CEC Artslink presents Publicly Creative: A Public Art Workshop. Public art is a fast-growing discipline with many unexplored opportunities for artists and communities. This workshop is a hands-on intensive introduction to the field, outlining resources, logistics, opportunities, and examples of successful collaborations. Recognizing artistic initiative as a valuable asset and a catalyst for a dialogue and transformation, we will explore how site-specific collaborations in varied cultural, geographic and political areas can influence business, social awareness and economic development. Encouraging close inspection of the particular issues faced by a specific New York community chosen by the participants, the workshop and the resulting public art work(s) will provide a unique platform for the participants and the public to explore and appropriate the city’s landscapes.

May 3, 2011

Let the Games Begin...

Hi Artists  - I am really excited about next week’s intense workshop on public art and look forward to working with you all.  The format will be relaxed and informal as that’s how I like to work and it will be fun otherwise, why bother. For the past 20+ years I have been commissioning public art - first with the NYC’s Percent for Art Program then the MTA’s Arts for Transit Program and now on my own as a consultant on a global scale, and in my opinion, about 80 – 85% of the public art out there is mediocre at best. Why is that? I will be the first to admit that I am guilty of putting some of the doozies out there but I’ve learned and I keep learning.

You are all artists – and some of you have delved into the public art world and some of you have not. To best serve you, I want to know what you are hoping to get out of this four-day workshop and I will do my best to provide it. You will no doubt come out of this exhausted and with a better understanding of what is involved in being a public art artist.

We will communicate through this blog because I want this process to be transparent and open and welcome comments from the general public. Keep an eye out for the homework – yes, there will be homework.


  1. Really looking forward to next week, Kendal...To learning a lot and meeting everyone. Best, Miranda

  2. This is an amazing chance for me to take this workshop. I am so excited.
    What I am interested in is how to make public event happen in urban environment. I actually have never done official public work before but plenty of my ideas and works have big potential to be expanded into public work form. Definitely I want to learn and hear about your experiences, Kendal, Additionally I really want to meet all of participants. If it's possible, beyond just this workshop, I am hoping to get further relationship and to have chance to collaborate.

  3. To Kendal and fellow "public" artists. This is Carey from THE POINT (www. thepoint.org) in Hunts Point in the South Bronx. We are deeply imbedded in making murals and public art actions in our neighborhood and hope to hone our skills by meeting you all. As an artist and an art organizer I hope to learn more about creating work that combines artistic integrity and social and environmental justice concerns. I think it is so important that the artist's deepest vision is embodied in the public forum without compromise -- but still serving the needs of the community in which it lives. We have had some great successes and some great frustrations in this area. I am particularly interested in spreading the work of THE POINT's artist's community abroad. We have been supported greatly by Artslink in the past primarily through a theater collaboration with Poland which lived for 8 years. As a painter, my work in the Polish theater world as a set designer, led me to a deep love of collaborative work where idea and imagination is a communal matter, where outcome is determined by some magical amalgam of artistic thinking amongst all involved. This has led me to explore the "theater" of painting and public art in Hunts Point, as it relates to engaging artists and community in a process of knowing each other.

    Looking forward,


  4. Like those who have already expressed it, I'm looking forward to meeting everyone—so many with public art experience!—and learning from all.

    I have never made any specifically public art projects, but I am keen to explore how my ideas can enter the public realm. I am an image maker, and I feel that the urban environment is a complex set of images and objects that affect one's daily experience, and that public art can improve/impact this environment through the use of images and objects without being merely decorative (perhaps the 80-85% that Kendal mentioned?).

    I hope to gain a fuller understanding of public art projects—approaches, logistics, challenges—and practical experience working on a project.

  5. I'd like to learn about how to facilitate the creation of public art projects-- and not just in an urban environment. I'm heading to rural Tanzania this summer to do an internship in international development... but I'm determined to incorporate visual and performing arts into my work, which will mostly be with adolescent girls. I'm looking forward to exploring the possibilities of public art and getting my hands dirty!

  6. Hello to all, I am looking forward to meeting you and collaborating with everyone. It seems to me that Public art is a broad and diverse artform, I'm curious to know (and learn) what makes public art GOOD. How much is it aesthetics, public involvement, relevance, accessibility, innovation and so on. I want to create art that is good! Don't we all? I am heading to the Festival of Ideas for New City. What are the IDEAS for the new city? Our City.


  7. Hi everyone, I am really looking forward to meeting you all shortly!

    I am a media artist new to the realm of public art. I am excited about the prospects of bringing art into public spaces, to people who might not otherwise engage with such work. I want to foster discussions about ‘the other’ and help facilitate cross-cultural exchanges between different factions of my currently divided neighborhood (divided by both real and imagined boundaries). I want to create work that allows for the crossing of such boundaries.

    I am currently finishing a year-long collaborative film piece about the Southside of Williamsburg as part of the UnionDocs collaborative, and beginning development of a public art component for Figment 2011 on Governor's Island.

    I love the idea of creating experiences – allowing for discovery, joy, and communion in public spaces that might otherwise be seen as simply a throughway to get from point A to B.

    'Till soon!

  8. Hey guys,
    I wanted to share the public intervention I did last year with children vendors on the streets of San Cristobal, Mexico.


  9. Hello,

    Yesterday was a great start. I look forward to our public art tour on this great spring day.

    I have had quite varied experiences working with public art. you can see some of my past work here:


    See you soon,