in the Public Realm
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Previous Newsletters Vol. 1  Issue 8 - November, 2011
Double Check (installed in 1982)
by J. Seward Johnson, Jr
Photo David Giglio
We like to think that we are very hardy at cultureNOW. For, even though walking tours are held in rain or shine, we are rarely confronted with weather as inclement as what we encountered last Saturday afternoon on the Annual Great Crash of '29 Tour. Over a dozen stalwart walking tourists joined us at the Museum of American Finance and trekked through the snow and slush of Lower Manhattan. Along the way we passed the equally hardy souls huddled in their tents occupying Wall Street. Jutting out of the sea of drenched (and frozen) humanity at Zucotti Park was Mark di Suvero's brilliant red sculpture Joie de Vivre. In one 'privately owned public space' you could see the convergence of public art, politics, and finance.

We thought that it might be provocative and timely to talk about all of these forces and how they relate to each other. Consequently, for this issue, we selected the State of Wisconsin's Public Art Collection as our poster child to jumpstart a discussion about public funding for the arts. Kohn Pedersen Fox, the featured Architect is one of the first firms to have completed work as part of the Federally Funded GSA Design Excellence Program. We are hoping that this newsletter will provide the basis for a discussion that will be featured on our website.

Abby Suckle FAIA, President
Featured Collection:

On July 1, 2011 after 31 years, Wisconsin's Percent for Art Program was repealed by the Governor and Wisconsin State Legislature and funding for the Wisconsin Arts Board was slashed by two thirds. Many of the staff positions have been eliminated. The art collection is now being maintained by the State Tourism Board.

Funding for the arts is always challenging and especially so as money gets tighter. While it is enlightened to think of the arts as an economic generator, it is devilishly difficult to put an accurate metric on it. Balancing the demands of cultural tourism with the independence that the creation of art requires is simple in theory but formidable to implement in reality. Many public entities are grappling with under whose auspices does art belong and who is best placed to commission, maintain, and fund it over time. By showcasing the 100+ pieces created as part of Wisconsin's Percent for Art, cultureNOW hopes to provide awareness of the impressive extent of the collection and what the State is currently facing.

Balance Wheel (Installed 1998) by Robert Gehrke
Photo Wisconsin Arts Board Percent for Art Program

Lenticularis (Installed 2005) by Jin Soo Kim
Photo Wisconsin Arts Board Percent for Art Program

Und (Installed 1991) by Martha Glowacki, Lynn Whitford
Photo Wisconsin Arts Board Percent for Art Program

Ovation (Installed 2007) by Stuart Keeler
Photo Wisconsin Arts Board Percent for Art Program


Presented by the Museum of American Finance

If you one of the many who missed the Crash of '29 tour and are curious about the intersection of Finance, Real Estate, the Stock Market and Wall Street, you can experience it online (or on the iPhone or Android)

Interesting Finds
Click here
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Featured Artist: Mark di Suvero

Mark di Suvero's abstract expressionist sculptures pioneered the use of steel in public artwork. Joie De Vivre, a 70 foot tall sculpture was his first piece in NYC and was relocated in 2005 to Zucotti Park. It is interesting to note how this artwork, originally designed for the Holland Tunnel Rotary has become the anchor and iconic image of the recent Occupy Wall Street protests.

In addition to creating his own artwork, di Suvero played a pivotal role in the transformation of Socrates Sculpture Park from an abandoned landfill in Queens to an outdoor open studio and exhibition space for artists. This project is noteworthy for it is a successful attempt by an artist to shape planning and public policy in New York City. This paved the way for the city's efforts to include artists as part of the design team from the early stages.

Joie de Vivre (Resited 2005) by Mark di Suvero
Photo David Giglio

Aesop’s Fables II (Installed 2005) by Mark di Suvero
Photo courtesy MIT Public Art Collection
Featured Architect: Kohn Pedersen Fox

A 10 minute walk from Occupy Wall Street is the Daniel Patrick Moynihan US Courthouse in Foley Square designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox. This 27 story federal courthouse was one of the first buildings of the federally funded GSA Design Excellence Program and it set the standard for high quality architecture in government buildings. It is also the courthouse where some of the more newsworthy financial cases are tried including the trial of Bernie Madoff.

Framing KPF's work in Manhattan is its most recent project, 1 Jackson Square, a 30-story residential building in Greenwich Village not far from the High Line. Some of their more significant New York City buildings include ABC World Headquarters, Baruch College and the Museum of Modern Art.
Daniel Patrick Moynihan US Federal Courthouse (Constructed 1994)
Photo Jock Pottle

1 Jackson Square (Constructed 2010)
Photo Michael Moran