ArtPrize and Innovation: does Art need either one?

ArtPrize is upon us here in River City. For lo these many months, a topical condition has developed that I have come to call the ‘Dilemma of ArtPrize.’

It could be best described with these remarks: ‘Why are they doing it and what is it really for?” or “Hey ArtPrize: I really like what you are doing but you should do it this way” and of course “ArtPrize is great, why do you want it to fail, you must hate our city”.

So why does ArtPrize exist? Is it just ‘a radically open art competition, giving away the world’s largest art prize’? Is it only about viewing and voting for and against visual art in some neo-populist fashion? Is there more to it? What is the audacious, outrageous solution of ArtPrize?

Read on: ArtPrize and Innovation: does Art need either one?

Can the Public be Trusted to Choose Public Art?

This is a fascinating artist/curator panel from RSA in the UK that I first heard over this past summer. I listened to this panel again recently and it is refreshing to hear professionals and a thoughtful audience argue the nature of visual art in the public realm, both for and against with such informed gusto:

The Art Fund’s Big Art debate will ask should the public choose public art? What would happen if they did? And can we even afford public art in a recession?

Chair: Jon Snow.

Panelists:Jonathan Jones, art critic for The Guardian, Munira Mirza, Cultural Adviser to the Mayor of London, Grayson Perry, Turner Prize winning artist, Andrew Shoben, greyworld.

If there is a thread through the dialogue its that artists are professionals and in no other realm are professionals questioned or seen as suspect in their abilities to the same degree as the visual Arts. Citizen surgery anyone?

To listen, click here for player: