Mapping Arts OC: Expanding Public Art and Spatial Practice in Santa Ana CA

Authors: Jamila Moore Pewu*, California State University - Fullerton, Mariana Bruno, California State University - Fullerton, Carl Privette , California State University - Fullerton
Topics: Cultural Geography, Urban Geography, Qualitative Research
Keywords: Digital Geographies, Digital Humanities, Public Art, Spatial Practice, Santa Ana, Mapping, Art, Murals, Urban
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Mapping Arts OC is an ongoing public digital humanities project that critically engages the public arts landscape in the city of Santa Ana, California. The digitization of Santa Ana’s public art invites new spatial and cultural interpretations into existing conversations and historical narratives regarding gentrification, public art and spatial practice in the city as well the greater Orange County region. This project finds that public art plays a significant role in shaping how urban spaces and places are imagined, negotiated, and contested. As such, it highlights the wide range of community narratives and identities reflected through murals, decorated utility boxes and other public art forms. By examining pubic art from the perspective of location (where it is produced), and artist (who produces it) we can think more critically about the historical and contemporary relationships between place-making, public art and cultural identity. This presentation will highlight three public products created through our historical archival and ethnographic data collection. These include: A free, open-ended digital map that users can engage to learn about local artist and their legacies within Orange County; a companion mobile walking tour featuring twenty murals in Santa Ana’s Downtown region, as well as a K-5 coloring & activity book that translates the project’s key humanities questions to a younger audience. Each of these products were designed to enhance public understanding of marginalized artists in Orange County both past and present; increase public engagement with the spatial humanities; and center first generation college students within the public digital humanities.

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