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The Impact of Public Art: Commissioning Sculptures for Community Spaces

Public art has the power to transform ordinary spaces into vibrant cultural hubs, enriching the lives of residents and visitors alike. In recent years, the commissioning of sculptures for community spaces has gained momentum, bringing art out of galleries and into the heart of neighborhoods, parks, and urban landscapes. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the significance of public art sculpture installations and explore the process of commissioning sculptures for community spaces, showcasing examples of successful sculpting projects and their profound contributions to local culture.

A colourful acrylic 3D sculpture in a park.

Process and How to Commission a Sculpture

Commission a sculpture for community spaces involves a collaborative process that engages various stakeholders, including artists, local government officials, community leaders, and residents. The process typically begins with a call for proposals or a selection committee tasked with identifying suitable sculptors and concepts for sculpture that align with the goals, style and character of the community. Once a sculptor is chosen, they work closely to discuss with stakeholders to develop a design that reflects the unique context of the site and resonates with the local community. Throughout every stage of the sculpture creation process, transparency, communication, and community input for sculpture commissions are essential to ensuring that the final form of artwork, statue, stone, or sculpture commission is created authentically represents the spirit and values of the community. Sculptures can be made up of photographs, portrait sculpture, bronze, cast from mould, literally anything that you see at an exhibition. The sculptor and client discuss and chat about various factors such as cost and price

A 3D silver sculpture in a scenic city. An iconic stainless steel sculpture commission by artist Anish Kapoor,

Examples of Successful Projects

  • “Cloud Gate” (The Bean) – Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois: An iconic stainless steel sculpture commission by artist Anish Kapoor, “Cloud Gate,” affectionately known as “The Bean,” has become a beloved symbol of Chicago. Its reflective surface invites visitors to interact with the sculpture and the surrounding skyline, creating memorable experiences and photo opportunities for residents and tourists alike.
  • “Weaver Bird”– Darwen Market Square: A project by Lazerian. Inspired by the animals that nested in the town historically, the art sculpture details the images of a Pelegrine Falcon. With finishing touches to the sculpture as well as the subject and ideas coming from the reality of the town, the client
A large copper bird which is a public art sculpture in the market square in Darwin, Blackburn
A close up of the copper public art sculpture of a falcon in Darwin by Manchester artist Lazerian
Weaver Bird- back view of a copper public art sculpture in Darwin by Manchester artist Lazerian
  • “The Charging Bull” – Wall Street, New York City, New York: Installed without permission by artist Arturo Di Modica in 1989, “The Charging Bull” has since become a symbol of resilience, strength, and the entrepreneurial spirit of New York City through sculpture. Originally intended as a symbol of hope and optimism following the 1987 stock market crash, the sculpture has evolved into a cultural landmark and a source of inspiration for visitors from around the world
  • “The Singing Ringing Tree” – Burnley, Lancashire, United Kingdom: Designed by architects Mike Tonkin and Anna Liu, the commission “The Singing Ringing Tree” is a wind-powered sound sculpture overlooking the town of Burnley. Its unique design consists of pipes that produce melodious sounds as the wind passes through, creating a harmonious blend of sculpture, nature, and technology that resonates with the local community and visitors alike.
Designed by architects Mike Tonkin and Anna Liu, the commission

Contributions to Local Culture

When you commission a sculpture it has created a profound impact on local culture and life, enriching the life of communities by fostering creativity, encouraging dialogue, and promoting a sense of pride and identity. By commissioning sculptures for community spaces, cities and towns create shared gathering places that celebrate diversity, inspire imagination, create, and leave a lasting legacy for future generations to enjoy.

The commissioning aspects of sculptures for community spaces is that sculpture is not merely about decorating public areas or sculpting something fitting a certain mould; it’s about enriching the cultural fabric of society and creating meaningful experiences that bring people together. As cities and towns continue to invest in public art and sculpture, they reinforce their commitment to fostering vibrant, inclusive communities where art thrives and the human spirit flourishes. Through thoughtful planning, collaboration, and creativity, the transformative power of having your own sculpture will continue to shape our cities and inspire generations to come

An example of public art- large scale sculptures similar to an abstract tree with pink glowing lights
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