Two international journals, Public Art Review (published by Forecast Public Art/US) and Public Art magazine (published by the University of Shanghai/China), have announced a partnership to create: the International Award for Excellence in Public Art Award. Supported in its first year by the University of Shanghai, the two journals have begun the research phase to collect data on public art projects from the past six years—projects completed between January 2006 and September 2011—that focus on placemaking.
The Award acknowledges the highest achievement in public art in any country with a goal of stimulating debate about the quality of public space among artists and allied professionals, as well as decision-makers in urban planning and design. An online database will provide access to all nominated projects, highlighting the 25 top-rated ones, and featuring one Award winner, selected by an international panel of experts in the field. The winner, and a selection of top-rated projects will be featured in special issues of Public Art Review (US) and Public Art (China) published simultaneously in 2012.
Jack Becker, executive director of Forecast and publisher of Public Art Review, serves on the organizing committee for the Award and will distribute suggestions to other members of the international committee members (if they are on other continents) and to members of the research team collecting detailed data on each nominated project. The list of criteria for both temporary and permanent projects being sought for consideration includes:
- demonstrates excellence in artist-led placemaking public art projects.
- reflective of best practices, innovative design, and high-quality execution.
- and demonstrates positive long-term impact (or potential impact) on the area in which it’s sited.
Nominated projects will remain anonymous until the Award is announced. In an effort to find worthy candidates, Becker hopes to gain cooperation internationally. “We greatly appreciate help from our colleagues and professionals in the field with this ambitious effort, especially those who have contacts in places with which we are less familiar. This Award initiative is designed to uncover those gems and tell their stories for the benefit of the field as a whole. The resulting website and searchable database for the project will serve as a globally accessible resource to help inform future public art and placemaking efforts.” While there is currently no cash prize or annual support secured, organizers are optimistic that this first effort will attract funders, sponsors and media attention.
In addition to Becker, organizing committee members include Lewis Biggs, independent arts consultant and former director of Liverpool Biennial and Tate Liverpool in Great Britain; Lingmin, professor at the College of Art and Design, Shanghai University; John McCormack, former director of Govett-Brewster Art Gallery and Dunedin Public Art Gallery in New Zealand and gallery owner; and Wang DaWei, Dean of the College of Fine Arts, University of Shanghai and publisher, Public Art (China).
To help with the research phase, professionals in the field are asked to email suggestions for projects to be considered for nomination (including a brief description, project location and contact information).
Please email suggestions to email@example.com by December 10, 2011.
For more information about the Award, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Images: Public Art Review (US); Song Dong, ‘The Songdong Art Travel Agency providing Art tours and Guides for Buying Art’ (China)