Public art has been with us since man first drew on cave walls. It is an important aesthetic contribution to the public welfare. It supports communities in a manner that cannot be easily quantified. Public spending on community art projects has seriously eroded since the Reagan years. Federal, state, and local spending have been curtailed in supporting the arts in general. Public art provides a respite from the daily grind. Driving or walking within communities that provide installed art throughout a village or city makes for a more enjoyable daily experience. It can provide an opportunity for young and established artists to exhibit their work in a public venue, that not only helps an artist out, but provides a visual object that generates public discourse, be it positive or negative – it connects people to a place and a broader sense of community. ZIA supports such efforts on the part of the artist we represent. Rolland Kulla has had his work displayed at Willis Tower in Chicago, and has just been asked to have his work shown at Fermi Laboratories. Deanna Krueger has seen her work shown throughout the city of Chicago in hotels and office buildings. Photographer Clyde Butcher’s work can be seen at the Ft. Lauderdale airport. His large-scale images grace the concourse. This is all good for the artist and the general public. More artists need their work shown to the public. A gallery can do so much, but a public showing improves the visuals in our society and it needs to be brought back to the forefront of public policy. Supporting the arts supports an important part of society. It feeds it in a manner that is entirely different from the everyday regimen of survival. It makes living in a place that much nicer.
Photo Credit: John Vlahakis