Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Public Art/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2


  • The above badge is an example of a Wikipedia Project Notice that can be placed in the Talk Pages of each of our articles. We can create one specifically for our project Wikipedia:WikiProject Wikipedia Saves Public Art! and place it on each of our Talk Pages, if we were to want to. I included the Visual Arts one simply as an example of what it looks like and the appropriate placement of where it would go.
  • The talk page may also be the appropriate place to state that we hope others will update the Condition Sections of the articles if they find it to be outdated. (This may also be included in our Wikipedia Project Notice, if we choose to create one?)
  • We can also include a "list" or internal template that lists all of our sculptures in the IUPUI collection. Here is an example, "Visitor attractions in New York City," from the MoMA Wikipedia page. It has the feature of being visible or hidden. However, I don't know how you go about creating a new internal list template.

- Update: I figured out how to make a Navigation Template (that's what they're called apparently) and created one for the IUPUI Public Art Collection. This is an organized way to insert a list of all of our articles in each of our articles. I will update it as our pages are created. HstryQT (talk) 02:44, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

  • The code for including the GPS coordinates is at the bottom of the Sculpture Template Edit Page. It shouldn't look "crossed out" like that in a normal article. I'm sorry it turned out funny on the template.

Please feel free to discuss anything else on this page.

Discussion on "expert attention" within Wikipedia

I've only started to look into this, but I noticed that there is a category that calls for "expert" opinion.

See: Category:Arts articles needing expert attention

I wonder if we could look to define an arts expert, or if this expert can only be considered someone within WP who has expertise in writing and editing within WP? At the same time, this seems impossible because there is no way for an expert to provide original opinion within an article; however much of the arts depends on expert opinion, and few artworks have verifiable opinion attached to them.

While in some ways it is dangerous to state: the arts are subjective, and popular opinion does not make art notable -- in fact it can completely go against it (see: Thomas Kinkade)

Of course, if we decide that such an expert could weigh in on an arts article, how would we certify that someone is a notable expert? And who would be the most obvious experts:

--Richard McCoy (talk) 16:08, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

Discussion original research

This discussion was moved from Richard McCoy's talk page. --Richard McCoy (talk) 18:48, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

Hi Richard, now that the stdents have been graded can we have a quick chat about the "Condition" sections in the articles as they appear to be what Wikipedia calls original research - i.e. they are the result of the students own observation which is contrary to the fundamental principles of Wikipedia which is that we are a synthesis collation of reliable secondary sources. I would normally have just removed the sections on sight (an there is no guarantee that someone else won't at any time) but in deference to the project and the resultant positive contributions I demurred (so unlike me!!). Perhaps you could let the students know what the problem is and they can have a chance to remove the sections themselves, otherwise shall we say that I'll do the honours with any remaining on Friday?

There are also similar concerns with some of the sources used in the articles, I have already removed citations to emails and I notice that although uncited, the students have based some of their articles on telephone conversations, emails and, in the case of one of the artists, a conversation with the artist's wife. All of this is original research. This probably highlights a this basic - but not necessarily insurmountable - difference between the type of writing appropriate for a course paper, which can benefit from a distinct personal point of view against an encyclopaedic article which as I said above needs to be a synthesis collation of already published sources. Kind regards, Nancy talk 13:51, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

p.s. you might want to move your notes above this section from your talk page to elsewhere in your userspace e.g. at User:RichardMcCoy/Project. This will make it easier for editors who want to use your talk page for it's intended purpose - i.e. to leave messages for you! Best,Nancy talk 13:54, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Hi, Nancy. Your help and kind approach has really been a bright spot in the WSPA! project. Many of the students told us how kind and helpful you were (not all editors were so kind). Thank you!

I identified and recognize the WP rules not only for original research but for the sometimes questionable sources. This is an important issue.

  • The primary notion that this project explores is the capacity for WP to be a content management system for a collection of artworks, and do many of the same things that a museums CMS do. Of course, WP is not a CMS, and museums CMS are not WP, but these two are moving closer together (check out how many museums now have record of their entire collection online).

