All the way from the Big Apple, art group Creative Time has been hired by Louisville Metro government to develop a master plan for creating more public art in the city.
At a press conference at Waterfront Park, Mayor Jerry Abramson said the group of artists and curators will spend the next year studying Louisville’s visual arts history and laying out a strategy for funding and placing more public art in all parts of the city.
According to Abramson’s spokesperson, Chris Poynter, the Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Public Art will pay the group $50,000 and expect the first recommendations next fall.
“We hope they lay out a strategy to develop and fund public art,” Poynter says. “Over the years we’ve done art piecemeal. This gives us an opportunity to step back and look at the city as a whole with historians, neighborhood associations, business leaders and artists at the table.”
Metro government hopes this master plan will not only be a broad blueprint for the city, but makeup for failed attempts at public art, such as the graffiti wall two years ago, which was decommissioned in April 2007 after random vandals dritied the wall with foul language, racial slurs and other hackscratch. Read more here.
Founded in 1974, Creative Time is a non-profit public art organization that has developed public art in New York City for over three decades. It has worked on everything from abandoned storefronts and warehouses to the Tribute in Light that shines every Sept. 11 at the World Trade Center site.
Meredith Johnson, a Creative Time curator and producer, says in the past two years the group has expanded to consultant other cities such as Los Angeles, New Orleans and Denver on public art. However, this is the first master plan project for the group, according to Johnson.
“Artwork that is relevant to place is artwork that has a powerful affect,” she says. “So developing a plan that is Louisville-specific and really responds to the community, its history and current conditions in a dynamic way is our goal.”
Johnson told LEO Weekly the initial conversations are meant to set up a framework but the mission in the next year is to find ways art can interact with the entire city beyond downtown. If the plan is to work the city must show a broad support for its artistic community.
“We want to think about polices,” she says. “It’ll be intersting to see in the next year how it evolves and how the city can support the artists.”
All point that the kickoff to the process begins this Thursday at the IdeaFestival, where Mark Beasley, a curator of Creative Time, will deliver a keynote speech about public art at the Kentucky International Convention Center. Set for 11:30 am, Beasley’s speech costs $18 and includes lunch. (PB)