Public Art: Thinking Outside the Box (7-8)

What is public art? Who makes it? Who is it for? We’ll answer these questions and more as we explore some of the issues, historical and contemporary, surrounding public art in Los Angeles. We will begin the first week of class by visiting several neighborhoods in the city, looking at different kinds of public art works, both traditional (monuments and murals) and innovative (video installations, community gardens). Site visits may include “Nuestra Puebla” (better known as Watts Towers), artists’ projects along the Los Angeles River, and Metro stops along the L.A. (rail) transit system—from the kaleidoscope ceramic murals in North Hollywood to the giant neon sculpture at Pershing Square. In addition, we will visit working artists’ studios to experience first-hand what it’s like to create art on a large scale. Equipped with cameras and sketchbooks, students will be asked to keep a journal of their own visual experiences and to collect creative ideas for a collaborative public art project. In the second week of the course, students will collectively take on the roles of curator, planner, artist and audience as they work together to imagine, coordinate and construct a site-specific art project on Oakwood’s campus. You don’t have to draw to dream big: what will you bring to this project?

Ali LeBow and Dina Sherman

Public Art_1

Public Art 2