Lafayette's Art on the Street sculptures to get a techno edge this year
Feb 01, 2013 (Daily Camera - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
The sculptures coming to Lafayette next month for the city's fifth annual Art on the Street program are going high tech in a big way.
Instead of scratching your chin as you try to decipher the meaning of a half moon steel crescent framed by whittled aspen branches, pull out your phone, scan a QR code and get the dope straight from the artist.
The city will be installing 17 new sculptures up and down Public Road starting in March. They will remain in place for one year.
"The technology is to the point now where we can provide people with more immediate access to information about the sculptures," said Susan Booker, cultural resources coordinator for the city.
Specifically, scanning a black and white QR code -- common in newspapers and advertisements -- next to each sculpture with a phone or tablet will take people to Lafayette's website, where videos of interviews with the sculptors, background information on each artwork, artists' statements, and a teacher's curriculum packet will be available. For those with browser-free phones, a quick call to a posted number will allow them to hear a recording about the work.
"It gives us a chance to enrich the viewer's experience," Booker said.
The technological approach to this year's Art on the Street effort was made possible by a $10,000 grant from Colorado Creative Industries, a division of the Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade.
Laura Mays, chair of the Lafayette Public Art Committee, said smart phones with multimedia capabilities have become so ubiquitous that it was an opportunity that the city couldn't pass up. And who knows, she said, the additional information could transform a misunderstood effort into a revered work of art.
"This allows the viewer to connect with what the artist's intentions are," Mays said. "Maybe you hated it before and all of a sudden you understand it."
The 17 sculptures this year exceed last year's count by one and feature mostly local artists, though several entries come from as far away as Florida, Arizona and Iowa.
Aside from the new technological link, Lafayette is expanding the Art on the Street program to involve other artists as well. Poets and visual artists will be invited to participate in a juried art show, called "See and Respond!", in which artists create a piece inspired by one of the sculptures.
The "See and Respond!" art show and "Meet the Artists Reception," featuring the Art on the Street sculptures and the works they inspired, will be held in Old Town Lafayette during the summer. Cash prizes will be awarded in multiple categories and the Jean Mellblom People's Choice Award will go to the winning Art on the Street sculptor.
Contact Camera Staff Writer John Aguilar at 303-473-1389 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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