Public art comes and goes. In many cases, it is ethereal. Temporary. A magical moment in time and space when opportunity and ability collide to express something as a statement of self and a gift to others. All of the public art pictured here is now gone. Some, but not all, has been replaced. I took all of these photos while out and about on my bike.
I believe public art to be a critical necessity in a city. Public art crosses borders, ages, genders, ethnicities, socio-economic levels, sexual orientation, lifestyle choices, and political viewpoints. It inspires thought and provides multiple entry points into the human conversation, while letting each of us “take what we like and leave the rest” (as my mother always said to do). It matters. (If your city, like my suburb-city, currently has little to no public art, here is my 10-Step Plan to Put Paint on a Public Wall. I wrote that two years ago, and I am happy to report that one of the people pictured, Bob Kinsey, is now heading up a formal effort to do so. Plus, I hear there’s a public piano now, too, thanks to the Dunwoody Nature Center’s executive director, Alan Mothner.)
If you’ve been wanting to check out the public art scene in your city, don’t wait. And don’t take it for granted. It continually changes. And sometimes it simply disappears. If you are interested, here is my Art of Bike Riding Flickr album (including photos from Atlanta, New York City, and Pittsburgh). If you are a woman who would like to brush up your bike skills and learn some routes that feature public art, I can help.