On Friday, September 27, Art&Seek’s State of the Arts presents “Making a Public Spectacle: Fort Worth’s Reenergized Public Art Program,” with a reception to follow. Public art has the power to enliven and elevate civic spaces, provoke conversations, create social experiences that bind communities, drive tourism and spur the economy. The updated Fort Worth Public Art Master Plan (2017) has city and community leadership poised for significant new artistic endeavors. This fall, learn more about proposals for iconic works of public art to be created for signature urban spaces—-the first will be a high-tech video projection mapping piece on the newly restored Will Rogers Pioneer Tower. Experts and program participants will discuss the vision for these compelling installations along with the triumphs and challenges experienced and expected.

Moderator Jerome Weeks, senior arts reporter and producer for Art&Seek, will be joined by Doo Eun Choi, independent curator/invited curator of BIAN 2020 – International Digital Art Biennial, Benito Huerta, artist and professor at the University of Texas at Arlington, Melissa Konur, planning director, Downtown Fort Worth, Inc. and Karen Wiley, president/CEO, Arts Council of Fort Worth.

This one-hour discussion begins at 6 p.m. in the Kimbell Art Museum’s Pavilion Auditorium. Admission is free. No reservations are required. Following the panel, continue the discussion and discovery of Fort Worth public art at a reception presented in collaboration with Fort Worth’s Art Tooth at 7 p.m. Art Tooth is a local, artist-run nonprofit hybrid gallery project that develops innovative partnerships between artists, cultural spaces and local businesses.

State of the Arts Fort Worth, produced by KERA’s Art&Seek in partnership with the Kimbell Art Museum and Texas Christian University College of Fine Arts, identifies important trends and issues affecting North Texas artistic organizations and brings artists, experts and scholars together for thought-provoking discussions.

Doo Eun Choi is a curator based in New York City currently working on Pioneer Tower Iconic Public Art Project in Fort Worth, BIAN 2020, International Digital Art Biennial in Montreal and Quayola: Asymmetric Archaeology in Asia. Choi has curated numerous international media-art exhibitions including Aurora Light-Video-Sound Biennial 2018 in Dallas, Da Vinci Creative Festival 2015/2017in Seoul, Why Future Still Needs Us: AI and Humanity at Art Center Nabi in Seoul/QUT Art Museum in Brisbane, Photographs of Seoul1956-63 at the International Center of Photography at MANA, Mediacity Seoul Biennial 2012 in Seoul and ZERO1 Biennial 2012 in San Jose. As a curator, Choi treats space as a laboratory for experimenting with the types of experience and aesthetics that can emerge from combining and recombining scientific knowledge, artistic practices and historical narratives.

Benito Huerta is an esteemed national artist residing in Arlington, TX who has recently completed Urban Still Life, an installation in Fort Worth’s South Main area. Other completed public projects include Signs of Life recently installed in the courtyard of the College of Business Administration at UTA, SnakePath at the Mexican American Cultural Center in Austin, Wings, a terrazzo floor design in the DFW International Terminal D Skylink and Axis at the Henry Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio. As a professor at the University of Texas at Arlington, Huerta has served as the director/curator of The Gallery at UTA since 1997. Huerta has received several awards, directed art publications and curated exhibitions for museums in Texas and beyond. His work was recently featured in a one-person exhibition, “Under Pressure: A Print Survey 1976-2018,” at Kirk Hopper Fine Art in Dallas. William Campbell Contemporary Art in Fort Worth and Cole Art Center at Stephen F. Austin University have also hosted solo exhibitons for Huerta. Works by the artist are included in several museums and private collections and have been featured in multiple musuem exhibitions.

Melissa Konur is the planning director at Downtown Fort Worth, Inc., where she is responsible for managing and implementing the vision for parks and open space, public art, urban design and transportation projects. She relocated to Fort Worth from New York City, where she was a vice president at the NYC Economic Development Corporation. In her previous position, Konur managed the structuring, negotiation and execution of over 12 million square feet of real estate development for the City of New York. She has a BA from Colby College and an MA in Urban Planning from the New York University Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service. She is a 2018 graduate of the International Downtown Association’s Emerging Leaders Fellowship Program, a 2011 graduate of Leadership Fort Worth and a 2007 graduate of Coro Leadership New York. Konur has served on the City of Fort Worth’s Urban Design Commission and the Building Standards Commission. She currently serves on the boards for Fort Worth Bike Sharing and the Community Design Center Fort Worth and as a commissioner on the City Plan Commission.

Karen Wiley has served as the president of the Arts Council of Fort Worth since 2015. She has expanded the City of Fort Worth’s Public Art program, under the management of the Arts Council, which has grown to include over 100 artworks spread throughout every Fort Worth district. During Wiley’s tenure, the Arts Council also successfully increased public art’s footprint through partnerships with local organizations and expanded art grants programming. Recently, Wiley advocated for national arts funding, resulting in a $3 million increase to the budgets of the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Similarly, her advocacy in Austin this year helped secure over $10 million for the arts in Texas. Prior to arriving in Fort Worth, Wiley had a long and successful history as a project manager for construction and renovation projects, including her service as the executive director for the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts (LHUCA), located in Lubbock. She has also served as executive director of the Western Heritage Museum in Hobbs, New Mexico, general manager for the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza in Dallas and executive director of the Buddy Holly Center in Lubbock.

*Admission to the permanent collection is always free.

Kimbell Art Museum hours: Tuesdays through Thursdays and Saturdays, 10 a.m.– 5 p.m.; Fridays, noon–8 p.m.; Sundays, noon–5 p.m.; closed Mondays. For general information, call 817-332-8451. Website: www.kimbellart.org

More information available at kimbellart.org