Contributors to the survey and interviews
Kaisa Adair, Taina Erävaara, Miklós Erhardt, Györgyi Falvai, Brian Hand, Kirke Kangro, Riina Kotilainen, Madis Luik, Eero Merimaa, Philip Napier, Susana Nevado Carbajo, Mark O’Kelly, Taavi Talve, Otto-Ville Väätäinen
The PARTGO project was created with the cooperation of four European higher education institutes in the arts. The consortium is headed by TUAS (Turku, Finland), its members are EKA (Tallinn, Estonia), NCAD (Dublin, Ireland) and MOME (Budapest, Hungary).
As previously written in our project proposal PARTGO project objectives are:
- Increasing the knowledge on and skills for public art among the project partnership and art education institutions around Europe, especially in public engagement and public relations.
- Developing new study modules and integrating public art into the curricula of the participating HEIs.
The partner institutions themselves have different traditions in this field. For the sake of both research and development, it was important to create a common concept of public art. The research also aimed to clarify this common concept. Fortunately, the participating artists and university professors represent experiences from different fields (painting, sculpture, media art, photography, art history, psychology, sociology, pedagogy), so the starting concept itself contained many aspects from both empirical and theoretical perspectives.
The definition of the common concept involved a multi-round, collaborative process, and it took a long time for a common denominator to be established. Therefore, this work also marked the beginning of the development tasks, as the common concept became the starting point for the development of the pilot courses, the planning of which was carried out in parallel with the conduct of the research.
The final goal with the research was to find a place in the curriculum of art higher education for the possibility of development in accordance with the concept of contemporary public art. We first assessed how this is currently present in European higher education institutions in the arts. We tried to achieve the widest possible involvement in the research through the existing networking systems of our universities and through the personal professional contacts of artist colleagues. This first round of investigation was carried out using questionnaire research, which served to create the big picture. The purpose of this was mainly to establish the training levels (BA, MA), forms, educational goals, content, educational methodology and public art focused training that is present in the institutions according to our concept. Based on the quantitative research, we expected to find institutions with best practices and artist educators, with whom we conducted interviews in the second phase of the research, in order to gain a deeper insight into the working practices through qualitative investigation.
We sent the questionnaire to more than 180 addresses, contacting the recipients several times, resulting in 35 completed questionnaires. Although public art is a typical form of contemporary art, we assumed, based on the number of responses, that the topic of public art is indeed not present in higher education in the arts in a self-evident way, as we had already guessed when writing the application. A significant portion of the recipients did not identify themselves as public art instructors and did not know to whom they could forward the questionnaire.
On the other hand, the majority of the respondents (27 people) completely agreed with the concept of public art defined by the PARTGO team (27 people rated their agreement at 5, 4 people at 4, and 5 people at 3 on a scale of five). Therefore, there is a good chance that their answers will relate to the jointly shared content and concept.