Thursday, October 11, 2018


In one of my favorite Phineas and Ferb moments, Mom Lindana walks by one of their unusual creations and says, “I’ll never understand public art.”

Do you understand public art? Is it meant to be “understood”? Do you know that Howard County hosts a County-side display of public art each year?

For public ARTsites in Howard, all the pieces are in place  Katie V, Jones, HoCo Times

There are twelve ARTsites around the county. I wonder if anyone will take it upon themselves to see them all? I’ve already seen the one at Clarksville Commons. It is entitled Cube in Motion by Hanna Jubran. As I left the Maker Faire at Merriweather Park in Symphony Woods I thought I caught sight of another.

I’m a firm believer that the arts enrich our communities. There are probably folks who think they are a complete waste of time. Or perhaps that the arts are fine as long as someone else pays for them. But to me the arts are an expression of the human spirit,  an essential part of who we are.

Although I was raised in a family that made regular trips to art museums, I’ve always been more of a performing arts person. I think that is possibly because visual art is so difficult for me. I am the art class equivalent of the kids who felt they were never any good at singing. It is only through my education and work as an early childhood teacher that I have come to realize that art is for everyone, and that the process of creation is open to all. We are all artists. 

I encourage you to go around town and see all twelve of this year’s sculptures. Look at them in a spirit if creation and play. Or use the engineering part of your brain to consider how they were constructed and/or what you might have done differently. If you like to take photographs, add yourself to the art by creating your own interpretation of the piece through photography. If you lean towards the verbal, write a poem about one. 

Busy? Snap a pic, compose a tweet.

I’ll bet there are more ways to interact with public art that I just haven’t thought of yet. If anyone decides to go on a quest to see all twelve this year, let me know.

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