Sara Diamond and a team of researchers from OCAD University and the University of Toronto have collaborated on a blueprint to make Toronto a world leader in public art projects. Incorporating interviews with artists, real estate developers, architects and other key stakeholders, Redefining Public Art in Toronto examines local and international public art policies. The researchers examined the city’s history of public art projects dating from 1967 to 2015. The report was presented at a launch event on Oct. 23 at OCAD U's Onsite Gallery.
“Toronto is at a threshold as a growing and dynamic city. Public art can and should be front and centre to its inhabitants, its visitors and its identity,” says Diamond, “It’s not just about beautifying a neighbourhood; public art creates community hubs, spurs social engagement and promotes vibrant and inclusive communities.”
The report makes a number of recommendations including updating the public art policy drafted in the 1980s, improving funding mechanisms and opening up the definition of “public art” to include digital and performance art, while integrating public art into all future planning.
"Bringing together researchers across disciplines and universities, our report catalogs Toronto's many achievements in the field of public art, while also identifying how it could more fully realize its great potential,” says Daniel Silver, Associate Professor, Faculty of Sociology, University of Toronto. “We hope to inspire policy-makers, civic leaders, and community members to seize the moment and come together to re-invigorate Toronto's public art policies.”
The report is available for download online.