Camden, the Beautiful: A Public Art Proposal



The project aims to publicly proclaim love to a city that is often deemed unlovable and unwanted. Twelve letter love poems will be displayed every ten minutes from local citizens, elucidating and expressing their love and care for the city, projected on the wall of an empty warehouse on North Delaware street.

Expert Statement:

‘Public art can express civic values, enhance the environment, transform a landscape, heighten our awareness, or question our assumptions. Placed in a public site, this art is therefore for everyone, a form of collective community expression — from the once celebrated but now unrecognized general on a horse to the abstract sculpture that may baffle the passer-by on first glance.’ -Penny Balkin Bach, Art administrator and Executive Director of the Association of Public Art

Subject Statement:

On the barren walls of a vacant warehouse with red brick walls and yellow bricked windows, there is a projection of black text in a white background. There is a lamp post to the left of the text and silhouettes of trees on the road. White snow is spattered at the edge of the sidewalk. The text contains twelve words and reads ‘Honey-coated bones- you call me yours, gun barrel mouthed and all.’

Content Statement:

  1. The artist’s intention through this work could be to create twelve word love poems glorifying a city whose name often makes one wrinkle their nose in distaste. The 12 word poems to the city from its inhabitants, aim to publicly proclaim and highlight the home that is Camden and the love, that even in its desolate state, it deserves.
  2. Another possibility for the artwork content is that the artist seeks to create a positive image that fortifies a city whose bones are endlessly doused in negative connotations. Establishing a platform of positive messages, it portrays the relevance of the city to several and the need to preserve and care for it.

Community + Public Art:

‘Camden, the Beautiful’ aims to bring to the community a medium of expression. It yearns to highlight the wondrous moments captured, the comfort folded in its crevices, the laughter echoed in its alleys among other fascinating bits of Camden. This public art idea could have a positive impact on the community in that it recruits the members in the community, promoting a collective environment,  to write a short love poem to their city in hopes to not only uplift the negative image of the city but to remind others that this place too is relevant and a home to several.


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