UToledo School of Visual and Performing Arts

Public Art Project Involving UT Artists–“You Are Here Toledo” Placemaking Project–to be Recognized Internationally in March

The University of Toledo arts community was among the participants in the internationally recognized “You Are Here Toledo” placemaking project. In spring of 2012, one hundred dots were placed around Toledo in locations of historical significance. The design of each dot was created as a celebration of its location and a meditation on its relationship with the city.

HOW Magazine is one of the leading publications covering graphic design. Its March 2013 issue, the International Design Awards Annual, celebrates 242 of the best design projects of the year. Of those, 20 were selected to be featured as Outstanding examples of websites and mobile applications. You Are Here Toledo is one of the recipients of an Outstanding Award, and receives a full page of coverage in the magazine. More than 26,000 issues of HOW will be printed and distributed.

In addition to this international honor from HOW magazine, You Are Here Toledo was also selected as 1 of 8 projects to be presented at a national AIGA gathering in Salt Lake City last year.

Of approximately 200 artists who entered the You Are Here Toledo competition, 100 were selected to design a dot. Twenty-nine of the artists selected were UT students, faculty, and alumni.

“Each of us made an original work of art in response to our assigned location which was later printed on an industrial material (3 feet in diameter) that was attached to the ground at each of the assigned locations. Each round image contained the “you are here” logo and a QR code. When people scanned it, they could read about the location, the artist’s statement about the artwork, a bio, and get more info about the project,” explained Deborah Orloff, Professor of Art.

“This is a great example of one of the many collaborative projects our students and faculty have been involved with in the greater community.”

You Are Here Toledo was created and implemented by the Toledo Chapter of the AIGA and the 1% for Art program administered by The Arts Commission. Other partners in the project included Hanson, Inc., which created the website and mobile application enabling user participation, and printers Homewood Press and CGS Imaging. The program ran from May through October of2012. The dots have now been removed from their sites around the city.

UT Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Art Dan Hernandez was one of the coordinators of this project last year, when he worked as Coordinator of the Art in Public Places program of The Arts Commission.

An archive of the project can be seen at its website, youareheretoledo.com.

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