the process itself,” says Lynne Baer, a public art advisor based in San Francisco. “This dialogue starts with establishing goals and concepts and understanding the culture of the institution where the art will be placed. It continues through the research and selection of artists and artworks.” With public art, high quality alone is no guarantee of success. “Eve site-specific public art project presents its own unique set of challenges, be it engineering, logistics, or simply the particular physical limitations of the space,” says Philadelphia-based artist Ray King. “And the work must be tailored to address the characteristics of each specific location. It’s critical that an artist’s ideas and aesthetics fit the space.” Success in Selection The selection process is key. Large cities tend to have a committee that invites artists to submit applications and portfolios for initial consideration. Clear guidelines should inform the review process: ideally, artists should demonstrate aesthetic excellence and have successful experience or at least a strong interest in collaborating and welcoming public input. 120 contract may 2011 www.contractdesign.com http://www.contractdesign.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Contract - May 2011

Contract - May 2011
Contents
Industry
Resources: Salone Internazionale Del Mobile
Exhibition: Neocon® Preview
Focus: Timeless Tradition
Focus: In the Nude
Green: Does It Cost More to Build Green?
Practice: Gimme Some Slack!
Hat Trick
Eloquent Transformation
New Life
Design Alchemy
Home Cooking
Hive Life
Par Excellence
Designers Rate
Process: Cultural Connection
Process: Productive, People-Friendly Places
Sources
Ad Index
Perspectives

Contract - May 2011

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