This year, 49 projects from across the United States and Canada were selected for the Americans for the Arts Public Art Network Year in Review. Each year, three jurors review hundreds of applications to highlight up to 50 public art projects that represent the most compelling work for the year. As part of that recognition, we invited the artists and commissioning agencies to submit blogs for this salon, telling us about lessons they learned and giving us a peek at what it takes to develop a successful public art project.

This week on ARTSblog, we present you with posts from half a dozen different perspectives, reflecting on anything from the administrative challenges of public art projects, to the artistic thought processes that brought us these amazing works.

As I reviewed each post, what I found was that underneath each story was a lesson to be learned—this included a better understanding of how an artist approaches their work, the impact a public artwork has on a community, and even some a-ha! moments.

We took this opportunity to highlight some of the lessons outlined in each blog post to help us all better understand the energy, thoughts, and learning needed to create impactful works of public art. So, let’s spend this week reflecting on the work taken on by those brave enough to make public art happen in their communities.


Artwork via @jhpublicart on Instagram, drawn in the moment as the 2018 PAN Year in Review honorees were announced at Annual Convention in Denver, CO.