The United States has a particularly long election cycle. This year’s presidential election campaigns seem extraordinarily stretched due to the particularly tempestuous political climate. Grueling political rivalries have been part of U.S. politics since the beginning. Historically and in the past decade, public art has played a key role in navigating and conveying politically charged messages. Public art has, in addition, fostered dialogues on key political issues, with Ligorano/Reese’s ice sculpture The American Dream being a prime example. Ligorano/Reese is a collaboration of Nora Ligorano and Marshall Reese, who have been working together since the 1980s. They have generously shared their thoughts on public art’s role in the political sphere.
Visual culture is central to the Black Lives Matter social movement. Autry provides snapshots of three artistic interventions by African-American artists which demonstrate the eruptions of the black image in public art contexts.