Carnegie Mellon University

Center for the Arts in Society

Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences and College of Fine Arts

Public Art Initiative 2008-11

Public Art Initiative 2008-2011

The place and role of artworks and artistic practice in public spaces has long been a topic of interest, concern and debate within and outside the university, involving artists, institutions of government, and members of the public.  At the same time, many artists and scholars have questioned and  challenged both conventional definitions of the artwork per se, and the nature, possibilities, and limits of conceptions of “the public,” in cultural, historical and political terms.  Co-organized by John Carson of the School of Art and Jon Klancher of the English Department, the Public Art Initiative (2008-2011) has drawn together faculty members from Carnegie Mellon’s Colleges of Fine Arts and of Humanities and Social Sciences, and from the University of Pittsburgh and Duquesne University.  Faculty involved in the Initiative will organize a series of events, conferences, performances, and courses, as well as supporting three major projects on: Controversy in the Arts; Performance and Ecology; and Public Art as Social Space. Beginning in fall 2010, the Public Art Initiative will begin a series of workshops and talks aimed at initiative conversations and collaboration between participating faculty and leaders of Pittsburgh-area arts organizations.