The Award (IAPA) was initiated in 2011 by the College of Art and Design, University of Shanghai, in partnership with two international journals devoted to contemporary public art – Public Art magazine (China) and Public Art Review (United States). The research, jury process and award ceremony are now overseen by the Institute for Public Art (IPA) with support from the Public Art Workshop at the College of Art and Design, University of Shanghai.
Directors of IPA:
Lewis BIGGS, independent curator, Chair, IPA (UK);
JIN JiangBo, College of Art and Design, Shanghai University (China);
Jack BECKER, Director of Forecast Arts and Publisher, Public Art Review (USA).
Advisory Board: John McCORMACK (Auckland); Derrick Cherrie (Brisbane); Jay Pather (Cape Town); Katia Canton (Sao Paulo); WANG DaWei (Shanghai)
Associates (former Jurors): Ute Meta Bauer (Singapore); Rhana Devenport (Auckland); Chelsea Haines (New York); Yuko Hasegawa, (Tokyo); Bill Kelley Jr. (Mexico); Pooja Sood (New Delhi); Fulya Erdemci (Istanbul).
The Award acknowledges the highest achievement in public art with a focus on art-led urbanism / place-making / community building / social practice. The Award draws attention to the major contribution made by artists around the world to the quality of life, our shared environments and the importance of developing space to nurture citizenship and public wellbeing.
The Award recognises a specific project (not a person or a practice! A representative of the team responsible for the project is invited to accept the Award for the project on behalf of the team).
In addition to recognising and celebrating quality, a primary goal of the Award is to stimulate debate about the value, articulation and qualities of public spaces among artists and allied professions, and among decision-makers in urban planning and design. A related goal is education, supported by the sharing of information about projects, best practices, and innovative work around the world.
Although there is a single Award, the focus of the process is on creating visibility for a range of projects within each of the seven global regions defined. The jurors select a 'highly commended' project from each region.
The ceremony for the third Award is scheduled for March 2017 in Hong Kong, with plans for ceremonies in Bangalore (2019) and Sao Paulo (2-21).
The first Awardee, Tiuna el Fuerte Cultural Park in Caracas, Venezuela, was announced in the spring of 2013 at a ceremony in Shanghai, China; the second, Talk to Me, New Delhi and other locations in India, was announced in July 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand.
No, it does not. However, the first Award brought international recognition - and work - to members of the team who received it. And it's clear that even to be short-listed by the jurors for the Award draws favourable attention to a practice, and this will in turn lead to future commissions, grants, or career opportunities for members of the short-listed teams. There will be considerable global demand for public art and artists involved with place-making in the next decade, especially in developing regions. The short-listed projects are highlighted on the project website where currently more than 220 case studies are available to view.
- Artworks / projects must have been completed within a seven year period ending 1 January of the year in which the Award research and jury process takes place. For the 2019 Award, for instance, projects should have been completed between 1 January 2011 and 1 January 2018. (They may have been initiated earlier – maybe many years earlier.)
- Artworks / projects may be permanent or temporary. The focus of ‘place-making’ favors projects that have a long-term impact, although of course the judges will seek evidence from the research process concerning the strength / permanency of the project’s impact on the community or the environment.
- Artworks in any location by artists of every nationality are eligible. Ephemeral, audio and cyber projects are eligible provided they fulfil the award criteria.
The Award will recognize a project (not an individual artist, although the contribution of the artist to the work of the project team is clearly fundamental to the concept of the award). The recognition provided by the Award is intended to benefit all the collaborating partners in the project. Criteria for the award include the following:
- Completed within a 7 year period leading to the Award process (see eligibility criteria box).
- Demonstrates excellence in art-led urbanism, place-making, community building, or social practice (concept, narrative, engagement etc).
- Reflects best practices, innovative design, and high-quality execution (technical, material, aesthetic).
- Demonstrates highly positive impact, potentially long-term, on the area in which it’s sited.
IPA seeks nominations for the Award from its network of independent unpaid experts, as well as accepting nominations from artists, arts administrators, arts organizations, and the general public, provided the nominations adequately describe the project nominated.
Before research is undertaken, nominations are subject to preliminary screening by the IPA for duplication, non-compliance, and appropriateness.
Paid Researchers are contracted and managed by the IPA (and currently supported by the Public Art Workshop, University of Shanghai) to gather data and write case studies on the nominated projects. This research feeds the Award jury process; it also disseminates information about, and promotes, the projects researched.
Please see, for example, the projects so far commended by the jurors for the 2013 and 2015 Awards. The following projects would also qualify for the jurors’ interest if they had not been ineligible by being completed before January 2008:-
Maya Lin, The Vietnam Veterans Memorial (Washington DC, 1981) http://www.greatbuildings.com/buildings/Vietnam_Veterans_Memorial.html
Lily Yeh, Village of Arts and Humanities (Philadelphia, 1986-2004) http://villagearts.org/about/history
Some artist led parts of Millennium Park, (Chicago, 2004). http://explorechicago.org/city/en/millennium.html
Rick Lowe’s Project Row Houses, Houston (ongoing, established in 1993). http://projectrowhouses.org/about/
Peter Eisenmann and Buro Happold: Holocaust Memorial, Berlin. (2005) http://www.stiftung-denkmal.de/
Plaza de Cisneros, Medellin, by Luis and Juan Pelaez (2005). http://architecturerevived.blogspot.com/2011/04/la-plaza-de-cisneros-medellincolombia. html
IPA forms a Jury of seven experts to contribute their cultural perspective from the seven geographic regions (see opening paragraph above). The Jury selects a shortlist of around 35 projects from the 120-150 case studies researched.
Nominations are accepted until 31 December of the year before that in which the research and jury process takes place (IE for the 2019 Award, the research takes place during 2018, and nominations close 31 December 2017). Please send the artist, project, year, location, and a link for reference purposes. The more information provided, the more likely it is that a nomination will initiate paid research. It may be possible to research nominations received after this date, or the nominations may be considered for the subsequent Award if they remain eligible by date.
1. PACIFIC: Australasia & Pacific Islands, Indonesia, Philippines, Micronesia, Melanesia, Polynesia
2. EAST ASIA: China, Mongolia, HK, TW, Korea N&S, Japan, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore
3. WEST, CENTRAL, & SOUTH ASIA: 'Beirut to Bangladesh' including the Middle East, Indian subcontinent, Kazakhstan, central Asian republics
4. EURASIA: including Turkey, the Russian Federation
5. AFRICA: the geographic continent.
6. SOUTH & CENRAL AMERICA: including the Caribbean.
7. NORTH AMERICA: USA, Canada