in the Public Realm
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Previous Newsletters Vol. 2  Issue 1 - January, 2012


For most people, the end of the year is usually a milestone, a time of taking stock of what has been accomplished in the past twelve months and rebooting. After celebrating New Year's Eve, resolutions are made. Lofty goals are set. Belts are tightened, gyms are joined.

For us, December 2011 was an amazing end to what was already shaping up to be an amazing year. We won our second award. This one was National. We were thrilled to receive the AIA Collaborative Achievement Award which recognized our contribution towards demystifying the built environment. It was truly inspiring to be recognized for our efforts to reach beyond gallery walls in order to make the cultural world around us accessible to a wider audience. To celebrate, we decided to really look at the big picture. This issue is about expanding our horizons.

Happy New Year!
Abby Suckle, President

PS. The mystery sculpture this month is by an architect whose work bridges the disciplines of art and architecture.
Featured Collection:

In the spirit of broadening our vision, we looked for candidates among public art collections furthest from home. Featured here is Richmond, British Columbia's Public Art Program.

Sometimes smaller municipalities with wonderful art collections like Richmond can get eclipsed by their larger neighbors (Vancouver).

Since it's beginning in 1997, the collection now numbers over 70 pieces including the two recently completed ones illustrated here.

Water Sky Garden (installed 2009) by Janet Echelman
Photo courtesy City of Richmond

The Field (installed 2009) by Bill Baker, Claudia Cuesta
Photo courtesy City of Richmond

As island dwellers we forget sometimes that our city has 520 miles of coastline and its waterfront can be considered as the '6th borough'. Last year we collaborated on what turned out to be a very popular Architectural Boat Tour around Manhattan with the AIA NY and Classic Harbor Line. The Tour was conducted 67 times this year. The last 2011 tour was completed in early December. For those of you who can't wait till the real tours resume in the spring, it's online.....and on the iPhone / Android.

Interesting Finds
Click here

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In our theme of Coast to Coast - what better artist to celebrate than Alexander Calder. Iconic, revolutionary and international in scope, he is one of the artists who changed how people would look at shapes and forms in urban spaces. Here are 4 red Stabiles that do what public art is meant to do and create a dialogue with the buildings around them. They transform settings into places. Saurien at the corner of 57th and Madison in New York City has been a landmark anchoring a major corner in the center of our urban grid. At the other end of the Country, Four Arches sits atop Bunker Hill in Los Angeles. In Chicago, Flamingo is the centerpiece of the Plaza framed by the three Mies Van Der Rohe Federal buildings. And, of course the Jerusalem Stabile in front of the School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania marks the entrance to one of the few colleges that knits Art and Architecture into one school. It is only fitting that Calder who is a scion of a distinguished family of Philadelphia sculptors would have a major work at the entrance to PennDesign. It faces the Furness Building designed by Frank Furness and renovated by Bob Venturi, two architects whose works have bookended the built environment in Philadelphia for the past 100 years.

Flamingo (installed 1974)
Photo courtesy Chicago Public Art Program

Four Arches (installed 1977)
Photo courtesy Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles

Jerusalem Stabile (installed 1976)
Photo courtesy cultureNOW

Saurien (installed 1975)
Photo courtesy cultureNOW

Featured Architect: ENNEAD ARCHITECTS

In the spirit of expansion, what better firm to select than Ennead Architects. Formerly known as Polshek Partnership, this internationally-acclaimed firm has successfully expanded, changed its name and rebranded itself as Ennead. Derived from the Greek term for a collaborative group, Ennead expresses the dynamic spirit of this practice as an innovative, collaborative and ever-evolving studio environment. Based in New York City, Ennead is known for its award-winning projects for cultural, educational, scientific and governmental institutions, including the Rose Center for Earth and Space, the Clinton Library, The Standard, New York and the Weill Cornell Medical College, Weill Greenberg Center. The studio's most recent projects include the Natural History Museum of Utah, New York City Center, Frank Sinatra School of the Arts and Stanford University's William H. Neukom Building.
Frank Sinatra School of the Arts
©Jeff Goldberg / Esto

New York City Center
©Aislinn Weidele / Ennead Architects
William H. Neukom Building
©Aislinn Weidele / Ennead Architects

Natural History Museum of Utah
©Jeff Goldberg / Esto