We are basing this project on Save Outdoor Sculpture!, a proto-Wikipedian project.

Many public artworks have poor or non-existing documentation. Sometimes their history is tied to personal communications, either written telephone or personal. This is not unlike many objects within art museums, and true for just about all public art. Caring for public art is problematic for this reason. Usually a community focuses on getting new public art up, not thinking about taking care of it for 5, 10, 20 years.

I think the condition section should go through a healthy, considered debated, as should the resources for these reasons (and more -- I'm typing quickly).

Likewise, I noticed that you have removed the SOS! box that is a WP:EL violation. I understand that rule, but wanted to make a special kind of thing for that link because it is very important that it was surveyed by the SOS! folks. It's like having another condition assessment. Do you have any ideas of how to do that and at the same time stay within the rules?

Knowing the history of the condition of an artwork through condition assessments is very important because it gives a sense of how it has aged over time. In the same way we encouraged the students to document the artworks in the same way we do at museums (with front, side, back, side, and detail photos), but it seems WP folks think that is unnecessary.

As this project comes to an end for the students, we'll be assessing it and likely publishing our findings and also trying to bring it to folks within the board at WP. We'd like for this project to become a global one in which any community can document their public art.

I mean, why not? It couldn't take more than a couple years, right? I think the 20 IUPUI students took it off the ground with great success.

Thanks again! --Richard McCoy (talk) 14:14, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

