What is a Public Art Project?

What is a Public Art Project?

A lot of art can be labeled as public art projects. In fact, any artwork which is created and displayed for the public to enjoy is a public art project. At Icon Poly, when we refer to public art projects, we are referring to public art projects where paintable fiberglass animals and sculptures are used as 3D canvases for local artists to design and embellish, which are put on display for the local community to enjoy.

These types of community art projects are often born out of need. A need to raise money, a need to revitalize certain areas, a need to bring attention to a cause, a need to inject art into a community, a need to bring attention to local artists, a need to create tourism, or a need to bring the community together. Whatever the reason is to start a public art project, it is sure to accomplish much more than initially planned.

The really cool thing about a public art project using 3D fiberglass sculptures is that it can be tailored to fit the needs and personality of the community. It seems that like snowflakes and original art, no two public art projects are the same.

Many art projects of this type follow a flow leading up to a final auction event where the artistically embellished sculptures get sold to raise money for a designated use or cause. However, not all projects end like this or even end at all. Some are planned from the beginning to create art to stay on display for an extended period. Some have an undetermined amount of time, so the public can keep reaping the rewards of the project and art of the local community.

In addition to the positive impact these types of public art projects can have on a community, they also benefit the local business communities as well. Most community art projects using fiberglass animals and sculptures rely on local businesses to sponsor them for the duration of the project. The sponsorship amounts vary across the country but are based on the amount of benefit it is believed the business will receive during the period of the project. In most cases, the sponsorship paid by the business will be a tax-deductible outlay. By sponsoring a sculpture, most of the time, the business would have the ability to decide where the statue will be displayed for the duration of the project. Most businesses also get some creative control over the design or the ability to select from several pre-approved designs. Sometimes they are given the option to decide to keep the piece or send it to the auction. In addition to having some control over the sponsored art piece, the business also receives recognition and advertising opportunities throughout the project.

This type of art project is especially beneficial to local artists of all kinds, from painters to sculptors and mosaic artists. Since the fiberglass sculptures are made specifically for this type of project, they are made to accept all forms of artwork, which helps to encourage a wide range of embellishments and designs. These projects are an excellent way for aspiring artists to be able to get their artwork out into the public and possibly get noticed in a way that could help the artists start monetizing their work. There are many cases where previously unknown artists have been able to use their participation in one of these public art projects to help turn their artwork into profitable businesses.

Public art projects using fiberglass sculptures can be responsible for igniting, creating, and enhancing many positive things for the community it is held in and the people and organizations that put it on. One of the very good things that have been growing with these projects is the tourism they have created. Since these types of art projects started in the United States, tourism centered around them has evolved considerably to where there is even a segment of the population who plan their vacations around them. This is a good thing for the communities that host these projects as art fans who come to town to enjoy the art bring with them outside money and resources which get infused into the local economies.

These types of community art projects have been growing in popularity around the United States since they began around 20 years ago. In that time, the system to put on one of these projects has been refined to a simple flow. The flow typically follows these guidelines: A community, group, organization, or government agency identifies a need or cause and decides a public art project using paintable fiberglass sculptures will help solve their need or benefit their cause. Then, they search and find a sculpture manufacturer who can provide the statues for their project. In parallel, local artists get contacted, usually through an art council or artist group, and businesses are approached for sponsorships. Artists then submit designs, and artists are paired with sponsors. The sculpture manufacture delivers the paintable sculptures for the artists to embellish. After the artists get done, the sculptures are put on display for the public to enjoy. After being on display for a period of time, the statues are removed from public display and put up for auction at a final fundraising event.

This is just a short overview of what a public art project using fiberglass sculptures is and how they are put on. You can view a full outline about putting on a public art project.

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