public art makes an impact
PUBLIC ART INVITES DIALOGUE, ACTIVITY AND CIVIC PRIDE
The Project for Public Spaces (PPS), in the article Collaborative, Creative Placemaking: Good Public Art Depends on Good Public Spaces, notes that now, more than ever, public artworks are stimulating and inviting active dialogue rather than just passive observation. The author writes that newer artwork is designed to foster increased social interaction among viewers, leading to a greater sense of social cohesion.
Good public spaces are inviting and build a place for the community around an artwork, or cultural venue, by growing and attracting activities that make it a multi-use destination. “Alone, no designer, architect, or artist can create a great public space that generates and sustains stronger communities. Instead, such spaces arise from collaboration with the users of the place who articulate what they value about it and assist the artist in understanding its complexity.”
Further, public art projects that engage the community in the art-making process can provide a means to improve their environment and the opportunity to develop a sense of pride and ownership over their parks, streets, and public institutions. “Ultimately,” writes the author “public art projects will be most effective when they are part of a larger, holistic, multidisciplinary approach to enlivening a city or neighborhood. In this way, public art can contribute both to community life and to the service and vitality of public spaces.”
NWA CREATES PUBLIC ART
Here at Nancy Witherell Art (NWA), we are thrilled to have created a number of public art pieces for our clients. Creating art on such a large scale is an opportunity to explore space and impact in new ways. Finding talented local artists that can create art at such a scale both conceptually, as well as, handle the intricacies of installing it is a challenge owner Nancy Witherell relishes.
Implementing these large scale projects that impact the lives of passerbys, visitors, staff and patients for the better is something the entire NWA team is proud of.
Our approach to getting consensus from stakeholders when selecting art is collaborative from beginning to end. We pursue imaginative ideas that are co-created with designers and stakeholders alike. The creative process involves receiving input for what works and what doesn’t. From there we modify selections and prepare alternatives. Through this back and forth process of open communication, we create the vision of all stakeholders in a collaborative way that supports the success of the project.
CURATE A SHARED VISION
We like to begin by sitting down with the stakeholders. We take time to understand what your vision is for the building. Knowing the stakeholders’ hopes, needs and priorities for each space makes us better equipped to meet expectations and envision solutions.
We consider the interior designs and aim to capture that inspiration. The whole environment must function well together. We do our part to ensure that by offering art selections that promote a positive distraction and enhance the surroundings. We keep our focus on meeting the needs of all who are involved, while maintaining artistic integrity.
Next, we identify artists who may be able to successfully meet these needs. We offer the group’s vision via slide shows. This begins an interactive process with the designers and stakeholders that only ends when everyone is in agreement and feels genuine pride in the installation.
CONSIDER SPACE AND FUNCTION
From our experience, it works best to start with the Wow! spaces. These are the focal points of the facility that present the greatest opportunity for artful impact. With those highly visible pieces decided, we move on to the key rooms and from there work toward tying together the remainder of the facility.
Our goal is to source artwork that is complementary to the zones and regions of a building. We take into consideration the intended look and feel, as well as what types of activities or services take place there. It is vital that the artwork in these areas be reflective of and responsive to the people who will interact with the space.
BACK IN TO BUDGET AND SCHEDULE
NWA’s successful strategy for consistently staying within budget involves backing in to the costs. We start at the end costs, such as installation and framing, and back in to the cost for the artwork itself. This eliminates unexpected restrictions when choosing the best art with the highest value for the project.
Keeping within budget begins with thorough and detailed upfront planning. We lay out all costs from the start, including not just art but also transportation, storage and installation. We factor in unanticipated expenses. Project budgets are set up and carefully tracked throughout the life of the project.
Making use of the latest project management software, we establish timelines, communicate changes and keep control of the schedule. Like with budgeting, we back in to our schedule, first targeting deadlines and then mapping out the time necessary for each step of the project.
STAY ADAPTIVE, FLEXIBLE AND RESPONSIVE
Our firm takes an adaptive, flexible and responsive approach to meeting deadlines. We do whatever we must to ensure we complete our project on time. Any necessary adjustments are promptly and clearly communicated to the client.
A major reason for our success staying on schedule and within budget comes from our open communication. Our strong team is cohesive and mutually supportive and built on a solid foundation of integrity. This gives us the flexibility necessary to handle the unexpected without disruption.
Regular communication with architects, construction crews, installers, the interior design team, stakeholders and anyone else related to getting the project done on time and within budget is an ongoing priority.
MANAGE EACH STEP OF PROJECT
NWA handles all aspects of art purchases, including artist contracts, tax, shipping and delivery. Detailed quotes of chosen art with a breakout of sizes, materials and itemized costs are provided for client reference and project manager sign-off. Once all the details are handled, the specific art is collected and commissioned pieces are created by artists.
We take care of the entire installation process, from shipping, delivery and receipt of art to framing and installing art pieces. Our general and professional liability insurance coverage keeps us accountable for the full installation process. All artwork installations include attribution signage and adhere to recommended and required guidelines for framing, mounting and installation.