A little something about public art

Posted: February 12, 2012

My most recent public art project is the Martin Luther King Jr. Peace Garden Signal Box.

Public Art Projects – or creating art in public places is always an interesting experience.

On one hand, you are working and trying to get the job done in a timely manner. On the other hand, you are at a location and if you completely block out the public comments, chit-chat and questions – you miss the opportunity to have an enriching experience with the community in which you are working.

For me, to engage too much – my artwork suffers from the distraction – but worse is to not engage and the artwork does not pick up any of that LIVE ENERGY that comes with working in public view.

I believe that public art should not be plopped into locations. It should have meaning and reflect the surroundings. To both stand out and be integrated with in its environment. Depending on the size of the public art – this can be achieved with the live element and/ or the research done before the design is created.

This piece is particularly successful to me, because it had the described elements – starting with the clear call out for proposals. I met lots of people and kids – and just had a good time painting.

The Neighborhood Services Bureau for the City of Long Beach contracted the artwork. The signal box is located on Orange Ave. (just south of 20th Street) in Long Beach, Ca.

This signal box is located across the street from the Martin Luther King Jr. Park in Long Beach. Within the MLK park is the Community Peace Garden.
The images on the signal box depict Dr. King and the Garden.
Orange and 20th
Completed 2/2012

A time lapse video can also be viewed of this project: http://youtu.be/Na-28EMEbPA