Effects of Photography-Based Public Art on the School Environment

I recently published a new article, Effects of Photography-Based Public Art on the School Environment, in Volume 57, Issue 3 of the peer-reviewed journal, Studies in Art Education.

This article analyzes how public art commissions provide opportunities for informal dialogue and alternative forms of inquiry within the secondary school environment in Europe and North America. Through case studies of site-specific works produced between 1995 and 2012, I examine how permanent photography installations question and reinforce educational authority, encourage critical thinking, and raise social consciousness among secondary school students. Techniques used by Susan Bowen, Rita Marhaug, Dennis Adams, and Frank Video include murals, montage, backlit display, and object-integration. The diversity of the works profiled, which alternately invite and avoid student participation, as well as references to local history, demonstrates that no single formula yields works that provoke, encourage, and inspire students. Using different means, these artists reflect the values of their host communities, enabling educational facilities to feel less institutional. Beyond placemaking, school-based public art can incite viewers to question how images are made both within and beyond the art education classroom, strengthening emotional and cultural literacy. In bringing the past alive, public art also breathes new life into the school environment.

Spring Loaded, Public Art Installation at Carroll University

This temporary public sculpture features forms inspired by pavilions built during Waukesha’s Great Springs Era, and asks questions about our current relationships to both water and historic architecture. I created the work following archival research, interviews with local residents, and through collaboration with community members, including local artists and area youth. The sculpture was created from structural lumber and repurposed barnwood and will be on view into the fall semester.

The campus-community collaborative art project was funded by the Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s Mary L. Nohl Fund and I was selected following a competitive international design competition.

An opening reception will be held on Carroll University’s Main Lawn on Friday, June 12 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

“We Can’t Breathe” @ LaGaleru jusqu’au 23 avril 2015

The Installation, “We can’t breathe” is on display at La Galeru and La Galeru des Chemins in Fontenay-sous-Bois, France, through April 23rd. A guided tour of the works will take place on Saturday, March 28th.

« I can’t breathe » (« J’étouffe ») sont les derniers mots d’Eric Garner, noir américain de 43 ans, dont la mort le 17 juillet 2014 a été filmée par un témoin et est passée en boucle à la télévision et internet. Ils sont devenus le cri de ralliement des manifestants contre l’impunité des violences policières lors de nombreuses manifestations pour les droits civiques qui ont eu lieu aux États-Unis et à l’étranger depuis la décision de ne pas inculper le policier blanc impliqué dans sa mort. La respiration est une métaphore puissante pour la vie entière : le poumon est un organe permettant d’échanger des gaz vitaux, l’oxygène, qui est nécessaire au métabolisme de l’organisme, et le dioxyde de carbone, qui doit être évacué. Arrêter la vie c’est arrêter cette capacité d’échanger avec l’environnement autour de nous. Ainsi quand des manifestants crient « we can’t breathe », ils insistent sur l’idée que l’inégalité empêche la société entière de respirer et que c’est à nous de changer la politique dominante qui fait passer la sécurité avant les droits de l’homme.

Le projet de Kasia Ozga s’inspire des œuvres gonflables d’artistes comme Annette Messager, Nils Völker, ou Joseph Morris et des réflexions d’Erwin Wurm sur la nature de l’œuvre d’art et son rapport à la maison. L’artiste se demande qui a le droit à posséder l’art et qui décide qui en a besoin. LaGaleru, en tant que vitrine qui vise à questionner, proposer ou provoquer les passants, les invite aussi à se demander à qui sert cette ancienne échoppe de cordonnier. Mon intervention positionne le bâtiment même comme un corps au milieu de la ville et met en avant le rapport entre ce corps et la vie de l’association.

Merci à Benjamin Lévy et ICI Montreuil pour l’assistance technique.

We Can't Breathe from Kasia Ozga on Vimeo.

ECF Idea Camp

I’m off to Marseille next week for a 3-day EU workshop on public art and public space entitled Idea Camp involving participants from various sectors, from academia to environmental bodies, from human rights, architecture, social & civic activism and city planning right through to the media, arts and culture!

My proposed project, Switch Stance, asks users who belongs in public spaces and who decides how we can use them? Public space is not a constant notion but is constantly reshaped within democratic societies. I aim to use urban skate parks as the backdrop for an interactive artwork that engages multiple actors in dialogues over place-making, on both a local and European level. More soon!

Schloss Trebnitz

I will be in Trebnitzgrund, Germany for two weeks in early August working on a site-specific sculpture during PleinAir 2014 This summer, eight artists from Germany and Poland will make sculptures and exchange ideas on current artistic trends at Schloss Trebnitz. A jury has selected this year’s participants from more than 100 submissions. From August 2nd – 15th, the artists, including Julia Schleicher, Katarzyna Fober, Wojtek Hoef, Marcin Grzeda, Edvardas Racevicius, Sarah Hille Brecht, Kasia Ozga and Joseph Marr, will work on three-dimensional figurative works on the site of the future Gustav Seitz sculpture park.

Artist Talk & Radio Interview

In connection with my show at the Mission Projects, I’ll be appearing on Zbigniew Banas’ Radio show, Program Na Serio, on WPNA 1490 AM at 10 pm on June 6th. I will be interviewed by Grazyna Zajaczkowska to promote my artist talk at 6pm on June 12th!

Join us for an Artist Talk with Kasia Ozga about her solo project in THE SUB-MISSION, Land Grab. An extension of Ozga’s Border|Frontier series, Land Grab addresses borders from a geopolitical, historical, psychological, and carnal perspective. This edition is intended to engage with the Chicago environment, a city that has had a central role in the formation of the artist’s personal identity. The exhibition is ongoing and will remain open through June 14th.

Kasia Ozga was born in Warsaw, Poland. After living in Berlin, Springfield, Glenview, Boston, and Krakow, she now works between Paris and Chicago. Ozga received bachelors’ degrees in Studio Art and International Relations from Tufts University (Medford, MA). She also holds a a BFA in Studio Art from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (SMFA), Boston and an MFA in Sculpture from the Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts (Krakow, Poland). In 2013, she completed her Ph.D. in the Science and Technology of Fine Art from University of Paris 8 (Paris, France).

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