Celebrating Public Art: Chicago in the Summer

What's better than a great plaza in the summer? Some compelling public art to go along with it.

Is there a difference between civic art and public art? Lots of urbanists tend to use those terms to mean entirely different things, while people in the art world usually find them more or less synonymous. Hazel Borys uses a few pics from Chicago to discuss.

"Exceptionally important is this distinction between urban design as civic art and the public art work. 'Public art is art in any media that has been planned and executed with the intention of being staged in the physical public domain, usually outside and accessible to all. Public art is significant within the art world, amongst curators, commissioning bodies and practitioners of public art, to whom it signifies a working practice of site specificity, community involvement and collaboration.'"

However, urbanists use the term civic art to mean anything from regional, city, and neighborhood plans to the architectural ornament of the building to an entire building as sculpture. Clearly distinguishing between the terminology will help to fully value public art's role in placemaking.

Cloud Gate by Anish Kapoor in the AT&T Plaza at Millennium Park. Image credit: Hazel Borys, CreativeCommons Sharealike License by Attribution

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