I think that a precis of the situation would be that a Wiki is a great platform for CMS but..... not this Wiki. Wikipedia's implementation of the Wiki software is as a platform for an encyclopaedia and it is not that Wikipedia doesn't think that maintaining a record of the condition of the sculptures is important, just that this is not the appropriate place to do it per original research etc etc. Hopefuly Wikipedia will end up with articles on every piece of public art work in the world - wow that would be just amazing - but they would necessarily be different beast from something you might create as part of an academic catalogue project. Here's a thought though, did you know that the MediaWiki software is open-source and free to use? See here. Have you considered using it to creating a website hosted by your college? I've used it extensively in my "day job" as a company knowledge base and I can vouch for its ease of implementation and maintenance.
With regard to the SOS link, the place for that is as a bullet in the External links section of the article. The only links outside that section should be internal "Wikilinks".
I also notice that there are some issues arising over copyrights on photographs of 3D works of art. I'm not going to get involved in that as image copyrights are not something I know a great deal about - particularly those that apply on the other side of the pond - except to say that you really need to act promptly on the advice of those who are expert in the application of fair-use etc otherwise you may end up with no photographs in the articles at all which would be a shame. Kind regards, Nancy talk08:52, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
As always, I appreciate your thoughts on this project, Nancy. Thanks for taking the time to consider it.
I agree with you about the issues that have arisen about copyright. I have worked to improve the guidelines within the project page and the template to clearly outline instructions for using images and the basic concepts of copyright law. Have you seen that? Do you think it okay?
One natural change that might occur that would satisfy both our project and recognize the fact that WP is not a CMS is to move all of the condition assessments to the talk page of the articles. In this way they could be signed and dated by a specific person rather than being taken for THE TRUTH about the condition of a certain public artwork. It would be one person's observation about its condition. It would also have the benefit of being signed and dated! I'm not sure why we didn't think of this in the first place. What do you think about that? I haven't had a moment to research the rules of Talk pages. We have asked the student Wikipedians to make sure they are following these rules.
If this were to be the outcome, than I think that there should be a standardized formatting structure for a talk page of a WSPA! article and then a corresponding etiquette that moves beyond mere discussion of other aspects of a public artwork. Of course there should also be room on the talk page for normal talk.
Do you know of examples of other articles that have utilized the talk page of an article to any advantage in a similar way?
I agree with the viability of your idea to use wikimedia software and create our own internal wiki for IUPUI, however one of the goals of the project is to help collections that do not have any resources (to host a wiki on the web, for example). Also, we would like to promote the fact that many of these artworks were made for the "public" and often were purchased with "public" money, thus the public has some responsibility in "caring" for them. Having the articles in a public, non-profit entity like WP is ideal, especially if you broadly interpret the mission of WP to contain the "sum of all human knowledge." As one who works in the arts, I will argue at length that the arts are extremely important to human knowledge and sorely underrepresented in WP. Kind regards, --Richard McCoy (talk) 22:14, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
Hi Richard and Nancy. I really appreciate this discussion! As a public art specialist, I am very interested in seeing more information about outdoor sculpture become available in Wikipedia. In most cities there are hundreds of works of public art, but it can be very difficult to learn about them. These works are commissioned by individuals, organizations and agencies, but they are used by a general public. Nancy, you raise a good question about why organizations couldn't just use MediaWiki to document their collections, but this approach essentially positions care for public art as a private activity. Ruth Wallach has documented the problem with this--Wallach created a digital database of LA's public art collection, hosted on a library server at USC, but she soon ran into conflicts surrounding who "owned" the information. (SeePublic Art in the Digital Library: What's in the Collection?.) When I was writing my dissertation, I created a participatory digital gallery for images of the sculpture I was studying, and learned how eager the general public is to contribute information about the meanings and uses of public art. (See Big Red Thing.) What Richard and I hope to demonstrate by creating Wikipedia Saves Public Art is that public art works have significant cultural value and that public art should not remain invisible. Especially if we can continue to refine our templates and create strong example articles, the overall Wikipedia project could be strengthened by including more content about public art. --Jennifer Geigel MikulayJgmikulay (talk) 23:14, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
I completely understand what you are trying to achieve Jennifer, all I am saying is that Wikipedia is not the answer. You may have noticed that the majority of the images have now been removed/deleted and the original research in the Condition section of each article will be removed today. No one is saying that there should not be Wikipedia article on these works, just that they may not be how you would like them to be. You cannot bend Wikipedia's core principles to suit your own ends, however noble and worthy those ends may be. I still think that the best possible solution to CMS requirement is for the university to host a wiki of their own - this could still be as open for public editing/access as Wikipedia, the web is full of privately hosted public access wikis and although you will obviously still have to comply with copyright law, you will at least not have to worry about original research and personal opinion in your texts. Nancy talk08:03, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
Hi, Nancy. I understand your position and your good work to uphold the 5 Pillars and rules of Wikipedia. As I mentioned, I worked to get the guidelines for uploading images (*Correctly*) into WP on both the template and the main project page. I'm sorry that the students haven't had a chance to get their images changed.
I wonder what you thought of my idea to move all of the condition notes to the talk page? I'd be a happy to move all of those over there.
I want to say, though, that this project was started with an awareness that we were investigating the potential for Wikipedia to act something like a CMS. However, it has always been my understanding that their is a certain openness to what WP currently is and can become, because it is not a bureaucracy. In terms of the condition section we felt justified in that the rules in place were preventing us from improving the encyclopedia, so we ignored them. WSPA aim is to improve WP and care for public art.
By comparison to the vast amounts of trivial popular cultural that is thoroughly and occasionally absurdly documented within WP to no profitable end, there is scant documentation of our visual, material, and artistic cultural with WP. While there's not many yet, some like us want to see that changed.
If full documentation of every episode of iCarly can be contained within WP, certainly there's room for public sculpture. Would you consider removing those related articles and insisting that Disney host its own wiki about all of the Nick and Nick jr. shows?
It is an improvement to WP to have articles about public art. It is an improvement to WP to recognize and document their condition. It is in improvement to WP to use references that may not meet all of the requirements if these are the only references that exist. (Of course, I will not defend the copyright & image issues -- that is clearly a mistake on the project's part). --Richard McCoy (talk) 13:08, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm running out of ways to say the same thing here. No-one is saying that there should not be article about these sculptures or any other works. OK, are we clear on that? Where you are hitting a problem is that you wish the tone and (some of) the content of the articles to be other than what Wikipedia considers encyclopaedic i.e. Wikipedia is the wrong forum in which to achieve the extended aim of your project. Nancy talk 13:44, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

