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muraLAB: Art-Making and Public Spaces

A Design Philadelphia event.

Why does public art matter? How does it inspire wonder and create connections in public spaces? Join us to explore why public art matters to new urban parks. Guests Lucas Cowan, Public Art Curator for Boston’s Rose Kennedy Greenway; Miranda Kyle, Chief Curator of Art for the Atlanta BeltLine; and Melissa Kim, board member for Friends of the Rail Park, will hold a lively public discussion on how arts and culture programs are helping to bring these new parks to life and connect with the communities they serve.

Grab a beer at the front bar, and then join us in the back room for conversation and snacks. Afterward, head across the street to Aspect 281 for a special tour of the installation from artists Carolyn Healy & John JH Phillips.

Free registration required >>


Lucas Cowan
Lucas Cowan became the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy’s first Public Art Curator in 2014. Previously, he was the Director for the Maryland State Arts Council Public Art Program, and the Senior Curator of Exhibits for Millennium Park and the Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture. Over the last 17 years, Cowan has curated and managed dozens of public art commissions and exhibitions by artists of national and international caliber in public spaces. He has served on juries and panels across the United States, and consulted on cultural park planning for cities such as San Francisco and Chicago. In 2016, Cowan was elected to the Americans for the Arts Public Art Network Council and previously served on the board of trustees for the International Sculpture Center.

Miranda Kyle
Miranda Kyle is the Chief Curator of Art on the Atlanta BeltLine and Project Manager of Arts and Culture for Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. Since her appointment in 2017, she has restructured ABI’s Public Art Program, managed an NEA Our Town grant to create and implement an Arts and Culture Strategic Implementation Plan for ABI, and overseen the commissioning of hundreds of art activations along the corridor. As Project Manager for Arts and Culture, Kyle manages relationships with outside arts organizations and institutions such as the National Black Arts Festival, the Woodruff Center for the Arts, Southern Fried Queer Pride, and Artlanta Gallery. She ensures the local creative community is integrated into the public art program with activations like Family Paint Day, and the Special Projects platform that asks the communities on the BeltLine to put forth their ideas for exhibitions. She also works with with the Planning and Landscape Architecture Departments to incorporate art into park and trail design, engage developers to consider public art in their construction, and advise on secondary design elements like benches and future transit stops. Kyle holds an MFA in Sculpture from the Savannah College of Art and Design, and an MA in Painting and Drawing from the Edinburgh College of Arts. She has curated exhibitions locally and internationally over the last ten years, ranging in disciplines from performance to public art.

Melissa Kim
Melissa Kim believes that solutions to complex urban challenges are most effective when they are imaginative, pragmatic, action-oriented, reflective—and co-created with communities. At the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, a national community development corporation, she leads the execution of holistic and strategic approaches to advancing equitable development. In prior roles, Kim led community development programs at Asian Arts Initiative, The Village of Arts and Humanities, and the North 5th Street Revitalization Project. She teaches at Temple University and serves on the boards of The Merchants Fund and Friends of the Rail Park.