What’s All The Fuss?

What’s all the fuss? Why does art—especially public art—often incite critical backlash? Do we need to defend it? Do we need it at all?

 Having had experience with a variety of public opinions, the Pierro Foundation now expands their own exposure to the question of public art presentations. The goal is to investigate public perceptions, the question of responsibility and ‘ownership’ of public spaces, as well as broaden the understanding of art and public art specifically, to a general audience as well as themselves.

 A trio of events are taking place on the pleasures and controversies of art—and raises hard questions about creativity, ownership, and the place of art in our lives.

 The starting point is a panel discussion of issues and concerns raised by public art and how they can create dialogue and engage communities. With moderator Dan Bischoff, art critic for the Star Ledger, Joseph Jacobs, art historian and curator, Svetlana Mintcheva, censorship expert, and activist/artist, Dread Scott, the issues that occur with the creation and installation of art works and the implications and controversies that often arise, will provide us with a historical background and real context to the topic. (more details)

 Next, the opening reception for What’s All the fuss? an exhibition at the Pierro Gallery, a municipal fine art gallery in South Orange. Here, curators Raleigh Ceasar and Judy Wukitsch examine the works of 24 artists who investigate and interpret the controversial subjects that spark public discussions today. (more details)

 Culminating this exposure to the topic of art and controversy is the reading of 3 One Acts, by professional actors at the South Orange Performing Arts Center. Through a call for proposals, these three selected original plays were commissioned by the Pierro Foundation to provide yet another perspective of the topic. These scenarios by the three playwrights, Eddie Antar, B.V. Marshall, and Mark Loewenstern, investigate the possibilities of art and the individual or public reactions that might—or actually have—occurred. The Producers are Pierro Foundation, Emily Zacharias and Jim Peskin. (more details)

By presenting a broad forum to question the validity of art, public opinion, political positioning, and other concerns confronted, (especially when placing art in a public space,) the Pierro Foundation engages the communities in the discussion of art to stimulate thoughtful dialogue about its impact on the community.

 The Pierro Foundation thanks the various entities supporting all the programming for these three events:

  • New Jersey State Council on the Arts through the Montclair Art Museum and the New Jersey Council on the Humanities partially funding the panel discussion presented by the Foundation.
  • New Jersey State Council on the Arts distributed through the Essex County Department of Cultural Affairs partially funding the 3 One Acts commissions and readings.
  • The Village of South Orange through the Pierro Gallery at the Baird Center
  • The private donations to the Pierro Foundation to assist in the presentations on artistic concerns

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