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Transforming Cities Through Public Art, With Monica Campana

Transforming Cities Through Public Art, With Monica Campana

Weekly Inspiration: Time

Michelle’s inspiration is an intangible concept that runs all of our lives in very tangible ways: time. The choices we make during our rotation around the sun inform the stories of our lives. And yet, comparing the today’s minute with the minute of 50 years ago brings us to a staggering conclusion. As a society, we have created a culture of technological dependency that is shaping what we do with our seconds. Are these advancements making our lives easier or more complex? Do we now spend most of our time connected or isolated? These questions are orbiting Michelle’s thoughts as she reflects on her own relationship with time.

When a city becomes a living gallery, with Monica Campana

Where others see everyday structures when they look at a city’s walls, Monica Campana see canvases bursting with potential. As the executive director of nonprofit public art org Living Walls, Monica spends much of her time transforming public spaces into intimate displays of community expression. Michelle and Monica explore the history and purpose of street art while digging into the political and emotional roots behind the genre. They dive into the humanizing power of public art and the way it unites communities. Monica also clues us into the details about her new position as curator of THE GALLERY by WISH, which opens in February with a solo exhibition of esteemed street-art photographer Martha Cooper’s iconic works. As a renowned public art leader and curator, Monica invests in projects that inspire conversations and create visibility for artists who bring creativity to the unexpected corners of our cities.

About Monica Campana, public art leader, executive director and curator

Monica Campana, Atlanta, GA - Photo by Brandon BarrPeru native Monica Campana moved to the United States as a child in 1998, but continued to feel like a visitor well into adulthood—that is, until she turned her artistic talents and organizational skills to the task of transforming buildings into canvases for artists, “living walls,” with the power to catalyze conversations, change the way people think about their neighborhoods, and inspire hope.

Campana is an esteemed public arts leader in the U.S. For nearly a decade, Campana has orchestrated public art projects and exhibitions around the world. She most recently curated an exhibition at the Artmossphere Biennale in Moscow, Russia. Campana is focused on providing opportunities to artists of all backgrounds while using art to spur dialogue about critical issues.

Visit Living Walls’ Website

Visit THE GALLERY’s Website

Follow Living Wall on Instagram

Follow THE GALLERY on Instagram

Mentioned in the episode:


Living Walls, The City Speaks

Martha Cooper

OYE Fest

Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority