Last Saturday, "Feel Art Again" featured collaborative art projects from secrets on postcards to traveling sketchbooks. Today, we're focusing on those collaborative art projects that decorate or beautify public areas.
New York City's Urban Forest Project (2006) had 185 designers and artists, as well as 22 mentor/student pairs, create posters employing the idea or form of trees. The resulting posters were displayed throughout Times Square and were recycled into Jack Spade totebags and sold once the display was over. 186 posters are viewable, and downloadable as PDFs, on the project's web site.
Deckchair Dreams is an ongoing project in its third year at London's Royal Parks. This summer, 23 artists and celebrities designed deckchair canvases along the theme "The Rare and Wonderful Things of the Royal Parks." The project aims to brighten the parks while also raising money, through the sale of the deckchairs, for the Royal Parks Foundation. The current canvases can be viewed and purchased on the project's web site.
One of the most common collaborative public art projects entails the decoration of large, sculptured animals that are then placed throughout a city. Baltimore had crabs, Norfolk had mermaids, and CowParade and Buddy Bears were global. The animals are usually only a temporary installation, often followed by an auction to raise money for a charity or organization. In 2006, the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia had "AbZOOlutely," the first time a city has used a whole "zoo" of animals instead of just one or two. Throughout the fall, 50 decorated animals were displayed throughout the area and served as a scavenger-hunt of sorts. AbZOOlutely culminated in an auction. The proceeds from the auction, the accompanying raffle, and sales of AbZOOlutely merchandise—nearly $80,000—benefited the community fund, preservation and beautification, and the Philadelphia Zoo. The project's web site includes photos of the animals, results of the auction, and the map.
Of course, these lists of collaborative art projects have not been exhaustive. So let us know if there's a cool one we missed, or what kind of animals inhabited your town.