Public artwork has been used as architectural embellishment or served as visual narrative to venerate a particular point of view. Over the past fifty years the purpose of public artifact has shifted to relevant site amenity. Utilizing a phenomenological method of inquiry this study seeks to determine to what extent a resident's experience of community is shaped by public sculptures placed in neighborhood parks. These artifacts were commissioned through the City of Minneapolis' Neighborhood Gateway Project. Between 1992 and 2004, eighteen Neighborhood Gateways were established. This study examines twelve residents' experience of these artifacts in three different communities to determine to what extent these resident's experience of community was shaped by the Gateway project.
The results of this study provide commissioning agencies and artists with methods to address this shift and create artifacts with imbedded intrinsic value. Five pertinent themes were discovered by this study: Binding Metaphor, Multimodal Sensory Engagement, Sense of Pride, Creation of an Axis Mundi, and Opportunities for Dialogue These themes provide a framework whereby artists, funders and curators can more successfully integrate their artwork into community.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. May 2009. Major: Design, Housing and Apparel. Advisor: Dr Barbara Martinson. 1 computer file (PDF); vii, 111 pages.
Olson, Randy Mickel.
Communication of place identity through designed objects:can Public Artwork foster a sense of community?.
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