Brooklyn’s Street Museum of Art needn’t bother with collection; the already extant street art, etched into the Brooklyn landscape, does the work itself. Instead, SMoA simply provides a walking guide to the underground urban art movement that covers the borough’s walls. From We Heart:

That’s the idea at the heart of Street Museum of Art (SMoA) – leading art lovers on a walking tour of the city, pointing out artworks that may normally be lost or ignored as people buzz about with their frantic daily lives. Signs have been placed giving information about the work, some telling the viewer where to look for the more discreet pieces. […]

So far, so great, but here’s where the project gets really interactive. SMoA also provides blank labels on their website that fans can print out, fill in and stick up to highlight work that they discover, to share with other users. Interactive, inclusive and with the potential to unearth an absolute treasure trove of obscurely-placed or previously ignored artwork, constantly expanding, and encouraging city inhabitants to look at their environment through fresh eyes, always on the lookout for new work to champion.

Pretty great idea. SMoA is now “showing” its inaugural exhibit, In Plain Sight, with works by C215, Elle, Faile, Gaia, Imminent Disaster, Sweet Toof, and more. Read a bit more about the concept on the SMoA blog.

- Maggie

This year’s Art & Design Issue of Block Club focused on the reuse of old objects and the revitalizing power of art. Artist Patti Harris was quoted, saying, “I feel like this old stuff needs to be brought back, or that it needs to be remembered, or utilized, or shown that it is quite beautiful. Or that you can make it beautiful.”

Indeed, the same notion applies to the power of public art - the reclaiming of the monochrome urban landscape as something more reflective of the vivid undercurrent and heartbeat of city life. 

Here Comes the Neighborhood is a wonderful short-form docuseries that explores the power of public art. This installment focuses on the Wynwood Wall of Miami, following the key players of this outdoor street museum project.

It would be truly amazing to see a similar effort unfold across Buffalo’s urban canvas - lush with fantastic old warehouses and grain elevators. Buffalo News arts writer Colin Dabkowski explored the public art of Buffalo last year, lamenting the government’s slight of the vibrant artistic community that thrives in our city. Perhaps Buffalo, in time, can too see a successful public reclaiming and reuse of its urban landscape - have you checked out Omaha lately?

- Maggie