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Can the Public be Trusted to Choose Public Art? The Art Fund's Big Art Debate at the RSA
LONDON.- From figures on a beach to a giant white horse, there's been an explosion of public art commissioning in the UK over the last decade, not witnessed since the Victorian era. But the art for our public spaces is chosen by 'experts' and committees. The public rarely has a say in what goes where.

So should the public choose public art? What would happen if they did? And can we even afford public art in a recession?

These are some of the questions that will be explored at The Art Fund's debate at the RSA which coincides with a four-part Channel 4 series Big Art starting on Sunday 10 May at 7pm. The programme follows the successes and setbacks experienced by seven communities across the UK who were given the opportunity to commission public art themselves in a Channel 4 initiative called the Big Art Project.

The Big Art Project is an ambitious public art initiative from Channel 4, supported by Arts Council England, the national development agency for the arts, and independent charity The Art Fund.

Questions from the audience will be taken and a vote will take place at the end of the debate.

Panellists are:
Jonathan Jones, art critic for The Guardian
Munira Mirza, Cultural Adviser to the Mayor of London
Grayson Perry, Turner Prize-winning artist
Andrew Shoben, greyworld.

Wednesday 20 May
7.15pm - drinks
8.05pm - debate begins
RSA, 8 John Adam Street, London, WC2N 6EZ






Last Week News

April 20, 2009

Experts Say Picasso Could Have Been Inspired by Mozarabic Bible for his Guernica Figures

Laurent Van der Stockt's Our Fellow Man on View at Maison Européenne de la Photographie

artnet Launches Abstract Paintings Sale Featuring Works by Renowned New York School Artists

Black Box: Guido van der Werve on View at the Hirshhorn Museum

Kevin Salatino Named Director of Bowdoin College Museum of Art

Picasso Portraits and Rare Works by Ernst, Giacometti, and Jawlensky Highlight Christie's Sale

"Spctclr vws", a Contemporary Show Featuring Artists will Open at One Brooklyn Bridge Park

Travel to the West - 70 Years of Turkish Painting at the Sakip Sabanci Museum in Turkey

Rare Pennsylvania WPA Posters from Collector Laurence Miller on View at Michener Art Museum

An Exhibition that Probes the Precarious Balance Between Man and Nature

Rose Issa Projects will Show Works of Art by Provocative Young Creator Al Braithwaite

Queensland Art Gallery Launches its China Project with Three Exhibitions

SFMOMA's Live-art Program Presents Today is not a Dress Rehearsal, by New Humans

President Bill Clinton Keynotes Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center Public Grand Opening

Hammer Museum Presents It Is What It Is: Conversations About Iraq

Jay Cogan Named 16th President of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Modern Mondays at MoMA in May: Péter Forgács, Aernout Mik, and Gulnara Kasmalieva and Murtabek Djumaliev

Contemporary Art Network Announces its Next Event in its Ongoing Lecture Series

Socrates Sculpture Park to Hold its Seventh Annual Kite Making Workshop

April 19, 2009

Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam May Have to Give Up Berckheyde Painting to JPMorgan

Photographs of Jewish Life and Loss in Poland to Open at Detroit Institute of Arts

MoMA Screens the West: Myth, Character, and Reinvention by Andy Warhol

Drawings On Site: Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen on View at the Menil Collection in May

San Francisco will Say Good-bye to Crouching Spider Made by Louise Bourgeois

Dressed to Rule: Imperial Robes of China on View at the National Gallery of Victoria

First U.S. Exhibition in 25 Years of Luis Meléndez's Still Lifes to Premiere at the National Gallery of Art

Brooklyn Museum Announces Response to New Economic Reality

The American Institute of Architects Select 17 Recipients for the 2009 Housing Awards

"Double Exposure: African Americans Before and Behind the Camera" to Open at DePaul University

Sheldon Statewide to Present 'Divine Abstractions' Beginning May 1

Royal Ontario Museum's New Permanent Gallery Vividly Presents the Diversity and Fragility of Life on Earth

2009 Portland Museum of Art Biennial Prize Winners

Columbia Museum of Art's Saturday Family Program Features Sally the Salamander Inspired Art Activities

See, Shop and Savor at the 2009 Bellevue Arts Museum Artsfair

Plains Art Museum Observes International Museum Day

SFMOMA to Present Sensate: Bodies and Design in August

Fiber Arts Create Detailed Works with Traditional Techniques at Crystal Bridges at the Massey

MetLife Foundation Renews Grant to the Museum of Modern Art to Support Expansion of the MoMA Alzheimer's Project

Seeking Wider Audiences, Six Museums Offer Special Benefits in New Fair-Chester Museum Alliance

April 18, 2009

Exhibition of Pioneer Video Artist Nam June Paik Opens at The James Cohan Gallery

Of Rage and Redemption: The Art of Oswaldo Guayasamín Opens

Silences, A statement by Marin Karmitz at Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art

Fine Art, Antiques & Decorations Auction, Saturday May 2, 2009 at Gray's Auctioneers

VMFA Sets May 1, 2010, As Grand Opening For James W. and Frances G. McGlothlin Wing

Plug In - Re-Imagining the Collection - New Episodes at Van Abbemuseum

Art Sway Presents Today Gayle Chong Kwan - Terroir and the Pathetic Fallacy

2nd Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art: Praxis: Art in Times of Uncertainty

Daniel Schwartz - Travelling through the Eye of History

An Approach to the Museu Hawai - Fernando Bryce Opens at Museum Het Domein

Art for Darfur Brings National Tour of Exhibit Darfur to Dallas

The New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) Art Fair Announces Major changes: Moving to Miami Beach

American Folk Art Dealers and Artists To Hold Festival in Napa Valley to Benefit San Francisco Museum

