PHILADELPHIA, PA, June 11, 2015 — Today, the Association for Public Art (aPA) was presented with the Public Art Network Award from the Americans for the Arts (AFTA)—the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education in the country—at AFTA’s 2015 Annual Convention in Chicago, during the Public Art and Placemaking Preconference.
Given annually since 2003, the Public Art Network Award honors innovative contributions, exemplary commitment, and leadership in public art. It was given to aPA in conjunction with five other 2015 AFTA Leadership Awards (see below). These awards recognize the achievements of individuals and organizations committed to enriching their communities through the arts.
Also announced at the AFTA Preconference today, Candy Coated’s Magic Carpet was named one of 31 outstanding public art projects created in 2014, through the Public Art Network Year in Review program. Commissioned by the aPA in cooperation with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation and Fairmount Park Conservancy, Magic Carpet was a temporary installation that animated The Oval in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The artwork was chosen from more than 300 submissions from across the United States. The annual Year in Review program commends the most exemplary, innovative, permanent, or temporary public artworks created or debuted in the previous year.
“From its inception, aPA has created opportunities for artists to respond to the issues of their time while redefining public space, encouraging audience engagement and interaction, and setting standards for stewardship that support the tradition and importance of art in the public realm,” said Penny Balkin Bach, aPA Executive Director. “We are thrilled to be receiving the 2015 Public Art Network Award and for Magic Carpet’s inclusion in the Year in Review. This special recognition by AFTA continues to raise the national visibility of our organization and its distinguished 143-year history.”
Founded in 1872, the Association for Public Art (aPA) commissions, preserves, promotes, and interprets public art in Philadelphia. Working with artists, communities, and civic leaders to make the city a free and accessible Museum Without Walls™, the aPA works to strengthen the ecology of the region’s cultural community by contributing to Philadelphia’s preeminent outdoor sculpture collection. Most recently, the organization announced the acquisition of artist Roxy Paine’s Symbiosis (2011) through a generous grant from the Daniel W. Dietrich II Trust, Inc. The sculpture is currently on view on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in downtown Philadelphia.
“Our Leadership Award honorees have distinguished themselves as tremendous leaders and passionate advocates for the arts and arts education,” said Robert L. Lynch, President and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “These leaders have implemented innovative and transformative programs to strengthen the communities they serve, and their unwavering commitment to local, state, and national support for the arts is deserving of this recognition.”
The five other 2015 AFTA Leadership Award recipients are:
- Eric Booth, New York: Arts Education Award
- Lara Davis, Washington: American Express Emerging Leaders Award
- Jeff Hawthorne, Oregon: Michael Newton Award
- Richard E. Huff, Texas: Selina Roberts Ottum Award
- Ann Marie Miller, New Jersey: Alene Valkanas State Arts Advocacy Award
About Magic Carpet
Commissioned by the Association for Public Art, artist Candy Coated (formerly Candy Depew) transformed The Oval in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art into a magical environment of color, pattern, illusion, and movement with Magic Carpet (2014). Her exuberant design included 3-D illusion art, brilliantly colored sandboxes, and her signature decorative motifs rendered in vinyl, among other unique attractions. Magic Carpet was featured from July 16 – August 17, 2014, at The Oval, a partnership of Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and Fairmount Park Conservancy.
About the Association for Public Art
The Association for Public Art (aPA, formerly Fairmount Park Art Association) commissions, preserves, promotes, and interprets public art in Philadelphia. Since its founding in 1872, aPA has worked with artists, communities, and civic leaders to make encounters with art a part of everyday life, creating a Museum Without Walls™ that is free and accessible to residents and visitors. As the nation’s first private nonprofit organization dedicated to integrating public art and urban planning, aPA has an unparalleled and pioneering history, characterized by artistic excellence, creative initiative, collaboration, and civic engagement. Working closely with city agencies, aPA remains today a central resource and contributor to Philadelphia’s enduring reputation as an important place to view and experience the evolution of public art. Through aPA’s free, interactive public programs, website and publications, Philadelphians and visitors are invited to experience civic spaces enlivened by artists and art; to discover the city’s vast collection of public art; and to connect to a shared cultural legacy. For more information visit http://associationforpublicart.org.
About Americans for the Arts
Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education in America. With offices in Washington, D.C. and New York City, it has a record of more than 50 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.