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Monday, February 22, 2010

Panel Discussion- A conversation: " Community Development in the Context of Art" at Art Produce

The discussion was on the occasion of the show: "The Future Imperfect of Cities,Landscapes and Dreams", an installation by Leslie Ryan, Philipp Bosshart, Deborah Forster & their students from New School of Architecture and Design.

Leslie Ryan, Gail Goldman and Lynn Susholtz

Panel Discussion- a conversation: " Community Development in the Context of Art" with Leslie Ryan, landscape architect and planner, Gail Goldman, public art planning and policy consultant, and Lynn Susholtz, artist.

Leslie Ryan about the installation: "This installation is the occasion for the students to bring their work out of the class and to share it with the community. There is a need for Utopian thinking, we need to build those castles in the air, to be more optimistic and more positive. Dreaming about the future and nurturing the dreams..."

Engaging and positive talk at Art Produce last Saturday. Lots of remarks and questions. One can feel the necessity for meaningful public art with the active participation of the community.

Example of what did Edi Rama, major of Tirana, Albania:
"People are calmed by beauty.

Talking about Beuys' project: 7000 oaks.

Beuys believed in democratic creativity, that everyone is an artist and can participate in the changing of the world.

The utility boxes (above) /
The Cow Parade
Don't we deserve better/different/site-specific? Can we apply cookie-cutter formulas for all the cities in the country/world? Do we want real creation or illustrations on a given "canvas" (a plastic cow, a utility box)?

Kurt Peschke - Red Ball (scroll down)

Maybe one interesting way to go is tho have ephemeral installations, like the Red Balls. It transforms the way people see the place they live in and make them see it differently. Gail Goldman talked about all the works with light going on right now in many different places, like in San Jose, CA.

Public art could be so many things, even a voice, like in the Murmur Project in Toronto for example.
In his project, Antony Gormley [commissioned for Trafalgar Square's "empty plinth"] proposed to members of the public to "be" the public art for one hour.
Read what Gormley thinks about public art here.

To make things change and to help the different commissions to think "out of the box" in our city, we certainly need, as artists, as citizens, to participate in the meetings where the decisions are made. A huge commitment. Because like Gail Goldman says, if you try to make things move it takes forever, the administrative path is very discouraging and when you never did it before it can be overwhelming.

And needless to say it again, we also badly need art teachers in our children's classes.

Art Produce Gallery


Craig said...

Important to give those students the public forum and support. Nice work. And thanks for the comment about art teachers at the end. The kids can make things happen if we don't hold them back.

Michele Guieu said...

I really like the idea to have the students showing their work at Art Produce. Art Produce redefines what a gallery can be, and really is a "community gallery", with ideas flowing in and out, exchanges and participative projects. It's more about sharing than showing, and this is great!

I am no optimistic about the children's art education here. They can do so much when they have the opportunity but there is no money in California to hire art teachers and so the kids simply don't do it. I volunteer in my kids' classes as much as I can but it is a drop in the ocean!