Public Notice:Reflecting on the immediate impact of public art.
It means more than you know to have the privilege and opportunity to make art, and to do it publicly in places where it is not prioritized. It matters in ways I cannot quantify, because I will not meet everyone that will engage the work. I say this, having met several people during these installation processes.
You get a mixture of praise, gratitude and wonderment. You also get the occasional passerby that wants you to know the City won't let it stand, or that maybe the community won't appreciate what you are doing. It is pretty exciting, and also a little intense at times. However, regardless of the type of engagement you will always get an honest reaction.
A while back I stopped thinking that I would find my audience inside the confines of white-walled galleries. I began to understand that some people did not even know that they were someone's intended audience. Others had never been to one of those spaces or felt included in the conversations that might take place in those environments. Still others may not have been engaged in a meaningful way.
Over time I came to the understanding that my audience is everywhere, and always all around me. I just needed to activate them by being present wherever they can be found. I sought an audience in places I knew they had to be, their communities and on their commutes.
For a variety of reasons I stopped putting my name on the public work. I like to think that the work serves its purpose without there being a banner or placard with my name on it. I began to care more about the community having art, being acknowledged and recognized than whatever may come to me for producing the works.
Public art, to me, is a gesture that acknowledges the importance of art and creativity in the general lexicon of humanity. We have to be able to imagine a better world before we can ever set out in search of semblances of such a place.
The future requires an imagination.