The value of public art

18 Feb 2008 by Karl Hallam

Big works of public art are in the news, with talk of an Angel of the South and the usual arguments about what is or is not art. Most people in the North delight in people like Brian Sewell's dislike of Gateshead's Angel, it's sort of a perverse verification. Not all commissions are as successful as the Angel, but that does depend how you define success. Is the fact that lots of people like it enough?

Art and culture (and sport if you take the Goverment's DCMS activity) has got very caught up in justifying it's value in terms of so many other measures other than being popular or much-loved. Commissions have to be justified by their benefits to regeneration, cohesion and inclusion ... to demonstrate public money is not being wasted. Local councils really struggle with this one and in many respects they are in a no-win situation. If Sheffield has a public art piece that does not reflect the City's steel heritage then the Council are in trouble and then if they do incorporate steel then it must be sourced locally, regardless of cost - they cannot win.

Cadence Works work with CIDS on a Creative Industries strategy runs up against this issue all the time, when the focus should really be on understanding what's happening in the cultural sector and then developing policy to suport it. The intrinsic benefits alone are worth the bother, the strategy should help deliver the instrumentals that can follow and then the public really can get value out of their art.

your comments

Posts: 2
Reply #2 on : Thu September 08, 2011, 08:42:12
83RQGW <a href="">gofvjichwgis</a>
Posts: 2
Reply #1 on : Wed September 07, 2011, 13:25:29
Shoot, who would have tuhgoht that it was that easy?

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