Field Guide Journal 1

For Art and Society this term, we are each working on a field guide of an art world/environment. I have chosen to research and report on Public Art in Eugene. You can see my introduction to the field and my proposed project here.

I’m keeping a Diigo list of resources regarding the policy of public art, and public art resources for Oregon, and more specifically, Eugene. This list can be accessed here.

So far, I have chosen to focus mainly on the art collections found at the Hult Center for the Performing Arts, and the Eugene Public Library. These are two of the main sites that the Eugene City website suggests for viewing the city’s public art collection, and they fit nicely within my geographic parameters.

One thing I have been contemplating is whether I want to focus on only commissioned public art. There are more than enough commissioned pieces in my geographic area to write a field guide on those. However, one definition for public art that I have latched on to says that “public art is any work of art or design that is created by an artist specifically to be sited in a public space…Public art can make strangers talk, children ask questions, and calm a hurried life” ( That last part is what I really enjoy about public art: that it is constantly making me pause to contemplate the art, regardless of where I am going. Often, the art that makes me stop in my tracks is not necessarily commissioned work.

I am planning to take a walk this week, and take some pictures of the art I see, and I am hoping that this will help me focus my field guide.


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