Group Exhibition at the DCCA Focuses on Portrayals of Contemporary American Culture

Museum Adventures in Art continues April 18 & 25

Daiwa Foundation Art Prize 2009 - Introducing British Artists to Japan

Judging Books By Their Cover: A History of Bookbinding at the Bodleian

Stedelijk Goes West: The Cook, the Farmer, His Wife and Their Neighbour

April 17, 2009

Amedeo Modigliani Exhibition Opens Today at The Art and Exhibition Hall in Bonn

The Morgan Library & Museum Exhibits Superb Collection of Recent Acquisitions

The National Gallery of Canada Opens Today Nomads Exhibition

Rediscovered Cuban Masterpiece By Mario Carreno Leads Christie's Latin American Art Sale In May

The Exhibition "Made in Korea" Opens Today in Hanover

Greenville (SC) Museum Receives Major Painting by Andrew Wyeth

Found and Lost Opens at Museum of Contemporary Art Puerto Rico

Agnieszka Kalinowska: Draughty House at Museum Moderner Kunst

SOFA New York Opens Today at The Park Avenue Armory

Christie's Rich Array of Irish and Spoting Art in May 2009

The San Diego Museum of Art Presents 28th Annual Art Alive

Sixth Edition CIGE 2009 In Beijing Energizes the Art World

Off The Wall: Contemporary Installation at Manhattanville College Gallery of Fine Art

Historical Works from the Bass Museum of Art Together with Contemporary Works Form Exhibition

Kind Of, But Not Really: Emily Kozik, Alex Zak and Noelle Sharp

Healing through Art - Local Artists to Show Work at Relay for Life

The Bronx Museum of the Arts Announces Three New International Artists in Residence

The Weekend Australian Art Melbourne: Affordable & Collectable

Light in the Attic: 2009 Senior Thesis Exhibition Opens at the University of Richmond Museums and Artspace Gallery

April 16, 2009

Maison Européenne de la Photographie Celebrates Henri Cartier-Bresson's Centennial

National Portrait Gallery Acquires Newly Discovered Portrait of First Poet Laureate

Oakland Museum of California Reinventing Visitor Experience with Reinstallation of Collections

Sotheby's To Offer Five Important Works by Vilhelm Hammershoi in its Sale of Scandinavian Art in June

Art Gallery of Ontario Appoints Tony Gagliano as New President

Tsarist Treasures to be Sold at Sotheby's Russian Art Sales

IVAM Shows Alberto Corazon Retrospective at the Vietnam Museum of Fine Arts

Dorestad. World City in the Middle Ages on View at the National Museum of Antiquities

Saint Louis Art Museum Responds to Economy with Reductions

Mississippi Museum of Art Presents Eudora Welty in New York, New Exhibition Marks Welty Centennial

Plains Art Museum and Red River Watercolor Society Present 16th Annual National Watermedia Exhibition

Everson Presents Syracuse's Young Artist Project: Sitting Still

New Orleans Museum of Art and THNOC Present Women Artists in Louisiana, 1825-1965: A Place of Their Own

Major Awards in British Columbia Visual Arts Announced

Sir Brian McMaster One of Four New Barbican Board Members

Roxy Paine Creates Monumental Sculpture for 2009 Installation of Metropolitan Museum's Roof Garden

Smithsonian American Art Museum Presents Monumental Installations by Jean Shin

Intern Development Program Advisory Committee Selects Recipients of IDP Firm Award and IDP Outstanding Firm Award

April 15, 2009

Freelon Adjaye Bond/SmithGroup Chosen to Design New Smithsonian Museum

Grosz Heirs File Suit Against MoMA for Artworks Unlawfully Taken During Nazi Era

First Large-scale Showing of Futurism in Britain in Thirty Years at Tate Modern

Monet's Iconic Water Lilies from the Museum of Modern Art Going to Atlanta this Summer

In a Dream: Film Tells the Story of Philadelphia Artist Isaiah Zagar

Peabody Museum Announces Masked Festivals of Canton Bo, Southwest Ivory Coast

Everson to Welcome Frank Warren's Postsecret Exhibition

Major Work by Contemporary Artist Focuses on Stanford Family

Victoria & Albert Museum Announces Maharaja: The Splendour of India's Royal Courts

35 Works on Video by 22 Artists, All from Latin America to be Shown in Zurich

Colorado River Photographs by Karen Halverson Explored in New Exhibition Space at the Huntington

American Icon Merce Cunningham Celebrates 90th Birthday on April 16

Mississippi Museum of Art Announces New Exhibition

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Maryhill Museum of Art Receives $2 Million Bequest From Mary Hoyt Stevenson

Art and Power in the Central African Savanna at the de Young Museum

Plains Art Museum Assistant Director of Education and Curator of Outreach Receive Professional Development Grants

Frist Center Kicks Off 2009 Fridaysconcert Series on May 29

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Greece holds breath as skeleton found in Alexander the Great-era tomb at Amphipolis

2.- Spain mourns the death of art collector Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart, Duchess of Alba

3.- Meet the ancestors: Exhibition at Bordeaux gallery reveals faces of prehistoric humans

4.- Getty Foundation and partners launch free of charge online art collection catalogues

5.- Historic photos of dead Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara resurface in small Spanish town

6.- Exhibition showcases the first two 'Poesie' created by Titian following their restoration

7.- O'Keeffe painting sells for more than three times the previous world auction record for any female artist

8.- Crystal Bridges announces the departure of museum President Don Bacigalupi

9.- artnet Auctions offers a later example of Yayoi Kusama's important Infinity-Nets series

10.- 'Degenerate art' should go back to museums: German advisor Jutta Limbach

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