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Managing Public Art Projects: A Handbook for Artists

Written by Lee Corner and Janet Summerton 1996 (revised 2006)

Commissioned by Public Art South West

This handbook arose from a series of successful seminars which took place during 1997 and 1998, which were specifically aimed at artists and craftspeople working within the public art sphere.

The intention behind the seminars was to equip artists with the skills and information they needed to be able to take a leading role within public art projects, either as initiator or consultant. The aim was to redress the balance between prescribed public art opportunities and artists’ own aspirations to instigate projects within the public realm.

Public art offers many opportunities for artists, but it also challenges them to develop skills in addition to those required in many other forms of visual arts practice. Public art tends towards working practices which involve co-operation, negotiation and an interface with others, particularly professionals, who are not necessarily used to working closely with artists.

Whilst nothing can replace the benefits working within a group and exchanging ideas can bring, we believe this Handbook will be a useful ‘aide memoire’ for artists who are working in or about to embark upon work in this area.

This Handbook was piloted at the first set of seminars and has been modified in line with artists’ suggestions. We have tried to keep the most pertinent aspects, which artists on the course found most helpful, and to present the information in a way which allows it to ‘stand alone’ from the actual seminars.

We hope you find it useful and thought provoking and if you have any comments or suggestions on how we could develop the Handbook, then please email us.

Our thanks go to Lee Corner and Janet Summerton for the enthusiasm and expertise they have brought to this initiative.

Maggie Bolt

Director, Public Art South West

Follow this link to download the Handbook for Artists as an Adobe Acrobat document, 212KB.

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