Every year in America, millions of dollars are spent on public art projects. St. Petersburg and Pinellas County have more than a hundred works of public art. There are specific procedures and guidelines for artists to be considered for public art projects. The field is complex, and it is difficult to get started in it. Many public artists started as fine craft artists, but also many artists do not understand how to become a public artist. Florida CraftArt is always looking to inform artists on ways that they can gain financial independence from different means of making work, including entering the world of public artmaking.
On Saturday, March 7 from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Florida CraftArt will host a workshop, “Taking the Leap: From Studio Artist to Public Artist” taught by Elayna Toby Singer who is Palm Beach County’s Art in Public Places Administrator. She built the program from the ground up including establishing a two-percent art integration requirement for County capital projects. She curates and oversees art integration into capital projects; transforming plazas, buildings, streetscapes and gardens into “Art Places” for community benefit. She also curates and manages the permanent collection and changing exhibitions at Palm Beach International Airport. Ms. Singer is also a public artist who serves as a board member of the Florida Association of Public Art Professionals, and she is an active leader in Florida’s public art ecosystem that boasts more than 60 public art programs across the state.
This workshop is for artists or anyone interested in knowing more about the process of public art. This workshop is meant to illustrate, from the wisdom of a working public artist, what studio artists need to do to enter this seemingly impossible field. The proposal process, collaborative nature with businesses and organizations, and physical engineering elements to public art are ways that visual artists can gain funding and live as full-time makers.
Ms. Toby Singer will present a diverse range of public art project types and the roles artists play in the creation of public works. She will additionally give an overview of the public art commissioning process, along with tips for how artists can be successful in responding to open calls to artists, concept proposal development, design development, fabrication, installation, and more. Ms. Toby Singer will present strategies to help studio artists prepare their portfolio for “taking the leap” into public art, and she will give individualized sets of steps to each participant on how to move forward following the workshop.