The City of Boynton Beach, Florida put out a call to artists for an Art in Public Places project. Nine six foot by six foot cement slabs are offered to place art in outdoor public locations. Once a year artist compete for the spaces and money that is given by the city for a year’s lease of the art work.
Using the material I’ve been printing photographs on for my surfboard art project I proposed a three sided framed that would hold three distinct photograph banners or ‘photo art panels’. This received lots of interest from the city and I was told to put together an engineering sketch of how the panels would be affixed to the frame and the frame to the cement block so that it passed city codes. With the help of an aluminum welder the plans were drawn and submitted. A few weeks later I was awarded two cement blocks!
Photo art panels are an attractive way of adding color and interest to an urban setting. Store fronts do it to cover and spruce up empty spaces but I’ve never seen it done in a park or outdoor environment. The beauty of the panels is that they can easily be changed thus allowing for a constant renewal of themes and expression and bringing new life to otherwise stagnant areas.
It was my first time submitting a project to a call for Art in Public Places that are held throughout the country. Proposing an idea and actually making it come to fruition are two different things and I was a bit nervous about the latter. In the end it worked out better than expected and everyone was very happy with the results.
I never thought of using photography in manners that I recently have; with the surfboards and now the photograph banners. I guess you could say it’s a result of the continuing recession that’s forced me to look beyond my assignment work and to think of creative outlets. No, it doesn’t mean I have to be hungry to be creative, though it proves that necessity is the mother of innovation!