Which is it? Public Art, Environmental art or Street Art
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Which is it? Public Art, Environmental art or Street Art

street art environmental art public art

On my travels I love to take photos of the art that I see displayed on the streets, however I often stumble when being asked to describe what it was I saw, was it street art, environmental art, public art or is there perhaps another more suitable term. In fact all of these terms are used to describe slightly different styles of public "entertainment".

street art

Stockholm, Sweden

Street Art

Street art is a broad term referring to any art developed in a public area, artists try to bring awareness about the environment using the environment itself. Street art generally means art which is not officially condoned or sponsored by large commercial bodies, this way the artists are not restricted and can freely express themselves. The artists doing street art try to incorporate elements of the environment into their art.

Street art includes graffiti, sticker art, posters, papier-mâché, can include street performers, street instillations and street art which has been carried out without permission from the authorities. The artists may choose to make a statement by changing or adding to an existing feature of the street. Street art is not territorial graffiti, vandalism or corporate sponsored art.

Stockholm, Sweden

Environmental Art

Originally used as a term referring to conventional art where the environment is the focus of the painting or where ecology is addressed. Now the term is used to indicate art which uses the environment as it's canvas to reach a larger audience, and a broader audience, not just the people who would ordinarily go to a gallery. However even on this larger canvas the focus of the artist is to bring attention to some aspect of the environment. The artists wish to make a point about the environment or ecology, environmental art includes works focusing on reusable fuels and recycling. Environmental art is like an environmental protest where the artist is the spokes person for the surroundings. The environmental artists often incorporate an element of the environment into their work. The land can become a metaphor for a larger environmental problem.

Site specific art and environmental sculpture are other terms which can also be called environmental art. Environmental sculpture is created using the existing environment and is predominantly large and the public can usually walk in and out or through the work. A site specific art piece is only suitable for the environment it is created for and uses the surroundings.

 street art iceland

Reykjavik, Iceland

Public Art

Perhaps the broadest term inclusive of all the above is "public Art", public art includes any medium of art – visual, material and performance arts. Public art must have been intended, planned and presented in a public domain where the general public has free access to experience the work. Often a community can become involved in public art work, like for example a community center's mural or the decorating of a street by it's residents. The term public art is so broad that it also includes architecture, dance, monuments, graffiti and art work both government and corporally sponsored or independently financed.

 public statues stockholm, sweden

Stockholm, Sweden

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Comments (3)

I think I would term it street art, that way it takes in all genres.

laina mcnamee

Excellent, most informative and graphic too, loved the pics.

Nice article.