Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name



Fine Arts

Committee Chair

Begley, John P.


Public art--Kentucky--Louisville; Urban parks--Kentucky--Louisville; Art and state--Kentucky--Louisville


An analysis of contemporary public art in urban parks reveals challenges concerning the conservation of artworks and the stability of public interest. These issues have been relevant throughout history. Historical evidence reveals the transition of public art representing a ruling cultural or governmental power to art that represents visions of the public. Despite this change, the continuation of public interest remains a concern as art becomes neglected and misinterpreted. Efforts to properly educate, provide formal evaluations, and support daily maintenance of the art are a constant concern for arts organizations. After explicating public art in public spaces and art in private gardens, I will explore what constitutes a public in contemporary times, share insight on current critical responses to public art in urban spaces, and provide conclusions that contemporary urban parks are largely based on traditional park and garden designs by analyzing Louisville’s Waterfront Park as a case study.