Defining Public Art
Defining this type of art is both extremely simple and somewhat difficult. Like all other forms of art, public art comes in a bewildering range of types. For example, the Washington Monument is a type of art for the public, while The Spire of Dublin is also considered public art (and is the tallest in the world). However, this type of art does not need to be extraordinarily tall, nor does it need to be monumental or even commemorative in nature.
Public art can be as simple as an abstract sculpture in an open square or on the side of the road. It can include unique billboard designs, innovative hydraulic or pneumatic musical instruments masquerading as sculpture and more.
Where Does Public Art Occur?
Most often, you will find this type of art used in urban areas, though suburban and rural areas have their fair share as well. Often, the most defining thing about public art is the fact that it is designed to be immensely durable, as it is usually located outdoors in public spaces within a city or town. This makes the art accessible to everyone – as opposed to art within private collections or galleries that is only accessible to a few.
Who Uses Public Art?
Any city or town can benefit from using public art, and most large cities (and more than a few smaller towns) have done amazing things with it. Even some companies have gotten into the act and helped to fund or site public art. For instance, some city governments subsidize the construction of public art by paying a minimum of 1% of the construction costs (the remainder being made up through donations). Often, there are “public funds” that are used for public art projects within outdoor areas of a city or town. In short, any city, town or even company can make use of this type of art.