Monday, April 23, 2012

Commercial Art

Recently, I joined the docent ranks at the Laumeier Sculpture Park in St. Louis. I have always been a fan of sculpture, particularly monumental contemporary art in public places. Laumeier is a public-private partnership and a free park for art lovers to enjoy. The training I have received over the past couple of months reminds me that sculpture can be transformative. I love it when sculpture is integrated into commercial building spaces and urban settings too. Sculpture makes a huge difference in city. It creates a sense of place. Consider public art like the magnificent Picasso at Daley Plaza in Chicago, Claes Oldenburg’s FREE Stamp sculpture in Cleveland and the wonderful collection at Citygarden in downtown St. Louis, which includes a Keith Harring, Mark di Suvero, Johnathan Clarke and a dozen others.

Later this year, the International Sculpture Conference will span three days, October 4-6, in Chicago where they will feature keynote speakers, panel discussions and comprehensive programs of mentoring sessions, workshops and tours. I hope this group along with patrons and artists everywhere can persuade and inspire designers and builders to make art part of their planning for the structures of the future. Sculpture, in particular, can be a magical part of the vision for commercial structures. The aesthetic, the provocative, the use of innovative materials, artistic techniques and even architectural details as part of a building become markers for special places.

If you love art and believe, like I do, that it enriches us all when it is shared with the world, I hope you will be a supporter of art in public places and commercial spaces.

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