Association for Public Art presents Open Air
Combining public art with mobile technology, Mexican-Canadian artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer presented the world premiere of Open Air from Sept. 20–Oct. 14, 2012. Commissioned by the Association for Public Art (aPA, formerly Fairmount Park Art Association), Open Air was a spectacular interactive light experience directed by participants’ voices and GPS locations, illuminating the night sky from Philadelphia’s historic Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The project was funded in part by the inaugural round of the Philadelphia Knight Arts Challenge and presented in conjunction with the 2012 Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and the 2012 DesignPhiladelphia Festival.
Canary Promotion led the communications for this high profile project, from messaging and copy writing to a national media relations campaign and comprehensive advertising that included several successful media partnerships. The Open Air media campaign garnered high-impact national pieces, including a widely distributed Associated Press feature that was published in nearly 40 separate outlets, and total market saturation in the Philadelphia region through online, print and broadcast TV and radio coverage in anticipation of and throughout the project’s run.
By the end of the installation, nearly everyone in the city and beyond was familiar with the project, and nearly every area news organization had covered it, often more than once. An estimated 17,000 people visited the Benjamin Franklin Parkway throughout the project, with nearly 63,000 people visiting openairphilly.net from 92 countries around the world, producing close to 6,000 messages in over 20 languages, making Open Air the largest crowd-sourced public art project ever seen in Philadelphia.
The project is archived online at www.openairphilly.net.
The Association for Public Art (aPA), formerly known as Fairmount Park Art Association, commissions, preserves, promotes and interprets public art in Philadelphia. Since its founding in 1872, aPA has worked with artists, communities and civic leaders to make encounters with art a part of everyday life, creating a Museum Without Walls that is free and accessible to residents and visitors. As the nation’s first private nonprofit organization dedicated to integrating public art and urban planning, aPA has an unparalleled and pioneering history, characterized by artistic excellence, creative initiative, collaboration and civic engagement. Working closely with city agencies, aPA remains today a central resource and contributor to Philadelphia’s enduring reputation as an important place to view and experience the evolution of public art.
Through aPA’s free, interactive public programs, website and publications, Philadelphians and visitors are invited to experience civic spaces enlivened by artists and art; to discover the city’s vast collection of public art; and to connect to a shared cultural legacy.
Association for Public Art
(formerly Fairmount Park Art Association)
Megan Wendell, megan [at] canarypromo [dot] com
Carolyn Huckabay, carolyn [at] canarypromo [dot] com