Best Public Art: Some Visitor Choices

modern white sculpture probably not best public art

At the bottom of this page visitors can comment on the best public art, why they like it, why it's best, what experiences they have had in its shadow, and all the emotional qualities that make the piece work on its site. Please join in. Of course you'll need to send us all a photo too, so we understand your viewpoint.

This is purely for fun at one level. At a deeper level when we have enough entries this probably will show something profound about why certain pieces of public art are powerful instances of place making at its best and others become a laughingstock or a symbol of public money poorly spent.

Some fountains get soap bubbles thrown in them regularly, and some are the scene of countless wedding photographs. Occasionally both reactions occur at the same fountain from day to day.

Not all public art is regarded as beautiful, intelligible, and offensive to no one.  Who is to say that quality public art cannot be provocative? 

On a more serious page, we tell about the process of commissioning an artist or choosing a piece of public art, but here you are invited to just share your opinion without requiring much justification except that you really like a particular piece. Then if we are lucky, visitors will be able to look at the various stories to distill some wisdom about placement and choices in public art.

We have a hunch that what makes an impact will be the emotional connections that people form with a particular place, and that the art as a coherent part of an urban design is what makes some places memorable. Perhaps your editors are simply being too romantic about community development when they opine that the larger geographic context matters. Maybe unless there are benches and shade trees nearby, the best artistic statement never becomes your favorite.

Think about your travels too. If you like art, probably something in particular caught your eye. You can just say you like it, or you can give a commentary on how your nominee for best public art fit within its setting, reflected the culture, or surprised or delighted in its ability to create instant community among those enjoying it.

Below please take your opportunity to send a photo or up to four photos, give us your own opinion about a piece of public art you especially enjoy, or comment on another submission.   If we select your entry for inclusion (which we will, if it is understandable to others), the result will be a new page on this site.  Meanwhile, you can look at what others have sent.  Enjoy looking through other people's favorites, especially if your town or even neighborhood is thinking of adding some public art.

Typically what you will not find on a page such as this are public art forms that have become trite and unremarkable, such as the man on horseback or the abstract brightly-colored metal squiggles. But our visitors prove that there are exceptions even to those generalizations.

So add your own favorite piece of public art, and provide some inspiration of others.

Weighing In On the Best Public Art?

What's your favorite piece of public art? Or if you're educated about the topic, what's the best one, regardless of your personal preferences? Let's get a good discussion going.

What Other Visitors Think

Click below to see contributions from other visitors and editors.

Correct Scale for Public Sculpture Not rated yet
Visitor Submittal: I really like this large sculpture in the median in Berlin near the famous and huge KaDeWe department store (Kaufhaus des Westens). …

Macho Monument Still a Great Piece Not rated yet
I read that your web site thinks the era of monuments is over. I'm sending my fave public art from the Bush (the first) Library to show you're wrong. This …

Public Art Theme: Hands Not rated yet
My favorite public art sculpture at the moment can be found in the little artsy-craftsy town of Berea, Kentucky, USA. It's a very small college town with …

Best Public Art: Shiny Bean in Early Morning Not rated yet
Cloud Gate in Millennium Park, Chicago, is just amazing. Photos don't do it justice. If you're able to go there early in the morning, before things are …

Click here to write your own.

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