What We're Reading: 5/11/22

Pictured: “14 Movements: A Symphony in Color and Words” by lead artist Mat Tomezsko, commissioned by Mural Arts Philadelphia. Photo by Steve Weinik.

New Study Highlights How the Arts Make Streets Safer

Can art improve roadway safety? A report released in March by Sam Schwartz Consulting in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies examined the impact of art in the streetscape by comparing historical crash rates and real-time behavior of motorists and pedestrians at 22 “asphalt art” sites before and after the projects were installed, with illuminating results.

The Asphalt Art Safety Study is the latest addition to Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Asphalt Art Initiative, which began in 2019 with a how-to guide for communities to install artwork in streetscapes, sidewalks, and crosswalks. The safety study aimed to research the safety impact of public art installed in streets. Examples of asphalt art include intersection murals, crosswalk art, painted plazas, and sidewalk extensions.

Via Americans for the Arts


Warhol's Blue Marilyn sells for record-smashing $195m at Christie's auction of Swiss dealers' collection

Powered by an iconic, dazzling and record-breaking Andy Warhol portrait of screen siren Marilyn Monroe, which sold to the US dealer Larry Gagosian for $195m, the collection of the late Swiss art dealing siblings Thomas and Doris Ammann reached $273m ($317.8m with fees) at Christie’s New York on Monday night. Pre-sale expectations ranged from $284m-$420m, indicating in part the tumbling effect of a brutal day on Wall Street and across other financial markets.

Via the Art Newspaper


Wheelchair aerial dance at center of ‘Wired’ at the MCA, a performance that centers disability

Alice Sheppard does not shy away from a challenge. In devising her latest dance, “Wired,” she and her Bay Area disability arts company Kinetic Light had to first write the rule books for wheelchair aerial dance.

Kinetic Light’s mission is to create art that centers disability. Sheppard and the rest of the company are disabled artists who make work for disabled performers. Key to that vision are questions and advocacy around access — who “gets” to dance and who “gets” to watch or experience art? Since the company’s founding in 2016, Sheppard’s work consistently explores the intersections of disability, race and gender. “Wired,” premiering May 5-8 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, is no exception, though it’s the first of Kinetic Light’s growing catalog to incorporate aerial dance.

Via Chicago Tribune


This Documentary Is Going to Change the Way We Look at Art Criticism

After a decade of work, local art critic, journalist, filmmaker and occasional MilMag writer* Mary Louise Schumacher is just months away from completing her documentary exploring the ever-changing world of art criticism. With the interviews and research for the most part done, the finish line is in sight – it’s just final touches and fundraising from here forward. 

Schumacher started her documentary out of a place of concern, because when newsrooms started seriously slashing budgets in the 2000s, art critics were among the first to go. 

Via Milwaukee Magazine