Aesthetic perspectives on environmental problems: Quantifying the distribution, purpose, and impact of environmental public art across the United States
Nonprofit organizations and governments are increasingly funding and promoting public art because it is assumed to lead to a host of social and environmental benefits. Environmental public art focusing on species, ecosystems, or environmental issues often has more specific goals related to actionable outcomes, such as energy use, water conservation, species conservation, or reducing plastic waste. While the use of public art for promoting conservation behavior is based on established, if often implicit, models of behavior change, there have been no systematic, quantitative evaluations of public art and its realized effects on human behavior or environmental outcomes. To date there has been little effort to synthesize information on 1) the strategies implemented in environmental public art, 2) public arts’ effectiveness for changing behaviors, or 3) how this potential behavior change translates to environmental outcomes. In the proposed workshop, we will address these knowledge gaps by bringing together researchers from diverse fields, members of the art community, and representatives from public art organizations to produce a framework and proof of concept for evaluating the impacts of environmental public art.