Art is special. Yes, but I would like to talk about the different kind of special that happens when art is in public spaces. Somehow, during the planning, it calls attention to itself, not as a way a viewer might gain insight to thoughts or beauty, but rather as a scary thing. Municipalities are afraid of content. They want to be contemporary and have art because they know they are supposed to, but it seems all they want the content to reflect is the word nice. (public artists know that fiery today -topics do not stand in time unless they are working in a temporary venue). Builders and developers are afraid that someone will get hurt. They rarify the art as something unlike the sharpness of the metal corner of an everyday object. If one were to examine an apartment they would see cords, corners, even the solidness of the floor to be potentially lethal to a child, no, those are normal dangerous items (and I agree), but when you put art within grasp, all levels of demise are put upon the art. I have some examples; I once designed a bed that had some surfaces that were powder coated steel, along with fabric bolsters, but the comment I received was “someone could commit suicide by rubbing their wrists on the metal” death by friction, seems unlikely, would they have thought of someone rubbing their wrists on the kitchen table? Next is a shade sculpture I designed that had rocks, it was nixed because someone could climb on it. What can’t be climbed upon? Could not someone climb on their car? Can we ban automobiles because someone might climb on them? Recently I was asked to modify a wall piece because two pieces of wire extended from it in a casual loop, because a child might shimmy up the wall and with some assistance, get their head behind the loop and strangulate. No concern was placed on the curtain blinds cord that are in every room a child is. What would motive a person to become so creative and self destructive when in the presents of art? Art is special.
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Welcome to Nina’s Blog. I am quickly classified as a public artist, generally meaning art for the public realm. It is different than a gallery/museum way of thinking. My way of making public art has manifested more traditionally as a site specific sculpture for a fire station. It encompasses some gorilla installations, some home and environmental designs and most recently many apartment developments. Usually having a theme, like; solar powered, low income, green, and educational. Apartment complex art is not interior design. The viewing audience is a hybrid of the general public and private art in a public space. I enjoy the variety.