February 25, 2005
Did you decide that you just couldn't miss The Gates in New York? What did you think about the display of saffron flags lining the walkways of Central Park? Not that you need to leave South Jersey to get a look at public art - or to have an opinion about it. Community Voices is looking for essays of about 400 to 700 words on The Gates or any public art in the region. Do you have a favorite, or does one capture your attention even if you don't care for it? Send your essays or ideas to Community Voices, The Inquirer, 53 Haddonfield Rd., Suite 300, Cherry Hill, N.J. 08002.
December 27, 1998
With the unveiling of the Frank Rizzo statue on the steps of the Municipal Services Building planned for Jan. 1, this question comes to mind: What other works of art do the public spaces of the city and suburbs need? What person, event or thing would you like to see so honored in your neighborhood? Why? Send essays of 100 words or less by Jan. 11, including a phone number for verification, to Community Voices/Heroes at the addresses listed in the Where to Write box above. Questions?
September 3, 1988
Driving across the Ben Franklin Bridge and seeing the city's skyline arrayed before you makes a marvelous introduction to Philadelphia - a promise of urban excitement after an enervating journey through South Jersey's commercial sprawl. As new projects spring up along the waterfront, billboards disappear and Vine Street goes post-modern with sweeping ramps and new landscaping, that impression is bound to get even better. But let's face it, there is one eyesore at the very entrance to the city that acts as an immediate depressant, and nobody to date has done anything about it. That's because Isamu Noguchi's Bolt of Lightning . . . A Memorial to Benjamin Franklin falls into the untouchable realm of art. The 102-foot-high statue, for all the genius, money and good will that went in to its creation, looks like a crumpled piece of metal - less a salute to the great inventor than to the city's oversupply of litter.
January 19, 2011 |
SEATTLE - Hulking under the Aurora Bridge in Seattle is a 7-ton troll clutching a real Volkswagen Beetle, as if it snagged it off the roadway above. And incidentally, the VW has a California license plate. The statue, made of rebar steel, wire and concrete, is at Troll Way and 36th Street in the funky, artistic neighborhood of Fremont. One of the delights of visiting the Northwest is the vast array of public art. Some of it, like the Fremont Troll, is fun. Some is thought-provoking; some stirs controversy.
October 3, 1997 |
A relief mural spreads 81 feet along the limestone wall of a community center in East Los Angeles. It commemorates the life of a mid-19th-century black woman named Biddy Mason. There's a wagon wheel, symbolizing her trek by wagon train from Texas to Los Angeles, where she won her freedom in a landmark case. There are bonded photos of her freedom papers and of the deed to her homestead, which once stood on the site. There's a midwife's bag, symbolizing her service as a midwife bringing hundreds of babies into the world.
August 8, 1999
What do we want to leave for future generations? What about our community might inspire a work of public art? How can we improve our public spaces? Over the past year, communities and artists participating in the Fairmount Park Art Association's NewLandMarks program have been grappling with these challenging questions to plan new works of public art for sites throughout Philadelphia. To spread the word about the NewLandMarks program, the art association held community meetings at Free Library branches throughout the city.
October 1, 2012 |
Making art that serves the people is a noble goal, yet as both the Bolsheviks and the Mexican muralists discovered in the last century, it's not easy to accomplish. The art of the Russian avant-garde proved to be too radical aesthetically, that of the muralists too extreme politically. With a "light-sculpture" project on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway called Open Air , Rafael Lozano-Hemmer has succeeded in bridging the considerable gap between aesthetic ambition and public taste.
May 8, 2002
PICTURED at right is our suggestion for one piece of public art that would be fitting for the outside of the new Phillies and Eagles stadiums. It's by one of Philadelphia's favorite artists, Claes Oldenburg, creator of "Clothespin," that iconic sculpture in Center City. This piece is called "Soft Screw. " As documented by Don Russell in yesterday's Daily News, the public, which is heavily bankrolling the construction of our new $1 billion in stadiums, has been shut out of the selection or approval of the public art that will grace the grounds of those new playing fields.
December 12, 2001 |
For its public opening on Sunday, the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts was supposed to have been fitted out with $260,000 worth of public art selected and purchased under the city's One Percent for Art program. However, the process of acquiring the works is months behind schedule, and they probably won't be acquired and installed until the middle of next year. Still, the Kimmel won't be totally artless for its opening. Two small galleries on the center's first tier promenade will be installed with works by faculty, students and alumnae of Moore College of Art and Design.