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Creative Partnerships

Creative Partnerships

About Creative Partnerships

Extending our core mission of presenting dynamic exhibitions by the world’s most compelling artists and making culture accessible to all, Public Art Fund: Creative Partnerships bring strategic planning, curatorial, and project management expertise to leading cultural institutions, corporations, and civic organizations across the globe. Through these collaborations, Public Art Fund commissions permanent installations and temporary exhibitions in line with the unique vision of our partners and the specific parameters of each site, resulting in new artworks that activate public spaces, create engaged constituencies, and amplify the impact of our partners’ own initiatives through the power of public art.

News

[Announced March 2019] Planet Word, a revolutionary museum dedicated to the power and fun of language and how words shape the human experience, has announced a new commission by contemporary artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer titled Speaking Willow. The interactive sound and light sculpture – commissioned by museum founder, Ann Friedman, in partnership with Public Art Fund – will utilize innovative speaker array technology to create a polyphonic echo of the world’s languages, engaging visitors and welcoming them to the museum at the entrance to the Franklin School building…

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Concept render for Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Speaking Willow, 2019, for Planet Word, Washington D.C. in partnership with Public Art Fund. Courtesy the artist, 2019
Concept render for Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Speaking Willow, 2019, for Planet Word, Washington D.C. in partnership with Public Art Fund. Courtesy the artist, 2019
Speaking Willow, Planet Word, Washington D.C.
To inaugurate the Spring 2020 opening of Planet Word, a new non-profit museum in Washington D.C. dedicated to the art and science of language, Public Art Fund has partnered with philanthropist and Planet Word founder Ann Friedman to commission Speaking Willow, a major, new interactive sound and light sculpture by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer (b. 1967, Mexico City, Mexico; currently lives in Montreal, Canada). Standing as the artist’s first permanent public art commission in the United States, Speaking Willow will take the form of a 20-foot tall weeping willow tree, and will be fabricated in steel and sited at the center of the museum's entrance plaza. Suspended from the tree's branches will be 500 directional speakers, each one dedicated to a unique language and programmed with recordings of speeches, songs, poems and other significant texts curated in a collaboration with the artist and museum. As visitors to Planet Word pass beneath the tree's branches, motion sensors will activate the speakers directly above them, creating an atmospheric, polyphonic cloud of whispered words that conveys the beauty and diversity of 99.99% of the world's spoken languages and highlights the interconnectivity of language.


Planet Word will be housed within the Franklin School, a National Landmark of architectural distinction built in 1869 as one of the first graded, co-educational public schools in the United States. Planet Word and Lozano-Hemmer's work both pay homage to the building's legacy as a place of learning, as well as its history of innovation in the field of communication: it was the site of Alexander Graham Bell’s first wireless transmission of the human voice using a Photophone, a precursor to fiberoptic technology, in 1880.


Public Art Fund: Creative Partnerships was brought on by Planet Word to guide both the curatorial process of the artist selection and to project manage this new commission. Public Art Fund worked closely with Friedman to define the creative and practical parameters for the commission, developed a long list of potential artists, and worked with Friedman and the advisory committee to narrow down the selection. Public Art Fund then worked closely with the short list of artists to develop and present their final proposals to the committee to evaluate. Public Art Fund is proud to have worked with Friedman and the advisory committee on the artist selection for extraordinary new permanent commission, and will be working closely with both Planet Word and Lozano-Hemmer to ensure it is successfully realized.
Franz West, Waiting Room, 2012
Franz West, Waiting Room, 2012
Waiting Room, William H. Bloomberg MDA Jerusalem Station in Israel
Waiting Room (2012), a site-specific sculpture commission by Franz West for the William H. Bloomberg MDA Jerusalem Station in Israel

In 2011 Public Art Fund, in partnership with American Friends of Magen David Adom, commissioned a new monumental work by Franz West (1947 – 2012) for the plaza abutting the William H. Bloomberg MDA Jerusalem Station in Israel. Named in honor of Michael R. Bloomberg’s father and the flagship of Magen David Adom’s nationwide facilities, the station provides emergency medical, disaster, ambulance and blood bank service for the surrounding areas. West’s Waiting Room is made of painted fiberglass and steel, and the twenty-foot high vibrant green and blue sculpture is comprised of eight unique curved shapes, with protruding elements at the base that form a seating area for the public. The work has become a part of the cityscape, growing into a landmark and gathering place, as well as a respite for visitors to the station.
Conrad New York (Formally Embassy Suites Hotel New York City)
In the early 2000’s, Public Art Fund collaborated with Forest City Ratner Companies and Hilton Hotel Corporation on the launch of an esteemed art collection for the Embassy Suites Hotel New York City, which became the Conrad New York in 2012. Located in Battery Park City, Conrad New York distinguishes itself as a destination for visual art taking the cultural richness of New York City, nearby public works, and the interplay between art and architecture as inspiration. Over 2,000 Modern and Contemporary artworks greet the Conrad’s guests in both the hotel’s public spaces and private suites. The permanent collection ranges from site specific commissions, including conceptual artist Sol LeWitt’s monumental thirteen story high wall drawing Loopy Doopy (Blue and Purple) in the atrium, which took more than 3,000 hours to create, and Pat Steir’s expressive wall painting Topsy Turvy created onsite and located outside the Grand Ballroom, to more intimate lithographs found in all 463 suites. The lithograph collection contains work by Mary Heilmann, whose folk-inspired abstractions are seen in rbor, Earth and Air, Africa and The Sound of White Water, and five-prints by Elizabeth Peyton in her distinctive energetic, style, among others.
Andy Goldsworthy, Garden of Stones, 2003 Photo by: Andy Goldsworthy
Garden of Stones, Museum of Jewish Heritage, New York
Andy Goldsworthy’s Garden of Stones (2003), a living memorial created for New York’s Museum of Jewish Heritage.

Andy Goldsworthy’s Garden of Stones was commissioned by Public Art Fund in partnership with the Memorial Garden of The Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust. Garden of Stones, Goldsworthy’s first permanent commission in New York City, consists of a poignant and contemplative garden of trees growing from stone, and is dedicated to the memory of those who perished in the Holocaust and honors those who survived. Planted in 2003 by the artist with Holocaust survivors and their family members, the installation includes eighteen boulders that form a series of narrow pathways within the 4,150 square feet of the Memorial Garden. A single dwarf oak sapling emerges from the top of each boulder, growing within the stone. As each tree matures, they become more integrally apart of their stone – their trunks widening and fusing to their stone bases. Working in close partnership, Public Art Fund and The Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust collaborated on the artist selection process, and the creation and installation of Garden of Stones.

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