Monday, April 7, 2014

Revitalizing Sacramento Through Public Art

New Mexico's downtown area has developed as a strong base for public art, but there can always be more. The recent Heart of the City Project hosted by local art organizations such as 516 Arts and Warehouse 508 , added to the downtown's growing public art and community engagement. Having helped Warehouse 508 for their mural project, it was easy for me to see just how much art helps the surrounding area and expanding community. Daily, locals would pass by and then stop to watch the mural painting in action, even stopping to talk with the artists. Public art should always be this engaging and exciting. In the case of Sacramento, its public art has fallen into a bit of a rough patch,"Although the Arts in Public Spaces program was established here in 1977, evidence of the program’s existence is not as obvious as it could be." Thankfully the Mayor is looking into ways to revitalize the Sacramento area through public art and wants art to become an integral part of the city.

Image from Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission

(Article from The Sacramento BeeEditorial: Public art is good for Sacramento, and for the arena. By the Editorial Board.  Published: Monday, Feb. 17, 2014)

Walk through the downtown core of many cities, and you’ll see the products of a strong commitment to public art. San Francisco and Davis come immediately to mind.

In Davis, bus benches have been painted by local artists. Downtown San Francisco is rich with public art.

In Sacramento, not so much. Although the Arts in Public Spaces program was established here in 1977, evidence of the program’s existence is not as obvious as it could be.
Mayor Kevin Johnson devoted a few sentences in his State of the City address last week to arts funding, connected to the new Kings arena. Interesting art is integral to the overall impression that the arena and a city will give.

This massive arena project is important to the badly needed revitalization of the downtown core. But it will take a hundred small things, not just one big thing, to make downtown accessible and livable. While the design of the arena can be debated, the need for more downtown art can’t. (READ THE REST HERE)

Sacramento's Mayor hopes to make the city more public art friendly but not only will pushing for more public art help communities become more art educated, it will also help the local economy. To put it simply, "More strollers mean more businesses. More businesses means more jobs. More jobs mean a better economy"(Sacramento Bee) This is a great way to improve Sacramento or any city through art.


Friday, March 28, 2014

Public Art Infographic

The city of Rio Rancho has a great selection of public art but it is still slowing growing. As we push for more public art and art resources here, it's important to see what goes into the public art process for typical public art programs. This short video gives a quick rundown of the process to get public art out there! 


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Sante Fe's Biennial Exhibition SITElines

The New Mexico art scene is ever growing and innovating the local communities and surrounding art environment. Just recently Albuquerque hosted the 18th annual International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA), which was a huge and inspiring success from an artistic perspective and economic gross receipt tax (GRT). ISEA 2012 brought "over 100 artists and 400 presenters from 30 countries, and attendees came from 37 countries"(ISEA 2012).  Events such as these help to establish and help facilitate growth in art education and participation all across New Mexico. The upcoming biennial exhibition SITElines titled Unsettled Landscapes, in Santa Fe will no doubt do the same. Santa Fe, known for it's art and culture, has always been a must see when coming to New Mexico. Here is a list of artists at the upcoming show to keep an eye on.

Left:  © Jamison Chas Banks       Center: ©  Patrick Nagatani         Right:  © Juan Downey 

(Article from The Huffington Post: 10 Artists To Watch At Santa Fe's Upcoming Biennial Exhibition SITElines by  Katherine Brook. Posted: 02/19/2014)

"Nestled in the Southwest corner of the United States, Santa Fe has long been home to a flourishing, sometimes feverish, artistic community. From folk art to Indian art to Spanish colonial art to modern and contemporary art, the arid New Mexico city has served as Georgia O'Keeffe's desert oasis and Bruce Nauman's ranch paradise, to name just a few of the major figures who have sought solace there. Beyond the reach of Los Angeles celebrity and well-removed from the dark gallery halls of New York City, Santa Fe thrives as a one-stop-shop for what North and South American art can truly offer the masses.

Irene Hofmann calls New Mexico a "microcosm of the Americas," pointing to the state's history as Native American land, a Spanish Kingdom, a Mexican Province and an American Territory, all before 1912. Hofmann is the Phillips Director and Chief Curator of SITE Santa Fe, a contemporary bastion devoted to art in and out of the Southwest, and she's helping to spearhead SITElines, a biennial exhibition set to take over Santa Fe this summer.

The 2014 edition of SITElines is titled "Unsettled Landscapes," and will feature a selection of 45 artists and art collaborations from 16 countries across the Americas. Contemporary figures from Canada, the U.S., and Mexico are on board, as well as artists from Cuba, Uruguay and the Bahamas. The press release for the biennial boasts a roster spreading from Nunavut in Northern Canada to Tierra del Fuego, the southern most tip of South America, further emphasizing the focus on geography, geography, geography.