Arbitrary section break for ease of editing

Right, sorry, Nancy, I kind of went down the wrong direction without proper explanation of where I was going. My point is that we've found a way of documenting all of the episodes of iCarly within WP, and having accurate descriptions about their plot lines and then the number of viewers and this fits within WP rules. But the current WP rules do not allow for the documentation of the condition of public art; because this information is absolutely essential to the appearance and therefore meaning and context of public art than it needs to be associated with its entry. For example, if the Statue of Liberty broke and half and fell over then according to WP rules, the only way that this article could be updated would be when some published source was available to verify it. But this would be ignoring the reality that the Statue was broken in half.

I'm not suggesting that we have to fix this problem right now, but I think that this project has clearly identified this as a problem that needs to be fixed. And since the rules within WP are not totally fixed forever, we should explore ways to fix this problem. --Richard McCoy(talk) 14:05, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

You are absolutely right, yes, the Stature of Liberty could fall down but we would need a reliable source to document it here (although you could write about it on Wikinews - horses for courses again). This is because another of the core principles of Wikipedia is "verifiability not truth", good luck with trying to change that one Richard!! Nancy talk 14:37, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
I think this is a useful debate, for sure--thanks for continuing and expanding it. Truth is difficult anywhere, especially in art--though I'dargue that art is the only place we ever get close to truth. But what we're talking about is not the subjective understanding of what something is or what it means, but the reality of physical condition.
Back to the Statue of Liberty example, condition is covered in the Statue_of_Liberty#Physical_characteristics where much is stated that is verifiable, but just as much is not. That sculpture was assessed by someone or group of people. For example, the statement "The Statue of Liberty was engineered to withstand heavy winds. Winds of 50 miles per hour (80 km/h) cause the Statue to sway 3 inches (76 mm) and the torch to sway 5 inches (130 mm). This allows the Statue to move rather than break in high wind load conditions." That's a super accurate description that is probably has only been verified by first-hand knowledge of its condition during a wind storm.
Further, in that section, the most fundamental aspect of that sculpture's condition (its greenness) is described accurately, but only verified to some internet forum hosted by a private company. I don't disagree with that assessment of its condition and am not suggesting that it be removed, because I know thats what copper does. But it certainly isn't presented as verifiable truth, and it doesn't need to be because it is reality--it's the reality of that material, and the condition of that sculpture.
Perhaps another solution to condition issue is to incorporate it into a section based on the way it is handled in the Statue of Liberty. (?)
--Richard McCoy (talk) 15:07, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure how helpful it is to take a bad section from a not-very-good article and propose it as a template to replicate. There are many problematic articles on Wikipedia (which in time will all be sorted). What I'm trying to do here is make sure we don't add to that number. You've already created what, 40+ articles? which from what you are saying is only the tip of the iceberg. I've done little else this week but deal with issues arising and I know that there are many other volunteers who have done even more than I, so lets make sure that moving forward the articles are as good as they can possibly be at the point of creation. "Good" in this context being used in the Wikipedian sense of the word of course!!Nancy talk 16:31, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
Please also see related Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Wikipedia Saves Public Art#Inappropriate use of article talk. Best, Nancy talk 16:45, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
Nancy, such a great discussion. Thank you. Your point that the article on the Statue of Liberty is a "not-very-good article" really shows that we are on the same side, nearly walking hand in hand on this topic. Why is it that for example every NFL stat and tawdry tidbit of popular culture is recorded and detailed at length within WP, but arguably the U.S.'s most important and potent public artwork is not well documented within WP?
  • The arts are coming late to the WP party.
But a friend of mine just put this together for me: the simple thought that a picture is worth 1,000 words. What is more verifiable than an image of a condition issue? In our digital-image heavy society this has become a practically free way to communicate profound meaning and context from anywhere in the world to anywhere in the world. But the problem is, as so many of the IUPUI students learned the very hard way, because of current copyright law, WP is not a good place to store images of public artworks. However, Flickr is a place to store images of public artworks.
With this in mind, it seems to me that documentary images are verifiable sources that can be cited when making condition assessments. It's awfully hard to argue against the truth of an image (think of the example of the Statue of Liberty that has fallen over). Best, --Richard McCoy (talk) 19:33, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

