Coming of Age: Post-Pandemic Public Art
Jack Becker has been embedded in the field of contemporary public art for 45 years—as an artist, educator, producer, curator, writer, publisher, and arts administrator. Best known as the founder of Forecast Public Art, based in Minnesota, Becker also founded Public Art Review, an international magazine devoted to contemporary public art.
During our September 8 online event, Becker will share some examples of his own work from the past decade, as well as insights gained during his career in the public art field. He will offer a brief overview of trends and issues in the field and engage audience members in a dialogue about critical challenges and emerging opportunities.
In addition to the Artist Talk, the LH Horton Jr Gallery organized an online Survey of Public Art to provide resources and information for our students and the community on the various types of projects and organizations involved in the field of public art. Featured organizations include prominent local, regional, and national government agencies and non-profit organizations. The Survey presents public works that focus on building civic pride and engaging with community, such as the Stockton SEED Mural Project. The Survey also presents public works that preserve our heritage and shared human experience, such as the Cesar Chavez Memorial in Sacramento by Lisa Reinertson. Particular attention is given to the movement to build new public monuments that support, reflect, and represent America’s diverse cultural communities.
Artist Statement by Jack Becker
Public art is visible evidence of our shared humanity. Creative expression in the public sphere often acts as a cultural barometer, revealing the values, beliefs or power struggles in a society. During the pandemics of COVID and racial injustice in 2020, while most traditional arts venues were shuttered, the vibrant field of public art continued to expand and evolve. The commissioning of large-scale monuments was justifiably put on hold, while a growing number of unsponsored—and untethered—artists emerged, amplifying previously muted voices in our communities. This is a coming-of-age moment for public art in America. (read more...)