Public Art Pandemonium

Ahh spring is in the air. The sun is shining and our winter woes are finally behind us (sort of). That can only mean one thing: it’s time for Public Art Pandemonium where the best public art exhibits from around the country go head to head.

Who will win this prestigious, competitive, and totally legit event? Well..honestly that’s up to you. Ready, set, go see public art!

desert x
With “Desert X’s” highway billboards in the mountainous Coachella Valley and Tim Dye’s remix of a pedestrian walkway audio signal on the streets of Petaluma, this California matchup will surely prove to be a classic contest of the roadway. Both pieces show a strong impulse to disrupt our relationship with typical infrastructure. You won’t want to miss out on this rubbernecking.

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“Seven Magic Mountains” and “The Draw at Sugar House” meet for one of the biggest contests of the season (literally). Both structures promise large-scale, site-specific wonder. Though certainly more eye-catching than it’s opponent, “Seven Magic Mountains” will have to be ready for Johanson’s intersection of flood control engineering and sculpture. This Las Vegas – Salt Lake City match up rocks.

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Four Miami artists against one Venezuelan museum master? Bring your sneakers and your snapchat skills because the South is moving in style. While Miami’s plan for “The Underline” seems like a fantastic addition to their vibrant park system, the colors of Cruz-Diez’ exhibit are going to be hard to outshine. Savannah’s “Chroma” crawls outside of the walls of the SCAD Museum of Art, allowing both museum goers and non-museum goers alike to experience the spectacle of Cruz-Diez.

Add hading (1)A Texas showdown of art by the people and art for the people. While Austin’s annual City Hall show offers local art with local Austin flavor, Dallas’ “Heavy Handed” aims to revitalize and bring foot traffic to Victory Park by collaborating with California-based artist, Nathan Mabry. There are some major Texas public art bragging rights at stake here, people.

This Minneapolis-Chicago duo is a city explorer’s dream come true. Reopening in June 2017, Minneapolis’ 11-acre site promises to be a hot-spot, spring destination for public art and garden aficionados. Meanwhile, Chicago has reunited 32 of Eugene Eda’s powerful doors from the former Malcolm X College as part of the Windy City’s Year of Public Art.

Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 4.11.19 PM 1This is the match of the meta in our 2017 tournament, showcasing two works of public art…about public art. As always, Detroit’s eight-year program is shaping up to be a fierce competitor in our Public Art Pandemonium by installing reproduced, framed pieces in the city’s most unexpected locations. While “Inside|Out” seeks to form communities in Detroit through public engagement with art, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events traces back to a community of the public art of the past. Their exhibit presents a look at the legacy and creation of The (now covered) Wall of Respect, one of Chicago’s most influential public art projects from the Black Arts Movement.

Add hading (2)Our east region promises a contentious Big Apple Battle between public art heavy weight Ai WeiWei and L.A. performance and sculpture queen, Liz Glynn. Although, technically speaking, WeiWei’s installation won’t be open until fall 2017, we had to include it in our Pandemonium because of all of the recent media buzz. WeiWei’s project is set to challenge the political and social divisions of our current moment. Whereas WeiWei’s “Good Fences Make Good Neighbors” plans to insert provocative boundaries that interrupt the routine of everyday life in NYC, Glynn’s “Open House” serves to eliminate the barriers of socio-economic class from the past. Glynn’s “Open House” converts a busy Manhattan plaza into the elegant leftovers of the William C. Whitney Ballroom. So what will it be: Building walls versus taking them down?

Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 4.14.01 PMA dark pit of spinning water and a stroll through Philadelphia. These two projects couldn’t be any different, so this match-up will really come down to the viewer’s existential mood. “Descension” magically creates the effect of negative space and prompts questions about the boundaries of water (all while next to the East River). Oppositely, “Person of the Crowd” investigates modern city life through pop-up performances and Barnes-sponsored exhibitions. It’s anyone’s game.