Maine’s Public Art program shall promote civic stewardship, cultural vibrancy, creativity, aesthetic excellence, and appreciation-of-place through the enhancement of public spaces using the arts. The program will champion federal, state, and private support, and encourage relationships that advance the quality of physical environments in Maine.
About Public Art
Public art refers to artwork that has been planned and executed with the specific intention of being exhibited in the public environment. Civic statuary such as monuments and memorials are perhaps the most recognized forms of public art. However, the definition of public art now, in the twenty-first century, is constantly shifting and evolving. Not only do artists consider the physical placement of their work in public space, they also, just as critically, take into consideration the social, cultural and historical contexts in which the art work is situated. There is great interest, on the part of many artists, in fostering community involvement and civic collaboration during the process of creating public art. Sometimes public art is installed permanently. More often than not, art created for public spaces is temporarily on view, much like it would be if it were on display in a museum or gallery. Frequently, the art itself is deliberately made to be ephemeral. For example, natural materials used to create an installation in a landscape slowly deteriorate and the process of decay is, for the artist, a physical and conceptual component of the work. Music in the park, parades, street theatre, public poetry, and other cultural events in shared spaces also can qualify as Public Art.
Maine’s Percent for Art program sponsors public art for state buildings. The artwork commissioned through this program has taken many forms. Traditional representative sculpture, abstract wall-mounted works, projects that integrate artwork throughout the building in a holistic manner, mobiles, earthwork and new media are just a few of the categories that have been commissioned. An archive of the collection can be viewed through the Percent for Art Directory and current calls to artists can be accessed through the Opportunities Directory. The Maine Arts Commission also manages “Arts in the Capitol,” a program that brings curated exhibitions from Maine’s non-profit art organizations to the State Capitol. The Maine Arts Commission is dedicated to providing leadership, being an information resource, and developing process models to successfully place art in the public sphere.
Community leaders looking to improve public spaces and revitalize civic infrastructure often identify public art an integral part of the equation. A public art master plan developed in conjunction with regional planning efforts offers ways to address cultural and physical improvements within a region and a method to better define a community’s assets. Including public art as a development consideration encourages an exploration that helps define elusive elements of revitalizing a community.
For more information please contact Kerstin Gilg - 207/287-6719 - email@example.com