Public art is everywhere, and this is the season for getting out and viewing it. Which is why I’ve started using some of my posts on Caterpickles to highlight public art projects happening now in various parts of the country. With that, let’s take a quick trip to Alaska.
The Municipality of Anchorage’s 1% for Art Program in Anchorage, Alaska
Artist: Rachelle Dowdy, 2006
Location: Anchorage Museum entrance, off to the right
Photo Source: Chris Arend Photography, via the Anchorage Museum website
Associated Public Art Project:
Rachelle Dowdy’s collection of four concrete animal sculptures was funded through the Municipality of Anchorage’s 1% for Art program. Established in 1978, the 1% for Art program sets aside 1% of the construction budget for public buildings for commissioned works of art.
The program, which is based on a state law passed in 1975, has brought many wonderful pieces of public art to the Anchorage area. Today, there are more than 400 pieces of public art scattered around the city. One of them, “Snow Words” by Cecil Balmond, was named one of 2013’s 50 best public art projects created in the United States.
You can find more public art near Anchorage’s schools, in its parks, and in front of its municipal buildings. The Municipality of Anchorage maintains a Facebook page for its 1% for Art Program to alert the community about free public art tours, new installations, and calls for new art.
Want to see it for yourself?
You can find Rachelle Dowdy’s animal sculptures installed outside The Anchorage Museum at 625 C Street in Anchorage, Alaska 99501. Visitor hours and directions are available on the museum’s website.
Cecil Balmond’s “Snow Words” is installed in the lobby of the Alaska State Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory at 4805 Dr. Martin Luther King Junior Avenue in Anchorage, Alaska 99507.
The next time you’re in Anchorage, take a few minutes and look around. I bet you’ll spot something surprising. When you do, we’d love to hear about it here on Caterpickles or Twitter (@shalahowell).
Happy public art hunting!
- Anchorage Museum
- Alaska art lands on list of top 50 public art projects in US (JuneauEmpire)
- Municipality of Anchorage 1% for Art Facebook page
- What’s That, Mom?: How to use public art to engage your children with the world around them… without being an artist yourself by Shala Howell (Did you know I had a book about public art? It’s full of tips for viewing public art with kids ages 3-10. This link takes you to Amazon, but it’s also available on IndieBound.)
- What’s That, Mom? (The Journal): Field Notes from your Encounters with Public Art out in the Wild by Shala Howell (A customized journal for viewing public art with kids. This link takes you to Amazon, but you can also find it on IndieBound.)