With nearly 100 life-size Bucky Badgers ready to be painted and paraded around Madison, we know Dane County has the means to support public art. And we know the community interest is there, because every time a new mural goes up on Willy Street, photos flood Instagram. But most of us agree that when it comes to public art, Madison should step up its game.
A Feb. 21 Cap Times Talk at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art brought together a panel of community artists and art educators to discuss the question “How can Madison can get better public art?” The panel members agreed that artists, local organizations and city government need to work together proactively to help link artists with opportunities and funding.
Cap Times arts writer Lindsay Christians moderated the panel, which also included Kelly Parks Snider, artist and cofounder of Project Girl; Mark Fraire, director of Dane Arts; Karin Wolf, arts program administrator for the City of Madison; and Faisal Abdu’Allah, creative arts community faculty director for UW-Madison’s Arts Institute.
It starts with the artists being more vocal and present in the community, Fraire said. “We need to be on boards, commissions, run for public office,” Fraire added. “It depends on us to be more vocal to understand the process, raise money and make money.”