To me, Public Art is first and foremost about the public, the people, and how we absorb the complexities, realities, and possibilities of our lives. Art is about an exchange of ideas through a particular medium. So, in putting those together, public art is about an exchange of ideas about the complexities, realities, and possibilities of our lives.
Thus, if I was in a position to curate a selection of public art installations or experiences, I would think deeply about who is included in the “public” and how we should represent that collection of perspectives. Additionally, I would begin to ask a series of questions: Who are the stakeholders? Who are the artists that can best represent those respective groups of people? What mediums work best to convey those/their ideas?
While far from an exact science, inserting art into the public discourse is a healthy exercise in community building, inclusiveness, and collective imagining of a possible future while respecting the past and present.