Grand Center Temporary Public Art Guidelines and Project

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Grand Center Temporary Public Art Guidelines and Project

Client: Grand Center, Inc.
Date Completed: 2012
Location: Grand Center, St. Louis, MO

Pictured Above: A Chromatic Confluence by Thoughtbarn, 2012. Photo courtesy of the artist. 


In 2011 and 2012 Via worked with Grand Center, Inc. — a nonprofit organization whose role is to coordinate and oversee the development of the Grand Center arts district in St. Louis — to develop the Grand Center Temporary Public Art Guidelines.


Working closely with Grand Center, Inc. staff and a committee of regional visual arts leaders, Via helped to establish a vision for temporary public art that focuses on bringing visually engaging and artistically innovative public art to the district. The Guidelines, funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, also outline a framework for a regular program of temporary public art initiated by Grand Center, Inc., as well as the role of Grand Center, Inc. when other organizations bring temporary public art to the district.


The development of the Guidelines was also informed through the commissioning of a temporary artwork for Grand Center. Working with Grand Center, Inc. staff and the committee, Via developed the project scope and researched and identified possible artists for the commission. Via then facilitated the artist selection and concept review.


The final project, A Chromatic Confluence by the design collaborative Thoughtbarn, allowed Grand Center and the committee to test out the commissioning process, as well as ideas related to site, scale, interactivity and other goals for artworks. The artwork was installed from May to July 2012 and consisted of a 25′ x 60′ ephemeral maze-like landscape, created from over 25,000 feet of colored macramé cord, located at a site adjacent to Powell Hall.  The artists worked with students from the Grand Center Arts Academy and graduate architecture students from the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University to help build the piece.