Creating Identity Through Art Essay

Art Generating Identity Analysis of Civil art 'humanizes' places, expresses identity, lecturer at NDMOA says by Haley (2014).

A key component in persuading individuals to go along a certain path is establishment of a vision. Speeches are viewed as a means to persuade an audience; likewise, images can also be just as convincing as verbal rhetoric. Art plays a rhetorical role, as well, making viewers believe the authenticity of that which is represented. Cultural and social values and famous historical occurrences are reflected often in art works. Seeing art which reflects ideals, values and life experiences may prompt spectators to think through a reality which may otherwise have been neglected by them. This kind of art, at the very least, drives individuals to challenge large societal problems, thereby, increasing the likelihood of reactive action by the community (Howard & Hoffman, 2013).

The nature of public art isn't merely aesthetic; cultural, political, and social issues contextualize publicly-located art forms. For example, public sculpture is imparted by, as well as defines, its spatial position, and is, as such, a component of a societal dynamic wherein the processes by which an individual defines oneself in society aren't limited to forming distinctions between others and oneself, but extends to things and objects, without any lesser significance, and also to the very places and spaces where they are located. (Proshansky, Fabian & Kaminoff, 1983). This applies not just to space in the local environment, but to entirely built identities (like cities and towns) as well. For instance, in a major Northern England city, Leeds, such background variables have facilitated determination of the changing relationship between the city and public art, particularly with sculptures that are publicly positioned (Remesar, 2000; Haley, 2014).

A majority of geographical public art engagements revolve around numerous connected claims pertaining to its place-making capacity, an initial claim being that economic progress of regions, cities, and localities can be facilitated by public art. Art installation in public zones was justified progressively, by the 80s, in relation to its assumed role in urban revitalization. The essential conception was that investors and tourists would be lured in by artworks. Literature on creative cities has, more recently,...


A range of diverse activities taking place in a city's numerous public spaces suggests that it still has a lot to offer, with regards to energy, creativity, spontaneity and liveability. Those who pass through these spaces play dual roles: as contrasted with passively observing others' experiences on TV, film or video, the individual, in a public space is himself present, ordinarily participating, but participating nevertheless (Howard & Hoffman, 2013; Remesar, 2000).
Some cities have a range of quality public places, such as parks, squares, lakes, public gardens and plazas. While some spaces are green and vast, with pathways, lakes, smaller paved spaces for events and exercising, cafes, restaurants, eateries and informal shops, others are merely small spaces (which may be paved or unpaved) where individuals can walk, sit, cycle, skate, watch others or play badminton. Some spaces are overly small and insufficient, except for sitting and relaxing on benches for some minutes before continuing on to one's destination. Others are mostly empty in some part of the day, and may be packed early in the morning and all through the evening, while still others are forever bustling with people, partly because of their easy access and central location (Efroymson, Thanh Ha & Thu Ha, 2009; Schuermans et al., 2012).

Unscripted spaces are appealing and open. They, perhaps, offer a hint of activities one can possibly conduct there, but nothing more. These inspire creativity and enable people to form their environment, instead of having to go by the fixed script of everyday living always: working at the office, shopping at stores, sitting in traffic or moving on streets. The freedom and liberty sought so desperately by people can be found in public spaces; it can seldom be gained elsewhere. Unscripted areas are also useful…

Sources Used in Documents:


Efroymson, D., Thanh Ha, T.K. & Thu Ha, P. (2009). Public Spaces: How They Humanize Cities. HealthBridge - WBB Trust.

Haley, C. (2014, Mar 14). Civil art 'humanizes' places, expresses identity, lecturer at NDMOA says. McClatchy - Tribune Business News. Retrieved from

Howard, A.D., & Hoffman, D.R. (2013). A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words: Building American National Identity Through Art. Perspectives on Political Science, 42(3), 142-151. doi:10.1080/10457097.2013.793517

Proshansky, H.M., Fabian, A.K., and Kaminoff, R. (1983), Place-Identity: Physical World Socialization of the Self, Journal of Environmental Psychology, 3.

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