Most of the time, when art is visible in a community, it instantly becomes a public art project. It doesn’t matter if the art is murals, paintings, or large art installations; it is still works of art made by artists showing their creative side while completing that artwork. When we refer to public art, we talk about using fiberglass animals or sculptures as a canvas that anyone can paint; it does not have to be an art-oriented person.
There are many different types of art projects that a town or city may choose. They may select something small with one piece, or they may do something with 20 pieces. No matter how big or small the project may be, public art can benefit everyone. Public art projects can help draw in many out-of-town visitors, not only allowing visitors to take in the beautiful sites, but it can also be another great way to help bring in extra funding.
For example, Icon Poly has been working with the city of Stamford, Connecticut, for many years now. The city has made it a yearly tradition to incorporate some form of public art installation. In 2015, packs of fiberglass dinosaurs roamed the sidewalks, streets, parks, and even the town center. Not just one or two, but over 40 fiberglass dinosaurs made their debut at this public art installation. We feel honored and privileged that Stamford Downtown chose Icon Poly to ensure their project was a huge success. You could hear the roars of people who were excited to see something so extraordinary in their community.
The great thing is the fun didn’t stop there! The city has made it a yearly tradition. Each year they have changed up the design of the public art installation sculptures.
In 2017, Stamford was thinking “outside” the box when they decided their next public art installation would include shapes. Over 40 geometric sculptures were transformed into public art sculptures. Local artists painted them. The goal here was to promote the downtown area as a regional tourism destination and enhance the downtown area’s image through a sculpture exhibit.
In 2019, Stamford took its public art installations to another level when signs of aliens started to appear. There was something for everyone to love with over 30 original painted and designed fiberglass UFOs and rocketships. The project consisted of 3 different sculpture designs. These designs were a UFO with a light beam, a crashed UFO, and a rocket ship blasting off. It was fantastic to see all these sculptures come together!
As you can tell, Stamford has come up with new ideas every year. Many different towns and cities either come up with random exciting ideas or come up with ideas that closely relate to their town’s history or heritage.
In Haverhill, Massachusetts, you can find painted fiberglass shoe bench sculptures throughout the downtown area. These shoe benches have a connection with the city of Haverhill. The town and Team Haverhill wanted to find a way to celebrate shoe manufacturing and design’s important role in the city’s history. Not only do these sculptures serve as a reminder, but they also serve as functional art pieces. Embedded in the back of the sculptures is a functional bench. Visitors can sit down on the bench and have their photos taken.
We have gone over two examples of cities that are using public art projects to bring in more tourism and enhance the city’s image and remind its residents of their unique history. Some towns even use public art installations to show off their community mascots.
In Haddam, Connecticut, the legend is that giant fish-like creatures wander about the town. It has been a running story since forever. Adults in the city even remember hearing about the elusive mucket when they were younger. The story of the mucket has evolved over the years, but the one thing that hasn’t changed is the love and following that the mucket holds for Haddam. Legend has it that these fiberglass mucket sculptures will stop at Town Hall, businesses and buildings in downtown Higganum, and two elementary schools. These sculptures will help to bring the elusive mucket to life.
Now that we have gone over three examples of how communities and organizations have utilized their public art installations, we hope we have inspired you to create your own public art project in your community. No matter the idea, big or small, Icon Poly is here to help. We strive to provide excellent resources to organizations and artists, so they can make sure their pieces will provide excitement for years to come.