Madison artist Kelly Parks Snider sees potential locations for public art everywhere in Madison.
“I’m just driving through town, and I think, ‘There should be art there, there should be art there.’ Everywhere I go, all the time,” Parks Snider said at a Cap Times Talk on public art at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art on Wednesday evening. Arts reporter Lindsay Christians moderated the event, which was attended by over 100 people.
“Many times we think art belongs in institutions and museums, so we have a hard time seeing that it needs to be in all kinds of spaces,” Parks Snider said.
Local artists and arts administrators who participated on the panel agreed Madison should have more public art and better support its artists. And art in the public sector can test the community’s opinion and challenge the boundaries between artists and those who are funding the project.
However public art is defined, Dane Arts Director Mark Fraire said the “beauty of public art is that you love it or you hate it.”
UW-Madison art professor Faisal Abdu’Allah said public art can be “problematic,” especially for the artist.
“The artist must be given space,” Abdu’Allah said. “If there are too many voices in the mix, I think the artist is compromised.”