Tomorrow I start my summer internship with the New York City Arts Commission. It’s situated within the greater Department of Design and Construction, which manages the construction of the major public buildings and infrastructure for the city, as well as general permitting for all large construction projects. The New York Percent for Arts Commission manages the permanent public art that is funded by public money for these capitol projects. There are other agencies which help manage and facilitate public art in the city, like the Department of Transportation, or Creative Time, but the Percent for Arts Commission handles all publicly funded permanent artworks. New York City was the first city in the US to adopt the regulation that 1% on the entire construction budget for public building projects should be allocated for public art within those buildings.
I’m going to be working with the Public Art Commission to create a map of public art in the city. They would like the main map to be made in ArcGIS so that other departments in the city government can add public art to other types of city data, and help determine how having public art in a neighborhood might affect quality of life. I am also interested in creating some type of web or mobile based application that might help publicize public art, and create a better awareness of what types of projects exist and where.
I started looking up what types of other resources might exist for public art maps in other locations. Here are a few links of what I’ve found so far.
Idaho Arts Commission
Seattle – Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs has a web presence but links to pdf booklets of public art walking tours.
Philadelphia Fairmount Park Art Association has a flash-based map.
MAP ForYourArt: Los Angeles Public Art Projects is a google map based project that shows the locations of various public art projects around LA, both past and present. I believe it also lets users add to the map.
Scottsdale Public Art has various map pdfs of their permanent public art, grouped by walking tour. They also have links to instructions on how to activate the Scottsdale Public Art layer on Google Earth, which looks great, but seems complicated to get up and running.
Searching San Jose Public Art Map in Google leads directly to a pdf in Google Doc version.
The most thorough aggregate of public art in New York City (and it’s spreading to other cities as well) is culturenow.org. It was started by Abby Suckel as a way to keep track of all the temporary and permanent public art projects in New York, since they are sponsored by so many different agencies, public, private and non-profit. It’s built on Google Mpas, but has spread to mobile apps as well. A really great archive and information source.