The Roadrunner public art statue located outside of Las Cruces, New Mexico

3 Nifty Trends We’re Seeing in Public Art

The world is facing a huge shift in interest towards works of public art. Cities are erecting monuments that engage their community and attract people from all walks of life to catch a glimpse of the work. It’s become so popular that many city planners and landscape architects are making it a point to add sculpture pieces and other art attractions to their projects. There are many exciting trends we’re seeing around the world and we wanted to highlight a few below.

At EG Structural, we believe art brings people together. A well-designed piece can bring out what is truly unique about your city and generate a lot of interest from enthusiasts from out of town. The trends that we are seeing are just a fraction of the cool projects that are out there. 

Constructing Public Art With Recycled Materials

Being eco-friendly is not an idea limited to large corporations, energy grids, and electric vehicles; it’s also popping up in the art world. In fact, many artists are using repurposed materials to construct city landmarks that make one’s community truly stand out.

This type of public art can be extremely beneficial for cities looking to become greener. Constructing a landmark using recycled materials and/or other environmentally-friendly materials can act as the exclamation point towards your cause. Additionally, eco-friendly sculpture pieces are an incredible way to attract long-distance travelers. 

For example, there’s a giant roadrunner sculpture outside of Las Cruces, New Mexico constructed entirely of thrown-out items like shoes, cell phones, bike parts, and other materials. Located beside a rest stop area, it’s become a landmark for travelers to take a break and take photos with the 20 feet tall sculpture.

Public Art Creates Public Participation

Public art plays an invaluable role in community building by expressing and supporting a sense of culture and identity. One aspect of creating art for public spaces is how artists are enabling residents to have an active role in the design and construction stages to be more reflective of the community at large. 

Artists allow for varied participation, including public engagement in planning, selection, creation, installation, maintenance, and collective appreciation. Doing so results in a shared experience of creation and interaction that creates community cohesion and amplifies the sense of ownership towards a particular sculpture piece. Another reason public participation is becoming a vital part of the public art process is budgeting. With many municipality budgets spread thin, it’s good to gauge how supportive your community is of public art programs and investments.

Preserve the Past Through Public Art Installations

Another trend we’re seeing public artists get involved in is preserving relics of a community’s past. History is an important part of city identity and culture, so many are looking for ways to beautify landmarks of their past. 

One example of this is the City of Bellingham, WA, and its pulp and tissue mill. According to Darby Cowles, Senior Planner with Planning and Community Development, “Throughout the waterfront planning process, community members and other stakeholders have expressed an interest in retaining relevant or representative structures and artifacts to authentically represent the industrial character of the site and help tell the story of the historic pulp and tissue mills, which operated there.”

As a result, the city set a budget of $130,000 from the city’s Percent for Arts Program to construct an “acid ball.” The Acid Ball was part of the former Georgia Pacific pulp and tissue mill operations, which stopped operations in 2007. The ball was used as a relief system to maintain constant pressure while wood chips are cooked in sulfurous acid. Today, it’s been repurposed as a public art landmark to highlight the town’s industrial roots.

EG Structural Creates Custom Sculpture Pieces That Resonate

At EG Structural we have a passion for creating projects that inspire. For over 25 years, Eric Garcia has provided strong conceptual design to develop timeless public art projects that embody the spirit of our clients. Whether they’re a corporate entity or a municipality, we see what makes them special and design a sculpture that highlights their exceptionality. 

Contact EG Structural today to learn how we can brighten your organization with public art.

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