Art on the Outside in West Hollywood

Sep 30, 2009 by Lisa Newton

Art on the Outside” is a program sponsored by the City of West Hollywood’s Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission.

Sun and Moon

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5 Responses to “Art on the Outside in West Hollywood”

  1. D. Travis North says:

    Public art is, in my opinion, one of the best investments any town can make. Yes, it’s expensive – but in the big scheme of things, it’s really not. Look at the possible benefits: Improved aesthetic, increased morale among citizens, community pride, better perception from outsiders. It really does make people care more about their towns and it increases the desire for others to move into the area – thereby increasing tax base.

    A study we did in school in Philadelphia dealt with public art – specifically: Murals. As with any old city, we had a lot of blank walls. At the time (15 years ago), Philadelphia launched a campaign to fund mural painting all over the city. They had design competitions and allowed the residents in each area to judge the entries. That in and of itself was enough to get more community involvement – a sense of community pride, if you will. But then the Murals started going up – many are inspirational, many highlight local heros (basketball stars, local astronauts, historical figures, teachers, etc). The side effects are staggering: Public Works reported that the cost of liter cleanup in areas that had murals decreased – presumably because the local residents were cleaning up the spaces. Property values climbed at a higher rate than other locations in the city. In one North-Philly neighborhood, one benefiting community pooled up money and their own time to help their fellow neighbors fix up their porches, paint/cap the trim on the houses, and once all complete – they held a block party. The same neighborhood took the vacant lot adjacent to the mural and made a deal with the city – they transferred the development rights of the lot and had it declared as a city park. Now they all chip in their own time to maintain the park, and it’s a nice little gem in the community. Now – 12 years later – there is not a single vacant home on the block, and one mother attributes her son’s success in school to the community pride – the park allegedly created interactions between neighbors, and one of the residents was a retired school teacher that tutored several of the children several times a week for free. All because of a simple mural that cost the city next to nothing.

    So if your community has an opportunity to install some of it’s own public art, or to host one of these temporary installations, it’s worth it. Vote in favor – or support it in any way that you can.

    Great topic, Lisa.
    D. Travis North´s last blog ..Shooting in Manual Mode – Easier Than You Think My ComLuv Profile

    [Reply]

    D. Travis North Reply:

    Wow – I got a little long-winded there. Hope you don’t mind.
    D. Travis North´s last blog ..Shooting in Manual Mode – Easier Than You Think My ComLuv Profile

    [Reply]

    LisaNewton Reply:

    @D. Travis North, I had no idea that public art could make such an impression on a neighborhood. Thanks for sharing the Philly story, Travis.

    I love finding public art. It’s often pops up in places you had no idea were there, especially murals.

    I’d like to invite you to do another guest post featuring a few of the Philly murals.

    [Reply]

    D. Travis North Reply:

    @LisaNewton, I would of course be happy to. I don’t know about timing though. I will be in the city next thursday…I’ll see what I can get accomplished. But alas, I think I only have a few hours to myself.
    D. Travis North´s last blog ..Shooting in Manual Mode – Easier Than You Think My ComLuv Profile

    [Reply]

    LisaNewton Reply:

    @D. Travis North, There’s no rush, so please take your time. I’d just love to be able to share your Philly murals with LA. :)

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