I agree with Nancy using a bad article for a template is probably not a good solution, it also doesn't help improve the original article. However, I do think that there must be a logical solution to this. And Richard that's not entirely what I was suggesting. My thoughts were that although this condition issue appears to be original research, it can also be observed by anyone presumably by looking at the images (or at least it should/could be - if the images were good). So it's verifiable but not strictly in the Wikipedia sense of the word. Therefore to my mind it is a primary source (as long as those images abide by correct copyright, etc). So this is actually a start. What we now need are verifiable secondary sources to support statements from primary sources, as per the rules Wikipedia:No original research. So, I think we need to identify what would be constitute suitable sources. I'd like to know more about how this has been done previously in wikipedia. But, in the mean time what I was wondering is could you say something along lines of... "Images of the sculpture taken on 'date' (primary source) show considerable cracking to the proper right lower forearm of sculpture. Sculptural 'cracking' is a technical conservation or condition related term as indicated by 'technical bulletin title' (secondary source)." (Please forgive my semi-literate sentence construction, but I'm sure you get the drift of what I am suggesting). Or am I totally off base with that as an appropriate method of using secondary sources to support primary sources as indicated in the rules concerning citation? --Daniel Cull (talk) 19:45, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

Hi Daniel & welcome to the discussion. Unfortunately the workaround you suggest above would not work for this reason - the cite from the secondary source would only support the fact that cracking is a common condition problem in 3-d works . It would not address that fact that the only evidence that there is cracking in the particular sculpture are the article authors' personal observations (+ attendant personal opinion regarding the extent/seriousness), and/or an expectation placed on the reader to interpret a photograph. (See Pedro's "Comment to Richard" below re the latter [1])Nancy talk 09:09, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment to Richard. Richard, hi and thanks for your hard work on wikipedia. I do have a few concerns I'd like to address. I think you really, and I mean really need to understand our policy on verifiable facts and more importantly that just because something is TRUE implicitly does not mean that it belongs in an enyclopedia - seriously! As an example, it is true that I have a tree outside my window and it is true that I think Greenland is further north than England. These undoubted truthes are irrelevant as they are not verifiable and further add no value to an encyclopedia - even when not written on paper. You have made some good points above but I'm afraid many are out of kilter with Wikipedia editing. You ask "Why is it that for example every NFL stat and tawdry tidbit of popular culture is recorded and detailed at length within WP, but arguably the U.S.'s most important and potent public artwork is not well documented within WP" - well - fix it then! :) "a picture is worth 1,000 words" - maybe or maybe not but the goal of an enyclopedia is to describe fact, neutrally, and not to force readers to draw their own conclusions. You may want to see this essay that though partly tongue in cheek, is essentially descriptive of many policies. Please also note that snythesis and original research are both totally at odds against creating an encyclopedia. I look forward to more discussion and hope to help further. Pedro :  Chat  21:19, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, Pedro! I'm grateful to have your voice here in this discussion. In no way am I arguing that all things that are visually verifiable should be included in WP, such as a tree outside of your window; likewise I think it's unnecessary to go down the road of what people think about their personal relation to other continents. Those examples get to notability, which have discussed above. We have given some thoughts about notability in relation to the arts (and the lack of guidelines and related meaningful discussions therein).
In this discussion about original research I have moved away from a verifiable truth, and onto to considering what it means to attempt to assess the reality of the physical state of an *artwork* . Again, we're not interested in the physical state of all things (such as your tree), but just the physical state of an *artwork* because its physical state is directly tied to its meaning and ultimately its ability to function as an artwork. A poor physical condition of an artwork changes the facts of its meaning and the content around its representation. Said another way, an artwork in poor physical condition likely will not work in the way an artist originally intended. Maybe a parallel would be if a Double A baseball player broke his leg during a game. He would also not work as a baseball player if his physical condition changed in this way. Of course, with this example, there are clear notability guidelines and even nearly de-facto standards about weather or not he could have his own article--and of course we could easily assess his physical condition with the citation from a verifiable source because in the U.S. media coverage of sporting events is exhaustive.
  • The arts, while arguably more important than Double A baseball, are scantly covered by U.S. media sources, and there is growing evidence that arts coverage has dramatically decreased in the past 5 years. So not only are there scant existing sources that meet WP's guidelines for many notable artworks, but there really is not system in place to provide important and fact-based assessments of physical condition. I believe this is a situation that could and should be remedied within WP, otherwise it will continue to become not the sum of all human knowledge, but the sum of popular culture and sports.
I think DaneilCull's comment above moves this discussion down a profitable road with an interesting suggestion -- one that builds off of my more simplistic statement that you pointed out -- "a picture is worth 1,000 words." Verifiable truth and an assessed reality for notable *artworks* are different things.
I believe that this project has demonstrated that though the English WP has over 3m articles, scant attention and thought has been given to art and artists. This is out of line with the verifiable truth that art and artworks are important to all societies. --Richard McCoy (talk) 14:23, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
I've just started to think about the way images are used as de-facto reliable sources within WP. It's clearly a complicated topic. Maybe a list of examples of Good Articles that use images as either references or are in themselves references of art as observable reality (not truth).

