A switchbox exploring the importance of art

Why bother with public art in a city?  I asked the participants of Saturday’s art walk why they think it’s important to have art in a city.  Their answers ranged from the political to the aesthetic, and provide a powerful argument for increasing the amount of art in any city.

We wrote down ideas as we walked and talked, and today I went back to the switchbox that we painted together on Saturday to add their statements to the design.

So why have art?  It’s fun. it shows that someone cares about the city.  It makes people happy.  It makes you stop and think.  It relieves the wear and tear of city life. And as someone who stopped to chat as I painted today shared, it acts as a mirror, allowing us to see ourselves.

He also reflected that revolutions around the world always start with art.

What kind of a revolution an I trying to start with this switchbox?  Perhaps a revolution of public art, through which we commit ourselves to working together to turn our cities from blank and gray into colorful statements of who we are and what we are working toward.

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