Public Art: More Than a Background for Selfies

September 17, 2014 1:07 AM

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During the busy summer travel months, your Facebook feeds and shared slideshows are likely filled with photos of friends on vacation. Odds are those photos included public art: faces reflected in Chicago's "Cloud Gate" (affectionately known as "The Bean") by Anish Kapoor, beautiful nighttime shots of a Leo Villareal's "Bay Lights" on the illuminated San Francisco Bay Bridge, or silly poses with Wall Street's "Charging Bull" by Arturo Di Modica. We often photograph these pieces because they help us remember a space, because they make that trip unique and because we are moved, inspired or maybe even upset by their presence. Art plays an important part in our tourism experiences and public art especially helps us interact and converse with places throughout the world.

The term "public art" may conjure images of bronze statues of soldiers or busts of presidents. I still stop and learn from these works. But today, public art takes on a wide range of forms, sizes as well as scales and can be temporary or permanent. Public art includes murals, sculpture, memorials, i...

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