I just learned (12 minutes ago) about this wiki based public art initiative and am trying to read some of the back ground discussions that have already taken place before launching in, and there is a lot of it. Or so it seems because I'm a slow reader. However I just had a very interesting interaction with the dreaded original research that I'd like to share. There is a pretty new article about Matilda Dodge Wilson and towards the end of it I added a bit about her mausoleum and it's sculpture by Corrado Parducci. I then footnoted a book as a reference. Now the joke (to me anyway) is that I am the person who told the author of the book that Parducci had done that work. Acceptable in wikipedia because it's from a book but only in the book because of my original research. And so it goes. Einar aka Carptrash (talk) 05:06, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

Examples of art being shown as observable reality within WP, but only referencing it as a primary source:

Discussion on Photo Uploads

  • We haven't had a chance in class to clearly discuss copyright. Am I of the correct understanding that if we personally took a photo of the sculpture, that that photo is ours and we are allowed to upload it to Wikipedia? Or am I wrong and the situation is such that since we are taking a picture of a work by a living artist we do not have the freedom to treat the photograph as our own? I no nothing about copyright, so I thought I'd throw out the obvious question. HstryQT (talk) 22:36, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

Here are some links that discuss Wikipedia's rules for uploading... HstryQT (talk) 22:36, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

Lori's right, we did create the photo but not the sculpture itself, so the images we upload are protected by copyright of the artist. Check out my User Page User:Kpetrole. I just updated the new & improved way to upload photos and not get them removed! It's all about assuming good faith and uploading a fair use, non-free image for an educational purpose as well as for providing a visual source for critical commentary in your article. Also, there are two internal links for quick guidelines and info about these things listed. Good luck, any Q's just send me an email or wikimessage. Kpetrole (talk) 07:11, 26 November 2009 (UTC)Kpetrole

