The Public Works of Art

Boston College alumni Lydia Panas’s photographic exhibition “Public Works,” is opening on January 20 at Northampton Community College’s Gallery. “Public Works” features photographs of large-scale installations created for display on bus shelters and billboards.

mona_lisa1

Also exhibited is Pana’s Mona Lisa Smiles 2009. This unique work is series of eleven bus shelter panels depicting portrait of women with the famous smile from Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa on their face. The artist’s use of ambiguous, rhetorical questions forces consideration on the involuntary viewer waiting for a bus.

The use of the bus shelters causes us to question the way in which we view art and how art is sponsored. Like most “public works,” the art can be enjoyed free of direct charge.

Through unique contextual display Panas’s “Public Works” reminds the viewer of the perennial question: What happens when no one wants to financially support art but all benefits from its existence?
The exhibition will run through February 25.

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