Making Waves: Public Art in Surprising Places Celebrates Taft Museum
The Taft Museum of Art is giving the Cincinnati area a summer-long scavenger hunt. To celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Taft family gifting their art collection to the city, the museum is taking its art off the walls and into the streets with a new project called Art for All.
Inspired by the Inside/Out project in Detroit, the Taft crew teamed up with the Haile Foundation to make weatherproof, high quality photo reproductions of 80 of its paintings in the collection. 80 framed works are being installed in unusual public places - from dog parks to Creamy Whips, people will find remarkable visual art in places they live, work, and play.
"Maybe you'll see one while you're walking to your office job downtown, then another when you're running errands on the West Side," explains Tricia Suit, Manager of Marketing & Communications at the Taft. "As people in the city are living their lives this summer, they'll be discovering art that's been in our museum all along, in a more accessible way."
The museum team, including Tricia, project assistant Patricia Lee, and assistant curator Tamera Muente, worked together with community art centers all over the region to decide where to install the artwork. The "community curators" helped decide on locations and get the word out to their friends and neighbors about the art in their backyard. "The community art centers were really supportive and helpful in completing this project," says Tricia. "It was great to build on the relationships we already had and work together and share a new experience. There are art pieces in over 60 neighborhoods, 5 counties, and 2 states.
The giant art pieces (some are as big as 6 feet wide!) are created and installed by local companies PLI Printing in Woodlawn and ABC Signs, respectively. Printed on Durabond and weatherproofed with an automotive clear coat, the framed works give us all an opportunity to see art in a new light - literally! "It's amazing what details you can see in bright sunlight," says Tricia.
The Taft Museum of Art is a jewel tucked away in the heart of Downtown. Art For All brings the museum to the people who may have not yet visited the museum. Patricia says, "I think as far as the community - especially with younger people, museums are seen as stuffy and formal. This project takes those barriers down. People get to browse and interpret the art for themselves."
The installations will be completed before the end of May, but the art that is already installed is a huge hit. The pastoral scene of Cattle in the Meadows by Willem Maris hung on the outside wall of the internet cafe in the north end of Findlay Market was the first installation of the project.
"The Market has a lot of art around it- it's a very sensory experience, with food to smell and taste, touch, colors to see, music to hear," says Cheryl Eagleson, Marketing Director for Findlay Market. "The north end of the Market has people out and about, and the work gets a lot of visual attention. People are looking at it, reading the plaque, taking pictures of it and with it. It's good for the Market, and interesting to shoppers."
The Taft Museum will be scheduling Sunday Funday programming with performers, storytellers, and musicians from the area highlighting different areas of the Art for All project. Follow the project on Facebook, or tweet your art sightings to @Taft80 using the #artforall hashtag.