Public Art Workshop Tackles Legal Issues

Press Release

Public Art Workshop Tackles Legal Issues

The Fairmount Park Art Association will offer a Public Art Workshop, But Is It Art? controversy and the laws of public art, on Saturday, October 17 from 10:00 AM to 12:30 PM at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, located at Broad and Cherry Streets.  The third in a series of workshops held in conjunction with the New•Land•Marks program, But Is It Art? will address legal issues related to the creation of public art.  The workshop is co-sponsored by the Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.  The Public Art Workshops and New•Land•Marks are made possible through the generous support of the William Penn Foundation.

Because tastes vary and change, people’s response to public art will vary as well.  However, community response can be an important and exciting feature of public art.  While controversy may be an inevitable result of the placement of art in the public environment, we look increasingly to legal remedies to safeguard works of art and artists alike.  The workshop will review the legal issues surrounding the commissioning of public art work: placement, approvals, insurance, agreements, ownership, liability, copyrights.

Keynote speaker Edward Marschner has represented artists and architects as a partner in the New York City law firm Fox Horan & Camerini LLP.  He participated in the National Endowment for the Arts’ Public Art Policy Project which resulted in the publication of the highly regarded Going Public: a field guide to developments in art in public places. Marschner also contributed to the preparation of the New York Bar Association’s Annotated Model Agreement for the Commission of Public Art.

Also speaking will be Art Commission Chair Thora Jacobson and artist Susan Crowder.  Jacobson is also Executive Director of the Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial; the Philadelphia Art Commission is an approval agency that oversees the placement of art in the City’s public spaces.  Crowder is a sculptor and public artist working with the Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts on artists’ liability issues; she presented Legal Liability for Public Art Projects at the 1998 International Sculpture Conference in Chicago.

The workshop is free and open to the public with pre-registration.  Any artist or community representative who submitted a Request-to-Participate to the New•Land•Marks program is particularly welcome to attend.  To pre-register for the Public Art Workshops or to receive additional information about New•Land•Marks, please call Program Coordinators Charles Moleski or Robin Redmond at (215) 546-1087.

In order to plan and create new works of public art, New•Land•Marks combines artists’ creativity, skill, and energy with the experience, knowledge, and commitment of communities.  New•Land•Marks projects will celebrate community identity, commemorate “untold” histories, inspire civic pride, respond to the local environment, and invigorate public spaces.  New•Land•Marks asks all participants, “What do we want to leave for future generations?”

Chartered in 1872, the Fairmount Park Art Association is the nation’s first private non-profit organization integrating public art and urban planning.  The Art Association works to promote the appreciation of public art through advocacy efforts and programs that commission, interpret, and preserve art in Philadelphia.

Charles Moleski and Robin Redmond, Program Coordinators at 215.546.1087