May 15, 2012
Getty Center, Los Angeles

Electroland, Enteractive (2006)
Many cities throughout the United States, as well as worldwide, fund and maintain public art collections, providing their citizens with enhanced public spaces and access to works by established and upcoming artists.

Unlike works housed in controlled museum environments, artworks in public collections, especially those displayed outside, can be exposed to extreme weather conditions—high light levels, ultraviolet radiation, ozone, fluctuations in temperature, and rain, among others—that can cause them to degrade and deteriorate rapidly. These artworks are also vulnerable to acts of vandalism, such as scratching and graffiti, as well as other unintended public contact.

Watch a panel of professionals charged with the care of public art collections discuss issues related to the management and conservation of outdoor artworks, including the physical environment, vandalism, funding, and public awareness.


Susan Gray is currently the senior cultural planner at CRA/LA, the designated local authority and successor to the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles, overseeing major art and cultural revitalization efforts in L.A.'s most challenged regions.

Rachel Rivenc (moderator) is an assistant scientist at the Getty Conservation Institute with the Modern and Contemporary Art Research group, where she studies paints and plastics used in contemporary art.

Friederike Waentig is a professor of conservation at the Cologne Institute of Conservation Sciences (CICS) at the University of Applied Sciences, specializing in the use of synthetic materials in art. Over the past seven years, CICS has been working on the preservation of public art in Cologne, and developing a database to assist with the organization of information on condition, construction, preservation, and maintenance of all works in the city.

Ruri Yampolsky has been the director of the Public Art Program for the Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs for the City of Seattle since 2006. For fifteen years, she was a project manager at the agency, overseeing the integration of art into large-scale capital construction projects.