The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - 12

existing environment, raising interesting questions: functional, cultural, historical,
socioeconomic and even political.
Artworks interact with the buildings, neighborhoods and the larger urban landscapes
that surround them. The best examples seem not just to grow from their site, but to
respond to it, magnifying its significance, and granting it an identity and a sense of
place. A conspicuously human element to city building, art contributes to the transformation of the urban context by interpreting it and even competing with it, anticipating
the arrival of future intervention and development.
Public art is visually accessible and open to a wide and diverse audience, specialized
or not. Everyone that passes through the public space is an art viewer and potential
beneficiary of an unexpected but meaningful encounter. Art doesn't just stimulate the
visual sense; it also provokes curiosity and participatory reflection, educates, changes
mindsets, and creates a forum for public dialogue.
The transformative role of public art and its ability to influence economic development through tourism, revitalization and growth have been recognized by international
and local governmental agencies since the beginning of the 20th century. Public
art programs rolled out through formalized policies, procedures and guidelines are
meant to ensure that art remains a basic right, democratically available to a wide,
non-professional audience that has free admission to high-quality art. Public artworks
commissioned under these programs are installed in accessible spaces, are publicly
funded and involve collaborative input. But, how are these programs funded and who
is paying? It's not free.
In Canada, to formalize the interest in public art and its widely accepted importance,
the Province of Quebec first introduced a public art program in 1950, followed in 1986
by the City of Toronto, the first Canadian municipality to put in place and manage the
"Percent for Public Art Program." The program established that one per cent of capital
costs on private development projects would go toward public art. It was meant to
"secure funds for public art through the planning and development approval process,"
and to "commission art through private developer contributions." The City of Toronto
also funds public art through its own large capital projects. In more recent years, there
has been an interest in temporary installations, as opposed to permanent structures,
programs like Nuit Blanche demonstrating successful private-public collaborations in
making art a component of urban life.
Public art is not an afterthought. It needs to be conceptualized, planned and
integrated into the design and construction of its architectural, urban or landscape
medium, so that the cultural message in the artist's concept is preserved. The specialized curatorial dimension of the public commissioning process developed through
open competitions, ensures that art doesn't get reduced to a simple ornamental or
landmark function, but rises to levels of quality, character and distinction that can
withstand a diverse critique.
A successful symbiosis of art, architecture and urban fabric endows a city with a
public art collection that can redefine it as a museum of monumental scale.
LIGIA SAATGIAN is an architect and engineer with experience in complex projects that involve large
teams of clients, stakeholders and professionals. Ligia is an advocate of interdisciplinary collaboration
for positive project outcome, one example being the relationship between art and architecture. The role of
public art in the transformation of the built environment is one of her recent research topics.

REFERENCES
Alemani, Cecilia, ed. High Art: Public Art on the High Line. New York: Skira Rizzoli, 2015
Matzner, Florian, ed. Public Art: A Reader; Berlin: Cantz, 2004
Toronto Urban Design. Percent for Public Art Program Guidelines, August, 2010
The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Art is..., October, 2013. https://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/detail.jsp?
Entt=RDM3047442&R=3047442
Bird, Michael. 100 Ideas that Changed Art. London: Laurence King, 2012
The Artful City, http://www.theartfulcity.org

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018

Message from the Board
Art & Architecture
UX and Architecture
Index to Advertisers
Locations
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - Intro
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - cover1
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - cover2
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - 3
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - 4
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - 5
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - Message from the Board
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - Art & Architecture
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - 8
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - 9
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - 10
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - 11
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - 12
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - 13
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - 14
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - 15
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - 16
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - 17
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - UX and Architecture
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - 19
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - Index to Advertisers
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - 21
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - Locations
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - cover3
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - cover4
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