Plains Art Museum Holds Panel Discussion on Public Art

Panelists say public art is a way to engage the community

FARGO, N.D. — With the opening of the Red Ball Project, you might be thinking about the meaning of public art. The Plains Art Museum held a panel discussion where they discussed just that.

Panelists included the artist behind the Red Ball Project, the director of Public Art St. Paul, a Fargo city planner, and an event coordinator for Folkways.

With the F–M area quickly growing, there are more opportunities for artists to show off their work. Both Fargo and Moorhead have public art commissions, and now, the role of cities is continually coming into play.

“I think there’s a little bit of fear sometimes, if money is invested, what if people don’t like it. What this project does is show that public art can be temporary, it can be a presentation,” Brad Bachmeier, the panel moderator, said.

The panel discussion went over how public art is defined, the process of creating it, its historical context, and the role of local governments.

“Public art is an opportunity to engage with something that someone’s created. It’s an opportunity to create your own take on a piece of imagination, something someone wanted you to see and either have some thought provoking moment or have a spark of creativity for yourself,” Simone Wai, a panelist, said.

Panelists say historically, the government was more involved with public art, and now, artists are increasingly taking the first step.

“We can consider issues, consider different points of view, whether it’s a political statement or something like that, just to be able to consider it in a different way and a more creative way,” Wai said.

“I hope it furthers an understanding of what public art is in a community and maybe even provides artists an opportunity to be able to think about their practice on being in a public realm and how public art can further engage the community,” Bachmeier said.

They also discussed how success is measured and how people respond to it.

“People might think people are doing it for the wrong reasons. I think it’s important to remember that it’s your experience with it and the reason is for you,” Wai said.


Categories: Local News, North Dakota News