An Introduction:

Simply, Civic Art is the collective activity of applying human creativity to our built environment.  We do this to construct communities which reflect the unique aspects of the local culture, history, and people.

Civic Art is expressed through various forms, but most notably in the patterns, rhythms, and scales of streets and public spaces as well as the buildings, bridges, public art, signs, graphics, and infrastructure.  Simply, it is what physically creates a “place”.  This is accomplished through the work of professionals – including architects, landscape architects, urban planners, engineers, artists, graphic designers, tradespeople, craftspeople, etc. – as well as the endless commitment of civic leaders and private citizens to demonstrate their community pride through the quality of the physical environment.

The Project:

Civic Arts Project is an attempt to showcase creative works in cities throughout the world.  By seeing works in cities large and small in the same format and on the same plane, it may be possible to get an understanding of similarities between expressions of ‘place’ as well as the subtle and/or substantial differences that define one place as uniquely different from another.

The Database:

Each entry into the database is geographically referenced and includes high-quality photography, a summary of basic information, a brief description of the work, and a bit of context if you visit the work.

We are interested in your feedback about each entry!  Please feel free to comment on each post.

The Map:

This is perhaps the best way to quickly see the great variations of culture and place in one intuitive and visually dynamic system.  We’re working on building this even further with new content in the future.

The Blog:

Sometimes we just want to share a great experience, festival, or unique aspect about a place.  And sometimes we need to talk about the site.

The Shop:

Help support the Project!  In an effort to help fund our investments in time, photography, and site management, we sell prints of our favorite original photography in our Etsy Store.  These are high resolution digital photos we’ve taken on our travels while walking through public spaces of cities.  If you would like to request a specific image, let us know and we can work something out!

The Authors:

Civic Arts Project was created by two urban enthusiasts who simply desire to share their experiences and love of great cities throughout the world.  We’re based in the Great Lakes region of the U.S., so many of the entries are related to the mighty industrial cities and beautiful small towns of this humble but diverse part of the world.  These places gained much of their great wealth in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries through the industrial revolution because of their tremendous natural resources and access to transportation as well as the business savvy and hard work of their people.  Now they are simultaneously maturing, declining, and being reborn.  It is a dynamic region with a future based on embracing the industrial legacy, honoring the incredible productivity and creativity of previous generations, and working toward a bright future based on ideas new and old.

We are now trying to grow the project through additional contributors who have had different experiences or are based in other geographic regions.  Please contact us if you’re interested or submit a post directly!

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