Selfie Sites or Something More?

Photo by Mary Chapman
Photo by Mary Chapman

Chicago’s Bean. Calgary’s Wonderland. New York’s Love. More than a backdrop for a photo opp, public art brings visitors closer — quicker — to a place’s cultural and community heartbeat than any corner cafe or trendy bar, park bench or promenade.

And public art is topical now from the UK to LA.

Here’s a round up of what’s new and next in the public art world.

In the UK, a glow-in-the-dark skate park called Evertro is a new public art commission from Liverpool Biennial by South Korean artist Koo Jeong A now open for skaters, scooters and BMX bikers.  The flagship project is part of a citywide plan led by the mayor and funded by Liverpool City Council to design and build five wheels parks.

The City of Beverly Hills has added sculpture to its public art collection of more than 60 pieces on display throughout the city. Richard Serra’s Twins on Santa Monica Boulevard was dedicated to the City on loan.

In Orange County, plans are to unveil $2.5 million Oasis in January.

One of Australia’s most prominent arts directors Robyn Archer AO has been chosen to help select a striking public art piece for Surfer’s Paradise in the heart of the Gold Coast. That first significant piece of public art will be the first piece in a futuristic green strip down Surfer’s Paradise Boulevard. A current call for artists throughout the world is part of an eight-month process to choose the first artwork.

A new program of public art is set to start in Harlem in 2016 with works primarily placed in Marcus Garvey Park starting with a “DNA Totem” by artist Suprina in March.

In Vancouver, look out for blue trees while, in Portland, there is a “Fallen Fruit” movement to plant not art, but public fruit trees as a place for community gathering.

What is sprouting up where you live or love to go?

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