photo of brightly painted pigeons on a ledge downtown setting

This seminar examines how cities undergoing rapid revitalization are using public art—through creative placemaking, civic art, tactical urbanism—to shape urban life. These approaches are tied to ethical frameworks and notions of value that the seminar explores.  

Seminar meetings will discuss the intersections of ethics, public art, and urban design through shared readings, guest speakers, and conversation. We invite you to join us as we host six meetings in Spring and Fall 2017 to discuss the following topics.

What is Public Art?
Histories of Public Art and the Common Good
Patronage, Philanthropy, and Policy in Public Art
Public Art: Theories and Methods
Emergent Best Practices
Futures of Public Art

photo jason kellyJason Kelly; History/Arts & Humanities Institute; School of Liberal Arts; IUPUI;

photo pamela napierPamela Napier; Visual Communication Design Department; Herron School of Art; IUPUI;

photo of fiona mcdonaldEvents Convener: Fiona McDonald; Post Doctorate Researcher; Arts & Humanites Institute; IUPUI;

Seminar Events:


Dr. Modupe Labode

Assistant Professor of History and Museum Studies; School of Liberal Arts; IUPUI

Wednesday April 26th 4:00-6:00pm

IUPUI Arts & Humanities Institute University Library Room 4115P

We invite you to join us for the second meeting of The Ethics, Values, and Practices of Public Art in Urban Contexts Seminar Series. This session's topic will be "Histories of Public Art and the Common Good" and will feature guest discussant, Dr. Modupe Labode.

Register free here.

WHAT IS PUBLIC ART?image of prarie modules urban context

Julia Muney Moore 

Indianapolis Arts Council

Meredith Brickell

DePauw University

Fiona McDonald

Indianapolis Arts & Humanities Institute

Thursday March 9th 4:00-5:30pm

IUPUI campus; University Library 4115P

Cities across the US are grappling with major transformations that expose the many tensions inherent to historical disparities in economics, education, safety, and political access brought on by inequalities based in race and class. Midwest cities have responded to these challenges with a variety of approaches. This seminar series is concerned with addressing one of them: the role of culture in reshaping cities – specifically through public art.

In the discourse and practice of urban design, public art has increasingly been seen as a key tool in redeveloping our cities – from making cities more livable and safe to encouraging economic development and educational achievement. Using art as a tool to address urban design challenges goes by a variety of different names: creative placemaking, civic art, and tactical urbanism, to name a few. These approaches are fundamentally tied to ethical frameworks and notions of value.

Register free here.