Our total spending on all of the arts exceeds the spend for sports.
This is surprising given that sports are so popular and artists are so poorly paid, but sport is an action and art tends to hang around.
Some people refer to architecture as the great art, the backdrop of life, but in most parts of town this would assume that we have fairly drab lives. Others drill down to the very happenings of our being and refer to some daily functions as art.
There are many notions of art from the intensely personal to art which is essentially transformed for general consumption. So is there art that satisfies the many or, is it just ignored by some?
My artist friend Pam tells me that public art is often something you notice and remember so it is used on roads and in hospitals to orient people to where they are. Some of her art installations are created specifically for public places as it reaches people who would never set foot in an Art Gallery and it often carries an environmental message that will hopefully create further conversation.
Public art also celebrates events of history or happening. If it loses its collective value, whether it is liked or disdained, then maybe it recedes from being art to just being an abject material.
Generally an object or action needs meaning to be regarded as art. Without getting too cliched, public art represents and enlivens and is a marker of time and place. It characteristically links us to memories and events.
Public art enriches our local environments and spontaneous community art is a direct expression of community issues or desires. Street art, tagging and murals are a public form of art which have been variously disparaged or encouraged around the world.
The famous (street artist) Banksy is now the most well known artist in Great Britain, even though his personal identity has remained a secret for over three decades.
His works routinely fetch millions of dollars apiece, and ironically his public art is now literally stolen off the street for resale.
Pam Walpole is a multi-award winning and well known Sunshine Coast Artist and sculptor that has participated in many local art installations. Adrian Charles Just is Director of Archicology Architects and Sunshine Coast Regional Chair for the Australian Institute of Architects.