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Mayor Greg Fischer Newsroom

Mayor Announces Plans to Create More Public Art

Tuesday September 23, 2008

The art group Creative Time -- which has developed innovative public art in New York City for the last three decades, including the Tribute in Light that shines every Sept. 11 at the World Trade Center site -- has been hired by Louisville Metro Government to develop a plan for creating more public art in the city.

Mayor Jerry Abramson said Creative Time artists and curators will spend the next year studying Louisville’s visual arts history and laying out a strategy for funding and placing more public art in all parts of the city.

“Public art plays a major role in what makes our city unique,” Abramson said. “Public art is also about economic development -- look no further than the wild success of 21C Museum Hotel, with its edgy contemporary art, or the flourishing East Market Arts District and the gallery hops.”

The Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Public Art hired Creative Time this summer. The $50,000 master plan, which will include recommendations for funding public art, is expected to be completed next fall.

Creative Time plans to meet with local artists, gallery owners, art collectors, businesses owners and others in the coming months, said Jesse Levesque, who oversees the Mayor’s public art committee.

Creative Time’s earliest programs invigorated vacant storefronts as well as neglected landmarks like the U.S. Customs House in Lower Manhattan.

After gaining early renown for Art on the Beach (1978 – 1985), which fostered collaborations between visual artists, architects, and performing artists at the Battery Park City Landfill, Creative Time soon spread its programs throughout New York City. Presenting projects on billboards, landmark buildings, buses, deli cups, ATM machines, and the Internet, among numerous other venues, Creative Time broadened the definitions of both art and public space throughout the 1980s and 90s.

Mark Beasley, the curator of Creative Time, is one the speakers at this week’s IdeaFestival in downtown Louisville. Admission to his speech, at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, is $18 and includes lunch. For more information, visit