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International award for Public Art

For the second year a call for suggestions is broadcast globally for the International Award for Public Art. The Institute for Public Art is organizing this international award founded in 2011 by two art reviews Public Art (China) and Public Art Review (USA).


The organizers state that this award was established to increase visibility for public art internationally, fostering knowledge about the field of public art, highlighting best practices and encouraging debate and discussion. With this award, they intend to celebrate the work of artists across continents and pool knowledge from around the world to tell success stories that strengthen and advance the field as a whole.

They are currently seeking your suggestions for public art projects to be considered for the second International Award for Public Art, scheduled for October 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa.

Precise criteria have been set for consideration:

To be considered for the award, and publication, a project must meet the following criteria:

         Completed between January 2007 and December 2012

         Demonstrates excellence in artist-led place-making, community building, or social practice art

         Reflects best practices, innovative design, and high-quality execution

    Demonstrates positive long-term impact or potential impact on the area in which it’s sited.

Suggested projects could be realized anywhere and artists can be of any nationality.

The first international award was granted in April 2013 in Shanghai.

German artist Gregor Shneider chose Bondi Beach Sydney in Australia to create in 2007 his 21 beach cells in a most frequented tourist location. The cells offer a striking contrast with the shining sun, the waves and the sunbathers resting under umbrellas. The artist’s provoking message to the public comes from the psychological implications. This disquieting art work refers directly to the toughness of the Australian government towards refugees and migrants.

James Turrell Skyspace Australie

James Turrell

Among the 139 projects were featured the art works of James Turrell, and James Caires Taylor. Not Vital, the Gdeim Izik collective, Gregor Schneider were among the six finalists with outstanding public art works. Not Vital’s Niger Buildings and Mekafoni house certainly deserves the public’s attention, and so does The Cook, the Farmer, His wife and their Neighbour, which is a striking example of community work. Residents from an Amsterdam Nieuw West district joined forces to set an example of collective achievement.

THe Makarenta Not Vital Niger

THe Makarenta
Not Vital

Artist Not Vital erected in the Nigerian desert a series of sculptural buildings each with a specific function: The house that protects from the sun and lightning, the house from which you can watch the moon, the house from which you can watch the setting sun. The Makaranta which is both a sculpture and functional building, built like a pyramid is an original school where four hundred and fifty school children can attend sitting outdoors on the steps.


Tiuna el fuerte cultural park Caracas Venezuela

Tiuna el fuerte cultural park

The prize was awarded to Alejandro Haiek and Elena Cadalso’s art work Tiuna el Fuerte Cultural Park. This public art work addresses the lack of green spaces in the city of Caracas, Venezuela, and provides the young with offices, school rooms, dining hall, and green spaces where they can be taught Arts and Sciences. This constitutes a fine example of what can be created from vacant spaces in the city.                                                                    


Tiuna el fuerte cultural park Caracas Venezuela

Tiuna el fuerte cultural park

Tiuna el fuerte Cultural Park Caracas, Venezuela

The Aica Southern Caribbean intends to submit and defend an art work for the next edition.

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