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Imagine a city where, through the hand of the artist, ordinary everyday objects are transformed into something extraordinary. Imagine a city bench or a bus stop which is unique and colorful. Manhole covers and treeguards which while functional, are also whimsical works of art. Civic art is a way to enhance our city, strengthen our neighborhoods and provide color and character to our public spaces.

Recent years have seen civic art constantly redefined as artists tackle the challenges afforded by projects in an unprecedented variety of public places. Communities have commissioned artists to create new works in connection with projects as diverse as historic districts, sports facilities, theaters, bus stations and transit systems, power substations, airports, city streets and roadways, as well as public buildings, parks and plazas.

Artists bring a sense of identity to communities. They provide a means of expression, a way to focus and build neighborhood pride. Through a civic art program and the resulting interaction, a community can begin to realize its own creative potential as a means of addressing the issues it confronts.

To assist communities towards this vision CACHH led a two-year development effort by a multi-disciplinary team of professionals and community advisors culminating in the publication of the Houston Framework: a comprehensive approach to civic art and design for the region.


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