The Power of Public Art: VoCA Partners with COPA and the Speed Art Museum to Address the Conservation of Public Art

Tony Smith, Gracehoper (1961). Gift of the Humana Foundation in appreciation of Wendell Cherry’s leadership as first Chairman of the Board of the Kentucky Center for the Arts. On loan to the Waterfront development Corporation, Louisville. Photo by: Aura Ulm-Scene World Imaging – Louisville, Kentucky.

It has been a great year for contemporary art conservation and it’s about to get even better. This September, Louisville’s Commission on Public Art (COPA) and the Speed Museum of Art will join forces with VoCA to create the Power of Public Space, a two-day symposium with conservators, artists and the public at large. Free and open to all, the event will focus on the most pertinent issues surrounding art in public spaces, such as the maintenance and conservation of artworks; notions of identity and sense of place through public art acquisitions, and the role cities play in the provision and care of publicly accessible cultural artifacts.

Alongside leading conservation experts from some of the most significant institutions in North America, including our Board member Jay Krueger as well as Committee members Kendra Roth and Richard McCoy, participants also include Kim Spence, Curator of Collection Research and Special Projects at the Speed Art Museum, Marlene Grissom, Director of Special Projects at the Waterfront Development Corporation in Louisville and Joan Pachner, Art Historian and Tony Smith Scholar. The symposium opens on Friday, September 14, 2012, with Stewards of Cultural History: How to Evaluate and Refine Louisville’s Public Art Collection, in which a moderated multi-disciplinary panel will discuss the identity and character of Louisville’s public art collection. On Saturday, September 15, we will host a workshop with the Speed Art Museum called The Importance of the Artist’s Voice, gathering conservators, arts professionals and stewards of public artworks to discuss the care and maintenance of these works with a focus on Tony Smith’s The Gracehoper, sited at Waterfront Park.

It is set to be a fantastic event – we hope to see you there!

For a full program, please visit,

For information from the Speed on the Saturday panel:

Our exceptional partners in this program:



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