December 2017

2017 Symposium, The Future History of Public Art . Hawai'i State Art Museum. Photo by Tony Pankiw.
A Recap of WESTAF's 2017 Symposium:
The Future History of Public Art

WESTAF partnered with the Hawai'i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts and Forecast Public Art to organize WESTAF's 17th cultural policy symposium, The Future History of Public Art, in Honolulu, Hawai'i. This event brought together public art administrators, directors, artists, critics, curators, academics, preservationists, and researchers representing six countries around the world to consider the future of the field. The symposium also provided an opportunity to inform WESTAF leadership as it considers ways to bolster its work in the public art field. Currently, WESTAF manages the Public Art Archive™, an online resource for the public art field that contains records in a searchable database of over 12,000 works of public art. The Archive is in the midst of a major expansion that will include the development of a collection-management tool for public art and the development of social media extensions that will increase knowledge of and access to public art. 

The symposium sessions were centered on five major themes: 
  • The future democracy of public art
  • The future of technological advancements in public art
  • Public art stewardship
  • The resurgence of impermanence in public art
  • Re-thinking public art policy & funding mechanisms
We are pleased to report that the symposium's rich dialogue will be available to anyone interested once the proceedings have been transcribed and published. If you would like to receive a copy of the proceedings when they are available, please contact  Lori Goldstein, Public Art Archive Manager.

Thank you to all of those who attended and participated in this event!
  2017 Symposium, T he Future History of Public Art . Keynote Speaker Candy Chang.
Royal Hawaiian Hotel. Photo by Lori Goldstein.

The Public Art Archive Announces New Tools for the Field

Since 2009, the Public Art Archive has grown to become one of the largest active searchable public art databases in the United States. The images, text, and mapping services in the Archive are provided to the public free of charge. The repository currently holds almost 13,000 public artworks records and 33,000 images. In addition, the site contains multimedia content, maps, field resources, and other information relevant to the public art field. The project's managers seek to support the public art field's continuing growth. They plan to do so through the deployment of a public art-specific collection management system which will be joined with public portals designed to increase access to public art information and to sustain public engagement related to public art.
The next major step in the development of the Archive is the planning and implementation of a collection-management tool specific to public art. The tool is projected to be adopted by public art administrators who currently do not have access to a tool that directly addresses the needs of their field. In addition, at this time, a surprising number of public art collections are administered using dated spreadsheet software. The new technology is slated for launch in early 2018.
The new collection-management tool is being developed in collaboration with CollectionSpace, an open-source collection-management system developed at the University of California at Berkeley. The Archive team will adapt the CollectionSpace software to reflect the administrative workflows particular to the management of public art collections. For an attainable annual subscription fee, the system will streamline efforts related to cataloguing, condition checks, conservation, commissioning and acquisition tracking. All of these processes will be customized to fit the needs of the public art field.
In addition, users of the new Public Art Archive software will easily be able to transmit data immediately into the Archive, thus more readily sharing additions to the growing national public art collection.

To expand awareness of and engagement with public art, "engagement portals" are being developed that will encourage exploration, mapping, tour curation, and curriculum building. These portals are designed to attract public art practitioners, allied professionals, and the general public. Alongside this development, the Archive managers are finalizing the development of a new feature, Locate Public Art, a tool for finding public art on the go with any smartphone or tablet device. This feature includes built in filters that organize search results by distance and worktype, and users can map directions to artwork directly from the application.
For more information, contact Lori Goldstein, Public Art Archive Manager.
The WESTAF office is moving! 
Please update your records with our new address, effective December 18, 2017.
1888 Sherman Street, Suite 375
Denver, CO 80203
Making public art more public.

The Public Art Archive ™ is a project of WESTAF 
Phone: 303.629.1166