SITElines recently announced the participating artists, as well as three rough themes that will weave together the various political and historical narratives. Landscape, territory, and trade will reign supreme, making representations of land, movement and economies focal points. Multimedia will abound -- the artist Blue Curry plans to present a live webcam feed of Nassau, Bahamas, capturing the tourist cruise ships as they infiltrate the harbor, while Futurefarmers is set to bring their history of acequias and New Mexico irrigation to workshop participants. Another artist, Pablo Helguera, will preview his performance vignette series based on the history of New Mexico from 1821 to 1848.

“With 'Unsettled Landscapes,' we build connections from Santa Fe to the rest of the Americas, we explore untold stories and perspectives, and we link between our past and our present,” Hofmann explained in a press statement." (READ THE REST HERE)


Saturday, March 8, 2014

Sustainability and Public Art Help Communities Tackle Environmental Topics

As the city of Rio Rancho grows it's important to look into the impact of becoming a sustainable environment for the community, local organizations, economy, and even for art. More and more we are seeing how public art and sustainability practices can work hand in hand to reach audiences with its message and help to build a stronger and trusting community. Take for example a recent case in California, where an  Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)-sponsored community art show and mural launch was held to promote public art and sustainability. EDF is an organization focused on saving our natural systems and solving environmental problems.

Image from Environmental Defense Fund Blog

(Article from EDF's blog : Public art gets community talking sustainability by Jorge Madrid Published February 14, 2014)

"Today is about making our community more beautiful,” exclaimed California State Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra (D-Pacoima), at a recent EDF-sponsored community art show and mural launch.

I know what you might be thinking. “Say what? EDF and art?”

This is one of the new routes we’re taking in our commitment to “finding the ways that work.”

We looked to accomplish two things with this project: to help spark imagination and civic pride by bringing local artists and youth together to create a vision for a more sustainable city, and to make a concerted effort to meet the community where they are on the environmental issues they care about. The results were both inspiring and enlightening. (READTHE REST HERE)


Saturday, February 22, 2014

How The City Of Albuquerque Succeeded in Being Awarded the NEA 'Our Town' Grant

Submitted by: Paula Scott

When I heard that the City of Albuquerque got awarded the NEA 'Our Town' grant last year, I was impressed. Impressed because that grant is not an easy grant to get. In addition, the award publicized was for the full amount possible: $200,000. Being on the Rio Rancho Art Commission for the past 4 years, we had also looked at applying for this grant but realized that we didn't have all the key components in place to even entertain the notion. Experience and knowledge of the process being one of them. However, Sherrie Brueggemann and the City of Albuquerque's Cultural Affairs Department has been a wonderful role model and mentor of sorts for our Commission from the start. It seemed quite logical to invite her to come and speak to the Commission about their process and what the key elements were in having success in obtaining this grant.

The following video is a recording of what Sherrie had shared with the Commission-the information she shared with us was very insightful and gives the Commission a better idea of the IF and WHEN we should attempt to apply for this kind of funding.


The following is a rough copy of my 'cryptic' notes or loose transcription of Sherrie's presentation (in case you just don't have the time to watch the nearly 60 minute video):

"Choose a district that had needs to fit grant…war zone with crime and violence with

an embedded community that wanted to turn it around-an underserved community.
The community did not self identify. Project focused on Rt. 66 location because ABQ Mayor was also focused on it. Fairgrounds area had flood control problems-which became an area of focus. Worked on developing a public space that would be a community space and also had AMAFCA in this group due to flooding problem, so project also had extra water to deal with.
How do stories flow and how could water be a metaphor would flow-was the concept that gave way to the name of 'Story Gardens'. That Story Place would get embedded stories from the community. Little Globe theatre had outreach to community to hand off to UNM School of Arch to develop public site and AMAFCA would advise on the availability of water for the site picked. Got the written part of grant onto a page and a half along with application. School of Arch had already identified artists that they wanted on the project and Our Town grant wants art involved in the project. Margie Waller was another artist (missed catching the first one she named). Researches how arts affect the community. Major study called “A Ripple Effect”. Policy words as to why art is good
for the community. Michael Pride at UNM School of Architecture and Planning (SAP) brought Margie in and she has a good national profile. Other artist is Buster Simpson. May have caught attention of grant reviewers since using national artists. Little Globe hired all local artists which offsets outside artists. Margie does project evaluation for them-is her role. Missed what Buster’s role was. Another partner is the Bernalillo County Health partnership initiative-involved in community gardens.
Asked for 200K from NEA which is the cap. Had to match the funding if granted. NEA had only 150K so ABQ had to ‘cut back’ which ended up being more ‘in kind’ instead of actual cutbacks. About a year’s worth of work. Grant funds are now coming in and individual contracts. AMAFCA not receiving any funds but might be a cash match in the future.

