The panelists for the Great Falls Forum about “Public Art in LA: Maine’s Newest Canvas” include, from left, Beckie Conrad, Hugh Lassen and Andy Rosen. Contributed photos

The 2021-22 season of the Great Falls Forum is scheduled to continue Thursday, Jan. 20, with “Public Art in LA: Maine’s Newest Canvas,” a panel discussion featuring Lewiston Auburn Public Art Working Group co-chair Beckie Conrad, sculptor Hugh Lassen, and multimedia artist and sculptor Andy Rosen.

This free, public program will take place from noon to 1 p.m. virtually via Zoom and be streamed to the Lewiston Public Library Facebook page.

According to a news release from the library, public art is not an art form. Its size can be huge or small. It can tower 50 feet high or call attention to the paving beneath one’s feet. Its shape can be abstract or realistic (or both), and it may be cast, carved, built, assembled or painted.

It can be site-specific or stand in contrast to its surroundings. What distinguishes public art is the unique association of how it is made, where it is, and what it means. Public art can express community values, enhance one’s environment, transform a landscape, heighten awareness, or question assumptions. Placed in public sites, this art is there for everyone, a form of collective community expression.

Conrad will provide an update on the next phase of the public art plans for Lewiston and Auburn, as well as lessons learned over the last three years during the implementation of the $75,000 Creative Communities = Economic Development grant awarded by the Maine Arts Commission in 2019.

The panelists will reflect on their experiences being selected to create public art commissions for Lewiston Auburn, and speak about the overall value of public art to develop a sense of community and serve as economic drivers.

The Great Falls Forum speaker series is co-sponsored by Bates College, Lewiston Public Library, and the Sun Journal.

The Zoom link will be posted to the library website and Facebook prior to the event. For more information, contact the library at 207-513-3135 or [email protected].


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