The Beauty and Benefits of Public Art

Public art is everywhere: From sculpture parks to healing gardens, government buildings, neighborhoods, hospitals, college campuses, streetscapes, airports, train stations, libraries and theatres, public art provides an infinite variety of creative expression in all kinds of materials. Every piece of public art has a different intention – it may be to enhance a space, inspire dialogue, reflect community identity, memorialize lives lost and even support wellness.

Seasons of Life Tree

Holographic “Seasons of Life Tree,” Jennifer Steinkamp

Patients in hospitals have been found to experience less anxiety, lower levels of pain, and faster healing after medical procedures when their hospital surroundings incorporated various forms of art [1]

  1. Public art improves community well-being:

    When communities are involved in creating public art for display, community members feel more connected with a stronger sense of identity and belonging.

  2. Public art supports healing.

    Public art in medical facilities is linked to reduced stress, improved mood and better health.

  3. Euphonia Mural

    “Euphonia” Mural detail, Moore Opera House, University of Houston

    Public art inspires awe:

    The iconic “Euphonia” mural was created by renowned artist, Frank Stella, for the University of Houston’s Moore Opera House. This vibrant, visual and joyful feast is twice the size of the Sistine Chapel frescoes, covering a one-hundred-foot long barrel-vaulted ceiling, a large mezzanine wall, and the bottom of the opera house catwalk. The implementation of Stella’s incredible vision included help from artists and children from the Houston community, who were forever touched and influenced by Stella and the creative experience. You can learn more about the mural here.

  4. Three Legged Buddh

    “Three Legged Buddha,” Zhang Huan, steel and copper, 28’ x 42’ x 23’, Storm King Art Center,

    Public art elevates the spirit:

    Standing near or under this amazing sculpture by Zhang Huan at the Storm King Art Center inspires spiritual connection. In fact, visiting Storm King in general inspires all kinds of connection.

Love and Courage

“Love and Courage,” Bobby Jacobs, fossilized bluestone, 78” x 60” x 48”

“Love and Courage,” was donated by my husband, Bobby Jacobs and I through our non-profit, “The Spread Your Wings Project,” to the Las Vegas Community Healing Garden, in honor of the 58 lives tragically lost in the 10/1/17. At the garden dedication, we were humbled to see survivors with their hands on their lost loved one’s initials, in love and remembrance.

Public art offers individuals and communities the opportunity to engage with art in a way they might never seek to do on their own. It uplifts, engages and inspires, providing a much-needed distraction from all kinds of challenge. It fosters conversation, solidarity and wellness, even in this divided nation. Thousands of years ago, art was the only way we communicated. Perhaps, at times, it is the more effective way.