land studio workshop highlights proliferation of public art

When the nonprofit LAND Studio announced a workshop for artists who want to get into public art projects, enrollment quickly reached capacity. That's just one example of how interest in public art and creative placemaking has ramped up in communities across Cleveland.
"As the creative placemaking movement gains momentum throughout Cleveland's neighborhoods, there are ever-increasing opportunities for artists to impact the community," stated LAND Studio's marketing materials for the event. "Northeast Ohio has a growing body of talented artists, many interested in creating public art, but uncertain of how or where to enter the arena."

The workshop promised to "demystify" the public art process through a keynote address by Seattle-based artists Laura Haddad and Tom Drugan; education on artist portfolios, calls for artists and developing competitive applications; and a closer look at artist presentations and how selection committees deliberate.

In her opening address, LAND Studio Project Director Tiffany Graham stated that public art is growing in Cleveland. Increasingly, developers see the value of integrating public art into projects, and community development officials, planners and public officials want to see public art and creative placemaking built into public projects. Public art can inspire further neighborhood investments.

Graham cited numerous examples such as the West 28th Street bridge mural, the Edgewater Hill bluebirds, Perk Park and the Warehouse District Anthology.
Warehouse District Anthology by Corrie Slawson

Haddad and Drugan gave an in-depth presentation on their public art installations in Seattle and across the country. They addressed such issues as conducting research, completing site-specific designs, working with contractors, tackling unforeseen technical issues, dealing with hidden costs and completing accurate estimates on complex projects. A few samples of their work are included below.

Undercurrents, Seattle, WashingtonSunSpot sculpture (made out of 90,000 dog tags), Denver Municipal Animal ShelterWater Mark, Scottsdale, Arizona


Read more articles by Lee Chilcote.

Lee Chilcote is founder and editor of The Land. He is the author of the poetry chapbooks The Shape of Home and How to Live in Ruins. His writing has been published by Vanity Fair, Next City, Belt and many literary journals as well as in The Cleveland Neighborhood Guidebook, The Cleveland Anthology and A Race Anthology: Dispatches and Artifacts from a Segregated City. He is a founder and former executive director of Literary Cleveland. He lives in the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood of Cleveland with his family.
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