MuncieArts to Present “Making Public Art Work,” a Two-Day Professional Practice Seminar for Artists — Muncie Journal
By Erin Williams, Executive Director, Muncie Arts and Culture Council—
MUNCIE, IN—This month, MuncieArts (munciearts.org) will present a special two-day Professional Practice Seminar for artists who wish to extend their creative practice to work in public art. “Making Public Art Work” will be held August 13 and 14 at the Minnetrista Museum and Gardens, with a virtual talk by Kristen Giannantonio of Monument Lab (Philadelphia) on Friday August 12 at 6 p.m.
“Making Public Art Work” is presented in conjunction with the Community Foundation of Randolph County, the Indiana Arts Commission, and the Indiana Small Business Development Center as part of the Next Steps Business Education Series. For the series, each Indiana region will offer its own free training session with a different theme or focus determined by the region. MuncieArts was invited to host the Region 5 Seminar earlier this summer.
MuncieArts decided to focus on the professional practice of public art because “it’s a huge field where artists can build a successful business, but it can also be very daunting to get started,” said Erin Williams, director executive of MuncieArts. “How do you go from painting on canvas in your studio to painting a mural on a building? What skills and tools are important for this type of work? What are the best practices ? How do you translate the skills you already have into the skills you need? These are all questions we hear often. We want to help demystify the process so local and regional artists can feel equipped to apply for public art opportunities.
The seminar will include two full days of lectures, workshops and discussions led by local and national experts working in the field. The event will take place in person at the Minnetrista Museum and Gardens in Muncie, with virtual lectures available live on the MuncieArts Facebook page. Participation is free but registration is compulsory and the number of places is limited. Participants can register and learn more at muncieart.org/workit. Recordings of the seminar content will be available virtually this fall on the MuncieArts website.
“We were excited to have the opportunity to provide more professional training options for artists,” Williams said. “It is essential that Delaware County artists can engage with successful curators, arts administrators and other entrepreneurs as part of their professional development.”
Throughout the two-day seminar, attendees will listen to lectures and engage in discussions on a variety of topics that are central to the process of producing art for the public. These topics include best practices for working with neighborhoods and communities; discussions of the process of conserving, making, and installing public art by for-profit, non-profit, and municipal administrators, and lectures by professional artists who have had successful careers in public art in a variety of media and contexts.
Participants will also learn important business skills that will help them make the leap to public projects, such as the research and application process for public art calls; navigate contracts, payments and budgets, and understand the legal implications of creating public works of art.
“We want to provide a comprehensive and thoughtful experience that will benefit any artist who attends the seminar, even if they already have an art practice or are just starting out,” Williams said. “There are many paid public art opportunities and we want to see artists from Muncie and Indiana succeed professionally doing what they love.”
You can learn more about “Making Public Art Work” and register for the seminar at munciearts.org/workit. In-person registration closes Thursday, August 11 or when capacity is reached. For more information on the Next Steps Business Training Series, see the Indiana Arts Commission website at www.in.gov/arts/programs-and-services/training/next-steps -training/.