Public Art: A New Avenue for the Pleasure Principle

On Tuesday, September 26, 2017 at 4:30pm, Marc Pally will present “Public Art: A New Avenue for the Pleasure Principle” at The Wexner Center for the Arts Film/Video Theater. Marc Pally is a consultant on the Art on High public-art planning process on High Street from Poplar to Ninth Avenue. Pally’s talk will focus on his work as a curator and facilitator for both temporary and permanent public-art projects spanning the last twenty years. Among the artists featured in the talk are Jenny Holzer, Tony Tasset, Nam June Paik, Janet Echelman, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer and Jennifer Steinkamp among many others. Pally will argue for public art as a potential convener of diverse publics whose power is embedded in the sharing of space and a common object of observation and potential conversation. He will start the talk with some examples of artist-initiated public-art projects that are an important precedent for the increasing presence of public art in our civic spaces.

Pally calls himself an art worker because it easily covers so many of the roles he has played in the art world including that of being an artist, non-profit organization director, public art administrator, teacher, curator, consultant and advocate. He earned an MFA in post-studio art at the California Institute of the Arts working with mentors Judy Pfaff his first year and Michael Asher his second. The broad swath of artistic ambition and interests represented in these two artists continues to inform his multiple commitments and directions. Pally’s artwork is in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and the San Jose Museum of Art among others. In addition to teaching studio art and art history at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, Pally had several significant art administration positions including director of Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE) and city planner for public art at the Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles. The latter position began Pally’s career in the public art field, which grew to include the development and management of public-art projects in both the public and private sectors throughout the United States. Pally served as the artistic director of Glow, a bi-annual, all-night art event on the beach in Santa Monica, California. His passion and commitment is to engage the vision of artists in the public sphere, thereby helping to create environments in which the unexpected and often the enigmatic reside as key elements in our common spaces.

The discussion is free and open to the public. More information about Art on High can be found at

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