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Public Art


Units: 6


This course will examine the conceptual framework for what public art is, how artists are engaged, and how public art projects are produced in the United States. In addition, students will gain practical experience and knowledge of the public art administration field. The course will begin with an introduction to public art practice, including a brief history of public art along with an exploration of public art in context. Topics to be covered include: the evaluation of public art, public art controversies, temporary works, current issues in the United States related to public monuments, the roles that stakeholders play in the public art process, how artist selection occurs, public art collection management, educational programming, and the importance of public art planning. Readings, case studies, and site visits will be used to give students an overview of the field of public art and the role that public art plays in communities. 

Learning Outcomes

Skills and knowledge gained through this course will be assessed through participation in discussions and course-related assignments. Upon the successful conclusion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Describe modern public art history, controversies, issues, and practice in the United States and articulate key concepts used in public art.
  2. Explain the role of the public art administrator and the master planning process including funding mechanisms and the practices required for the care of permanently installed works.
  3. Identify the differences between an RFQ and RFP and how to implement an artist selection process.
  4. Formulate a public art strategy for a site location and welcome constructive feedback from colleagues.

Prerequisites Description

No pre-requisites, however, this course is designed for graduate students. Upper level undergraduate students may enroll in this course with the instructor's permission.