Local Leaders Elected to National Public Art Council
Washington, DC — December 15, 2009 — Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America, announces the election of three members to its Public Art Network (PAN) Council. Renee Piechocki, an artist and public art consultant based in Pittsburgh, PA, and Lajos Héder, an environmental artist and architect from Cambridge, MA, are newly elected members to the PAN Council. Martha Peters from the Arts Council of Fort Worth & Tarrant County, TX, was reelected for a second three-year term.
“Public art is one of the fastest growing arts movements in the country. We are proud to have these leaders as council members as we work to build and strengthen public art programs in communities nationwide,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts.
The Public Art Network Council is an elected advisory body to Americans for the Arts and assists with developing programs and resources to further best practices for the field of public art. More than 350 public art programs currently exist in the United States at the state and local levels. The PAN Council develops policies in support of civic design infrastructure to improve our communities, and promotes the broad spectrum of public art and design. In the coming year, the council will analyze the results of the public art program and artists’ surveys completed in 2009, launch an online image database of public art projects, and complete a Green Paper on public art best practices as part of the 50th anniversary of Americans for the Arts and PAN’s 10th anniversary.
Following is a list of the elected PAN Council members:
Artist/Public Art Consultant
Renee Piechocki is an artist and public art consultant. She is the director of the Office of Public Art, a public-private partnership that provides technical assistance and educational programs in the Pittsburgh region. Previously she was facilitator of the Americans for the Arts Public Art Network, manager for Acconci Studio, and a public art project manager for the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs. Publications include “Beyond the Ribbon Cutting: Education and Programming Strategies for Public Art Projects and Programs” in Public Art By the Book and the guidebook Pittsburgh Art in Public Places: Downtown Walking Tour. Artistically, she has recently collaborated with Tiffany Ludwig as Two Girls Working on Trappings, an interview project that investigates power and identity. The project evolved into a traveling exhibition, the book Trappings: Stories of Women, Power and Clothing, and several public art installations. She received a BA in Studio Art and Honors Program from Hunter College.
Environmental Artist/Architect, Harries/Héder
Lajos Héder is an environmental artist with a background in architecture and urban design. Throughout his career he has been designing and building public places for inspired community use. He believes that art derives from the specific place where it happens and from common interests in life, death, sunlight, water, sex, food, friendship, stories, etc., not so much from other art. His strengths are the understanding of urban scale and activity, visualizing architectural spaces from drawings and meshing artworks into the process of design and construction. He partners with Mags Harries on public art projects for the last 18 years. Heder’s education includes a BA from Harvard University, Masters in Architecture and a Masters in Architecture in Urban Design Harvard Graduate School of Design, and the Frank Knox Traveling Fellow of Harvard University in Great Britain.
Martha Peters (re-elected)
Vice President, Public Art
Arts Council of Fort Worth & Tarrant County
Fort Worth, TX
Martha Peters has served on the PAN Council since 2006. As Vice President, Public Art with the Arts Council of Fort Worth & Tarrant County, she administers all aspects of Fort Worth Public Art, the City of Fort Worth’s percent for art program. Since its inception in 2002, more than $18 million has been allocated to public art projects. Peters managed the recently completed Avenue of Light (Cliff Garten Studio) and Parking in Color (PhenomenArts, Inc.), both of which have received national acclaim. Under her direction, Fort Worth Public Art has also piloted small scale projects in urban villages, neighborhood parks, as well as Community ID: Public Art in Neighborhoods, a community-nominated projects initiative. Under Peters’ leadership, an interest-bearing Conservation Fund has been established to ensure proper stewardship of the city’s growing public art collection.
Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America. With offices in Washington, DC, and New York City, it has a record of 49 years of service. Americans for the Arts is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. Additional information is available at www.AmericansForTheArts.org.
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