Featured Library: Forecast Public Art

Meet the Forecast Public Art Library

What are some highlights of the library collection?

It’s tough to choose collection highlights, since the field of public art is so diverse, and our collection is so varied. The library provides a truly unique cross-section of the field of public art. Here are a few items I’ve particularly enjoyed: video documentation of a pyrotechnic display on Minneapolis’ Greenway bike corridor; The Urban Cook Book, a catalogue of contemporary guerilla artists alongside their favorite street food recipes; The Artist’s Guide to Public Art; a stellar manual chock-full of practical tips from RFQs to fabrication; and Waiting For Godot In New Orleans, a catalogue of Creative Time’s site-specific performance in post-Katrina New Orleans.

What do most patrons come to see in the library?

Most visitors to the library are artists looking for inspiration. We’ve also had faculty from arts colleges research our materials for their coursework. Many other arts-related events have taken place in our library and drawn upon its materials including a round-table discussion with artist Candy Chang and even a chapter meeting for ARLIS-TC!

The library is unique because…

Our library contains a very unique collective of public art maps and guides you’re not likely to find anywhere else! Whether you’re planning a trip and would like to browse a map of a Albuquerque’s public art collection (for example), or you’re interested in seeing a catalogue of Creative Time’s projects from 1991, you’re not likely to find these items anywhere else.

What is the purpose of the FPA library? Why was it considered a priority to make that kind of resource available to artists and facilitators?

Forecast’s mission of strengthening and advancing the file of public art includes an educational role. As publisher of Public Art Review magazine, we’re at the nexus of contemporary public art dialogue. However, when you ask most folks what they think of as “public art” you’re likely to hear one of the three M’s — murals, monuments, or memorials. We’re dedicated to providing resources that expand the definition of public art, and we do so by providing an array of resources to the general public.

Featured Member: Rosemary Furtak

Meet Rosemary Furtak, former librarian at the Walker Art Center. Rosemary passed away on July 8, 2012. Her good humor, positive attitude, sly wit, and leadership will be missed. Before she died, Rosemary answered some questions about herself and art librarianship. Here are her replies:

What is your current position?

Recently retired after 29 years. Lady of leisure.

What are you reading?

“Double Solitaire: The Surreal Worlds of Kay Sage and Yves Tanguy,“ Katonah Museum of Art, The Mint Museum

What drew you to art librarianship?

Recycled art historian, I notice there were more jobs for art librarians than there were for art historians and I had an internship at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC. This allowed me to call myself as an art librarian.