Reviving Atlantic City with Public Art

Art Scene

Reviving Atlantic City with Public Art

[slider id=’15507′ name=’Reviving Atlantic City with Public Art’]

Anyone who’s familiar with Atlantic City will tell you that it’s rough around the edges.

AC’s troubles are widely known – from struggling casinos to the brunt of Hurricane Sandy. But the reeling getaway town is finding a new identity with public art. $12 million of casino revenue is being poured into a city-improvement campaign led by the Atlantic City Alliance and the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority.

Artlantic, a multi-year series of installations, has transformed vacant lots off the historic Atlantic City Boardwalk into charming works that double as public hangouts. Organized by curator Lance Fung, the project brings international and local artists together to engage AC’s fun-loving crowd with a playground of public works.

“The city’s vacant lots presented an ideal opportunity,” Fung told ARTnews.

Artlantic debuted last November with Etude Atlantis, “an elaborate, illusionistic space in which bold linear stripes converge into a spiral pattern,” and Wonder, “two grass mounds interwoven into a giant earthwork” of featured installations, such as Robert Barry’s text pieces.

“With each project, new and exciting opportunities arise,” Fung says. “Local artists and groups, business leaders, government officials, the school system, and the trade unions have all done their part to make this project succeed. I imagine that they, too, see the need to transform empty lots into beautiful, living public spaces though art and architecture.”

Artlantic has been named one of the 50 best public art projects of the year by Americans for the Arts, and Fung says he plans for more next year.

“The money is slated for public art,” he told ARTnews, “but rather than creating an art exhibition, we’re creating much needed public space that is esthetic.”

There’s a lot to love about Atlantic City – world-class entertainment and shopping, towering resorts, miles of sandy beaches, a big-time nightlife scene, and now an artistic identity.