City of ABQ is money manager by way of individual contracts. Drafted an MOU for
all entities-everyone has to fundraise 80K to meet NEA match. Used a UNM intern
that had high qualifications-got a master’s student to intern from public admin and
is getting paid. Intern gets paid $10/hour plus academic credit. Less than 20 hours
a week (12-16 hours). Also pulled in marketing and public relations dept so that
everyone uses the same info and developing a logo for the project.

Impt lesson: wrote up grant with idea that there is no public space there on Central
Ave. Identified 7 pieces of property that were on Rt. 66
First phase: design,
2nd phase: implement.

Don’t use the word, ‘historic’ in grant application!!! There are 2 non-profits orgs in this
project. Grant is also going through process of getting appropriated through city

3 previous rejections. Concept of placemaking grounded the project that got funded.
1st concept that was rejected: application was with a TV video production company and wanted to use an extra public access channel to turn into a cultural channel. Wasn’t place based enough. Too virtual.
2nd concept that was rejected: Summer Fest event. Perhaps did not have a long lasting place making aspect to it. Just a festival isn’t enough.
3rd concept that got rejected: was for enhancing the NM Jazz Festival that ties in with Rt. 66

No website for project yet. Having trouble of all entities being on the same page in
regards to this.

The International District will be applying for Main Street entity of grant. Geo bond cycle.

Resources: Ian Moss:Creative Equity blog-follow his feed. Evaluates arts
management policies. Createquity blog. Delved into concept of placemaking and how
to measure it. Click on word creative placemaking on the cloud tag on his blog. Ann
Markison. Shane Ingar.
Margie Waller: look at her materials on arts and community impact: The Ripple

Art Place Grant: Maria Rosario Jackson. Lots of work with the urban institute
Uses a cloud based sharepoint site to allow the 7 partners in this project putting
all docs in one place. ABQ projects has a ‘social project’ along with strong place

Start small.

Grant amounts run from 25K to 200K. Categories to choose from on site for NEA.

Grant amounts in 25K increments and must be matched if awarded. Grants not available
for construction. Not for physical construction costs. Grant is intended to fund the
intellectual process. Staff time can be used as a part of the ‘match’ of funding. Need to track time carefully for project.

City has to be a partner in this NEA grant."



Saturday, February 8, 2014

ArtSpark's Listening Project

The Rio Rancho Arts Commission will have a guest speaker, Kristine Maltrud, ArtSpark's CEO/Founder at the next Commission Meeting held on Thursday, Feb. 13th, at 6 pm at City Hall (Council Chambers). Ms. Maltrud will be speaking on the Listening Project that is under way at ArtSpark. You can view the agenda for this week's meeting here.

ArtSpark's ArtsLP (Arts Listening Project):

ArtSpark launched the ArtsLP (Arts Listening Project) in 2013 to discover how the careers and longevity of artists, artisans, designers, and other creatives in different communities are best supported. With that goal in mind, ArtSpark facilitates “arts ecosystem” dialogues across a wide spectrum of diverse community stakeholders in select U.S. communities.

The ArtsLP model invites 14 different stakeholder representatives to participate in the dialogue process, including a wide variety of perspectives like agriculture, the faith community, the environmental community, funders, businesses and community members. In thinking about sustainability and the arts and “thriving arts ecosystems,” the ArtsLP includes some basic practices and principles: no waste, recycling resources, permeable institutional and special interest boundaries, working together toward the common good, and self-sustaining mechanisms that are interwoven into the community fabric.
ArtsLP dialogues have been held in ABQ (July 2013), and in Silver City (November, 2013). ArtSpark hopes to include at least two additional communities in 2014.

The ArtsLP is made possible by a grant from the McCune Charitable Foundation and from generous contributions via ArtSpark friends and supporters.

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Monday, January 6, 2014

What Does Healing Look Like? A Transformative Public Art Project

Through an unusual partnership between the the city of Philadelphia's's Mural Art Program and the City of Philadelphia's Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS), a program was developed in order to catalyze positive changes in the community. 

Called The Porch Light Program, they put together a team of artists, service providers, program participants, and other community and city-wide stakeholders to collaborate on a transformative public art project over the course of a year. 

Read how this unique mural project brings a community together along with some of the preliminary qualitative findings on this incredible and unique city program. CONTINUE HERE...