Who's Your City?, by Richard Florida
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Public Art

In Orlando, a mini-controversy over a bridge feature provides an opportunity to answer the question, “Why is public art important?”


Do investments in public art help define who a city is?

Sent by Bob from Orlando

2 Responses to “Public Art”

  1. Mac Says:

    I don’t think investments in public art help define who or what a city is overall. Art is subjective to the viewer and personal to the artist. It’s work that can certainly be appreciated, that can warrant commentary, but it’s not enough to define a city. It wouldn’t be fair to say that the penguin mural in Silver Spring, MD, however whimsical and well-done it is, defines that city. The same for the murals in D.C. – I can appreciate them, but they don’t overwhelmingly explain the heart of that city. Public art is only one portion of a greater whole.

  2. Diane Says:

    Bob, As a current resident of Orlando I love your post because it speaks much more to the overall cultural depth of the area. Orlando lacks a sense of self or accomplishment or definition that allows it to grab onto any measure of urban planning or self beautification. Where is its center as a city? Where is its soul? Public Art, Urban Planning, Landscape Architecture, design and heritage comes from a deeper place… a sense of place. Until the city figures out where its heart is… where its priorities are… it will continue to be transient and defined by the mouse 30 miles away. A need for culture and art is instilled from a young age… a respect for tradition and history and nature. You can’t just build a pretty bridge and expect pride… you have to educate and build the pride first. There has to be a purpose and a cohesive goal. Chicago’s Mayor Daly made a point of wanting Chicago to become the garden city and it has become a mission of the entire city to bring more plant material to the urban jungle… enhancing every avenue along the way. Orlando needs a plan.

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