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Seattle Office of Arts & Culture Public Art Boot Camp – Online!

Group photo of 2020 Public Art Boot Campers wearing face masks in front of a temporary public art project mounted on a chain link fence.

Seattle’s Public Art Boot Camp is an intensive training program that culminates in a commission of a temporary artwork for the City of Seattle.

The “recruits” have been selected through a competitive application process, and starting this November 2020, a series of online workshops will be available to anyone interested in learning more about public art. Featuring staff, artists, and experts in the field, the information shared will highlight the steps needed to successfully navigate through the completion of a public art project.

The workshops will be a WebEx live event and a recording will be made an available on our YouTube Channel.

Session 1 – Developing Public Art Concepts Without Losing Your Own Style and Aesthetic

Collage of the three presenting artists
(l-r) Norie Sato, Sarah Thompson Moore, Melvin Freeman

November 7, 2020, 10 am – Noon
Artists presenting: Norie Sato, Sarah Thompson Moore and Melvin Freeman
Recording of Session 1 below.

Congratulations, you’ve received your first public art commission! You’ve met with the community, conducted research about the site and met with the project team so you know some of the site restrictions. Now, how do you take all that information combine it with your own aesthetic and come through with a strong concept design? Hear from artists in the field how they navigate developing an artwork concept that stays true to their own voice but takes into account many factors.

Session 2 – Planning and Fabrication in Public Art

Denise and Roger pose, arms around each others' backs, in front of a worksite. Peter has a long, gray beard.
(l-r) Denise Bisio, Roger Waterhouse, Peter Reiquam

Saturday, February 20, 2021, 10am – Noon
Artists presenting: Denise Bisio and Roger Waterhouse, Peter Reiquam
Recording of Session 2 below.

From your original artwork concept you’ve gone through a series of reviews and revisions and now have a final design. Now it’s time for the nitty gritty logistics of engineering, construction documents, fabrication, and installation to put together a solid plan (and team) for implementation. Hear from artists and experts in this panel discussion of their experiences, best practices and tips going forward.

Session 3 – Implementation and Long-term Life of Artwork in Public Art

Collage of Horatio Law, Zorn B. Taylor and Tiffany Hedrick
(l-r) Horatio Law, Zorn B. Taylor, Tiffany Hedrick

Saturday, April 17, 2021, 10am – Noon
Artists presenting: Horatio Law, Zorn B. Taylor, Tiffany Hedrick
Recording of Session 3 below.

Hear directly from artists and practitioners in the field about best and worst-case scenarios and share lessons learned. Artwork installation is just the beginning of the lifespan of public art and this session will include important items to consider such as maintenance/conservation, documenting your work through photography, the realities of vandalism and damage to public artwork.

Since 2015, Public Art Boot Camp advances racial equity by centering artists of color and providing them the information and experience, they needed to enter the niche world of public art. To learn more about Public Art Boot Camp, read our white paper here.