While we were on our road trip, we saw art in all kinds of public places. I often wonder, as a non-career artist, why I am spending my time making art. It seems such a selfish endeavor when I could/should be spending my time doing something that contributes more to society.
But then we experience something like this interactive video installation at Hotel 21c in Louisville, KY and I realize that art does contribute to society.
Meeting art in a city helped us to learn more about a place (like this bronze statue of a beloved mayor of Louisville), to slow down and enjoy the beauty, to smile and have fun!
This winged figure of the republic by Oskar Hansen presides over a star map at the Hoover Dam which is designed to show future visitors (perhaps from another planet) when this amazing feat of engineering was completed. Other art reflects the colors and patterns of the local indigenous tribes.
Back at 21c, the bathrooms had two-way mirrors (so those in the loo could look out) and videos of eyes watching (except that the eyes were those of blind people). It was thought-provoking and clever and prompted discussions we would not have had without the art.
Speaking of clever, I thought these bats handing from the ceiling of the Louisville Slugger Museum were pretty punny.
In St Louis, MO, the downtown is experiencing a resurgence and smack in the middle of this urban area is a wonderful City Garden created to conceptually reflect the greater St Louis geography, and filled with artistic beauty to be enjoyed on a lunch break or weekend outing.
The more interactive an installation was it seemed, the more popular with the public. Who can resist tranquil pools or a forest of water fountains on a hot summer day?
The biggest and best surprise a city held for us was the City Museum in St Louis. It’s a building-sized sculptural fantasy that you can climb over and into, slide down, wonder at and swing from. I blogged about it here with lots of photos, but it begs to be revisited.
Las Vegas was surprisingly art-filled as well. Crystals City Center has lovely areas to stop and enjoy the view.
Even gaudy can be beautiful, like this ceiling of Dale Chihuly glass at The Bellagio.
A little art adds beauty anywhere (kelp sculpture at Aquarium of the Pacific).
As a result of seeing how much my family enjoyed art in public places everywhere we went (and there’s plenty here in our new hometown of Charlottesville, VA as well) I will put some thought into how I can make my art more accessible to the public, be it scale, material, venues, or something else.