How to Plan a Successful Public Art Exhibit
Create an attractive theme and art form that will get the attention of your community. Be creative. Have a meaningful cause that people can empathize with.
Some examples of public art events around the country are:
Cows on Parade, Chicago IL
The Big Pig Gig of Cincinnati Ohio and Northern Kentucky
Suite Home Chicago, Chicago IL
Party Animals, Washington, D.C.
Turtles on Parade, Roswell, GA
County Seats, Northwest Indiana
Tri-Motors in Plane View, Lansing, IL
Downtown Ducks, Highland, IN
See www.publicartprojectsofamerica.com for a comprehensive list of completed projects.
Themes can be generated from geographic significance, historical significance, local or regional culture or from some local landmark. A very successful event put on by the Lansing Historical Society used a page from its aviation history. The Ford Hanger in Lansing, IL is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was home to the Ford Tri Motor airplane in 1928. With the onset of the Great Depression, Ford’s plan to build a Lansing manufacturing plant for the Tri Motor never materialized. The Lansing Historical Society has brought its historic significance to the front by celebrating the Ford Tri Motor with an art form based on the design of the Tri Motor plane.
Bring in a group of energetic and enthusiastic volunteers who will work tirelessly to keep the project organized, focused and moving along. If a very large response is projected, a full time project director may be advisable. A well-run public art project will reach out to all corners of a community and utilize the assets of a community such as schools, churches, museums, business associations, economic development agencies, civic groups and any other entity that is willing to support the exhibit. Most importantly, get the schools and children involved with a small-scale version of the project.
Areas of concern for a project committee are: Initial lead sponsors with seed capital, advertising, public relations, accounting, merchandising, web site, sponsorship sales, artist recruitment and coordination, art design review and approval, storage and installation logistics, permits, insurance, legal and auction of the art.
Create a realistic timeline for sales of sponsorships, fabrication of all the forms, artist time, time in the Public Square until auction. CFW can create a custom form and have it ready for production in 3-4 weeks. If the detail of design is extremely demanding, plan for a longer period up to 6-8 weeks. Production speed of forms will also depend on the level of difficulty. Figure on 8-10 castings per week per mold for an uncomplicated form. Artists will need 6-8 weeks for their part. A well-organized public art exhibit cycle could run a full 12 months from concept to completion.
Necessary Schedule: Promote the event, solicit sponsors and artists, establish order deadline, have forms delivered and stored for a single pick up event or have artists take them in as ready, have a sneak preview party with all painted forms on display in a single location, install forms for public display for a 3-6 month time period, auction any unclaimed forms at auction party.
The success of an exhibit like this lies in the people who organize and promote it. Your creativity and enthusiasm in the presentation of the program will determine its results.
For all your questions please contact CFW. We are a designer and fabricator of fiberglass forms, furniture, fountains, lighting fixtures and decorative accessories. Our services include but are not limited to design, sculpture, fabrication and finishing.
Call 773.762.4000 or e-mail for pricing information. Volume pricing available.