Documentation: Public Art School (Now)

Last year, Fiona Hillary and I convened a roundtable discussion, in conjunction with  ACUADS 2015,  the Australian Council of University Art and Design Schools’ annual conference, held in Adelaide (24 September 2015).  We aimed to canvass the question: What’s happening now in higher education institutions to prepare students to work in and with public, community and social contexts?

Four leading educators were invited to respond to this question and reflect on a prepared Discussion Paper, collating examples of contemporary art projects, student activity and curriculum, contributed by art and design educators from around Australia and internationally.

We put out the call for contributions in June and July last year,  resulting in the Public Art School (Now) Discussion Paper (pdf).

Documentation, along with recordings of the Roundtable discussion, with Professor David Cross (Deakin University), Dr Maggie McCormick (RMIT University), Dr Nien Schwarz (Edith Cowan University) and Professor Marie Sierra (UNSW) has now made its way onto the ACUADS 2015 conference proceedings website. (Look for the heading “Roundtables”!)

Or access the recordings directly here:


Public Art School (Now) – Call for Info/Contributions to Discussion Paper

Roundtable convenors: Ruth Fazakerley (University of South Australia) & Fiona Hillary (RMIT University)
ACUADS 2015, 24-25 September 2015, Adelaide
Conference website: 


L Holwood 2013. temporary student installation, Urban Laboratory, Rutledge Lane, Melbourne (Photo: Fiona Hillary)

What’s happening in higher education institutions to prepare art and design students to work in and with public, community and social contexts?

We’d like to get a snapshot of current activity, reflections and insights from art and design educators around Australia (and elsewhere!): including examples of relevant curriculum (programs, courses, units, projects, partnerships) across the diverse realms of public art, art and design in public space, socially engaged practice, art in social context, live art (etc) – as well as reflections on outcomes, successes, challenges and future needs.

We are particularly interested in reflections upon teaching and learning approaches that explore:

  • Creative collaboration across and between disciplines, institutions and frameworks;
  • The contributions of artists and designers to knowledge and society;
  • The future for design thinking and critical practice in the public realm;
  • The role of creative research and scholarship in the public realm.

We invite contributions to the preparation of a  Discussion Paper that will inform discussion at the ACUADS 2015 Roundtable Public Art School (Now). Examples, reflections, questions or comments should be submitted in the form of a Powerpoint document (3 slides max), conforming to the submission Guidelines (pdf). Multiple submissions are welcome.

Contributions will be edited and collated by the Roundtable convenors. The resulting document will be made available to the Roundtable participants and others as a website publication and as a powerpoint presentation at designated venues throughout the conference.

For further information, submission guidelines and an example, please see the Call for Info – Guidelines (pdf) or contact the Roundtable convenors Dr Ruth Fazakerley and/or Fiona Hillary.

Contributions should be accompanied by a signed Contibutor Release form available  here (.docx).

Deadline for submissions: 10 August 2015

We look forward to hearing from you,

Ruth & Fiona

Public Art and Higher Education

While I’ve been neglecting the blog over the last few months, I’ve been dabbling with a a Facebook group for Public Art Research… not sure how the relationship between the two sites will work out, but might allow for a little more dialogue…

and in the meantime, three opportunities concerned with the various relationships of art and public to the institutions of post-secondary education:

Call for Papers: Higher Ed: College Campuses and Public Art

Submissions deadline: 1 September 2016
Guest editor Monika Burczyk is now seeking proposals for essays, artists’ projects, dialogues and all other types of submissions on this subject for a forthcoming issue of the journal Public Art Dialogue.

As more and more colleges and universities feature public art on their campuses and in their pedagogy, it is a good time to address questions of how public art works at these specialized sites–for students, staff, faculty and community members. A Google search of “public art on campus” yields 110,000 results. While the definition of such “public art” ranges from university museums to social practice exchanges to collaborative community/classroom projects, the missions of these institutions often claim that art on campus is foundational to their intellectual culture and central to their educational vision. In this issue, the guest editor seeks to highlight the range of public art presented at colleges and universities, its various uses and effects, and strategies for evaluating such.

(Public Art Dialogue is sponsored by the organisation of the same name, here, and aims to provide platforms for dialogue across the wide range of professions and disciplines that public art encompasses.)

Submissions guidelines and further information here.

Public Art Studio Teaching Symposium

Saturday 4th July 2015
University of Auckland

NICAI called for submissions (now closed) to contribute to a one day symposium in conjunction with IAPA 2015: Cities in a Climate of Change: Public Art, Environmental and Social Ecologies (1-4 July), the second International Award for Public Art conference and exhibition.  IAPA 2015 is co-hosted by National Institute of Creative Arts & Industries (NICAI), University of Auckland, and the Shandong University of Art & Design, China, in association with the Hong Kong based Institute of Public Art (IPA).

IAPA 2015 includes the announcement of the 2nd International Public Art Award, administered by IPA.

The symposium is open to conference participants and others with an interest in the scholarship of studio teaching in the areas of public art and place-making practices.

and last but not least..

Public Art School (Now)

(with a nod to Situations and the Public Art (Now) blog for our adaptation of their title!)

Fiona Hillary (RMIT) and myself (Ruth Fazakerley, University of South Australia) are keen to discover what’s happening (or not happening) now in higher education institutions to prepare students to function as artists in the public realm.

As part of ACUADS 2015, the Australian Council of University Art and Design Schools’ annual conference, to be held in Adelaide (24-25 September 2015), we will shortly be seeking examples from educators of relevant curriculum and projects, reflections, challenges and provocations, to contribute to a roundtable discussion at the conference: How are art schools’ preparing students to work in and with public, community and social contexts? What now constitutes professionally relevant skills and capacities? What are the challenges and opportunities?

We’ll outline submission guidelines soon, but feel free to get in touch before then if you’d like to be involved.