why public art?

I just came back from Venice Beach, California and find I can’t get the essence of that place out of my head. It wasn’t just the great weather or food that got me, but the vibrant, colorful and energetic public art that covered most of the buildings and walls of the area. The paintings were born from the graffiti culture, although it has evolved into something much more. I found it exciting and fresh, giving off this creative vibe that seemed to hold the area to a different spirit than any other place I’ve visited. It somehow became part of me. It made me proud to be an artist.

While the city of Venice Beach issues the permits to artists, it’s ICU Art, a graffiti advocate group, which curates and manages the walls. Their purpose is to preserve and present a higher level of graffiti art for the public to appreciate. I for one found it so inspiring I couldn’t wait to get back to my studio to paint.

What a great way to bring art appreciation to the public. I could feel its influence in the people as I walked along the boardwalk. There’s a kind of playful wonder in the air that seems to hold everyone to a different standard. It reminds us that we are creative souls under the terrorism and fear mongering that has become part of our daily lives. I can’t help but think that if we expose our children to an environment of creative thinking, whatever the discipline, we are nourishing the better side of our nature.