Art in Public Places

Art Gallery 21 is pleased to serve as the host of an all volunteer committee dedicated to creating community art installations within Wilton Manors. Dubbed the Island City Art Advisory Committee, we kicked off 2018 with three active sub-committees charged with overseeing the installation of public art projects.

  1. The EQUALITY/ INSPIRATION TRAFFIC SIGN PROJECT is installing traffic signs throughout the City. The signs will look like real traffic signs, except each one will have a quote based on an inspirational message, instead of the No Parking, Speed Hump, etc. This sub-committee has branded themselves as Wilton Art and are working to create a separate web page with details about their project.
  2. The ART BRIDGE PROJECT is working with the City, Broward County and the Florida Department of Transportation as well as our neighboring municipalities to bring art to the bridges that connect Wilton Manors to the rest of the world. The goal of this sub-committee is to artfully reinvigorate our urban landscape.
  3. The UTILITY BOX ART PROJECT is working in partnership with the City to transform utility boxes into works of public art along the primary roadways of the City. This public art initiative will enhance the experience of those traveling the corridors of our island city and, perhaps, prevent vandalizing of boxes with posters and graffiti.

Each of these sub-committees have long-term plans that reach as much as three years into the future. We also have other volunteers working to develop other types of art installations, including street painting and carved totems.

Community art can create attachment to one’s community. According to the Knight Foundation’s Soul of the Community initiative, studies have looked at the economic development benefits of art, but only recently has there been wider examination of the effect of art on a community’s sense of place. Their survey of some 43,000 people in 43 cities found that “social offerings, openness and welcome-ness,” and, importantly, the “aesthetics of a place – its art, parks, and green spaces,” ranked higher than education, safety, and the local economy as a “driver of attachment.”

The Island City Art Advisory Committee welcomes those interested in public art and it’s never too late to join in with your ideas and plans for the future. The committee meets on the second Monday of every month at Art Gallery 21, located in the former Woman’s Club of Wilton Manors, at 600 NE 21 Court. Look for the painted doors, the first public art installation in the island city in 2017!

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