As I was asked to come here, there is no clear cut answer, its a gray area. As our law professors tell us, its this gray area that keeps attorneys employed. First, a good resource is Commons:Freedom of panorama. Offline, Nimmer on Copyright is the Bible of copyright law, and there is likely a copy at your law school or law library.
With taking a picture, yes, if you take a picture, you do own the copyright to that picture. But, as above, the copyright to the work of art (painting, sculpture, etc.) may be owned by the artist who created the work of art. Thus, your work is a derivative work, and unless you have permission from the copyright owner of the work of art, it is a copyright violation if you try to do certain things with it. For instance if you try to sell your picture, not good.
If the artist does have the copyright (or someone else owns it by inheritance, sale, etc.) then in all likelihood you cannot upload it to Commons. The caveat there would be if you received written permission from the copyright holder of the work of art to allow you to upload it under a free license that allows for a variety of uses, including commercial use. Basically, many artists don't want to do that.
Now, as mentioned above, fair use may apply. But, Commons does not allow for fair use images, so no fair use images could be uploaded there. You can only do fair use on Wikipedia. And, you would have to discuss the topic in the article, and to cover the intent of the fair use exceptions under U.S. copyright law you would likely need to limit the images to only a few of the object.
Next, not all art is copyrighted. Just like any copyrightable item, works of art may not be covered due to several issues. First, if it was published (basically presented to the public and a distinct concept from creation) before 1923 in the US, it is out of copyright. If it was published before 1989 in the US and no copyright notice was added, then it is likely in the public domain (artists who failed to give notice could have later rectified the problem through several formal steps). If the item was published after 1923 and if its copyright was not renewed, it might be in the public domain. And there are even more exceptions and what not. See this chart for the full complexity.
To sum things up. If it is really old art work, no problems. If it is newer, best to upload it as fair use. Also note, that I believe Flickr also does not allow for copyright violations, so these copyright rules would likely apply there as well (that is this is federal law, not really Wikipedia rules), but I'm no Flickr expert. Lastly, I am not your lawyer and this is not legal advice to anyone. If you have specific questions about a specific piece of work, consult an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. Aboutmovies (talk) 09:04, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

Discussion on Template

  • The finalized template is now available at User:HstryQT/SculptureTemplate . The basic headings are included, as well as some code for including InfoBoxes, References and GPS Coordinates. The Cloud Gate InfoBox template is a little confusing. I'm trying to find a simpler example that also includes dimensions. Feel free to discuss anything regarding the template here or on the Talk Page of the SculptureTemplate. HstryQT (talk) 03:48, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
  • I figured out how to make a Navigation Template (that's what they're called apparently) and created one for the IUPUI Public Art Collection. This is an organized way to insert a list of all of our articles into each of our articles. (Click "Show" to see it). I will update it as our pages are created and speak about it during my turn to present on 11/24. HstryQT (talk) 02:46, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Nice work creating the Navigation Template. Do you have to manually put the sculptures listen in the template, or how do they get listed? --Richard McCoy (talk) 13:19, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Aha! There's a help page topic on creating Categories, lists, and navigation templates. Useful!

Wikipedia:Categories, lists, and navigation templates —Preceding unsigned comment added by RichardMcCoy (talkcontribs) 13:24, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

Discussion on Categories

Hey guys I'm just gonna post here the different ideas we talked about in class today about categories. I stuck my opinion in, but we should definitely discuss potential categories further. I'll also add some categories below so you can see how they work in the larger scheme of things

Category:Indianapolis, Indiana

Perhaps too broad? The more appropriate category might be one of its subcategories Category:Culture of Indianapolis, Indiana or Category:Tourism in Indianapolis, Indiana (Category:Visitor attractions in Indianapolis, Indiana is a subcategory of this subcategory!)

Category:Visitor attractions in Indianapolis, Indiana

Good one!

Category:Outdoor sculptures

Subcategories: Category:Outdoor sculptures in the United States (should only contain sub categories),Category:Outdoor sculptures in Indiana, and Category: Outdoor sculptures in Indianapolis

Category:Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

Good one!

Category:Contemporary works of art or Category:Contemporary art

Most of the articles connected to this category are about movements or techniques, not about individual works

Art WikiProject

As it stated on the page, "This category is used for administration of the Wikipedia project, and is not part of the encyclopedia. It contains pages that are not articles, or groups articles by status rather than content."

Sub categories of this are Category:WikiProject Sculpture and Category:WikiProject Arts

Category:Public art

Too broad perhaps?

Outdoor sculpture is a subcategory of public art anyway

Category:Sculptures by type

Our sculptures could perhaps be linked to the many sub categories for this, like “Limestone Statues” or “Bronze Statues” not all of the sub-categories for this really apply, such as “dinosaur sculptures” or “talking statues”- Maybe we should just reference articles on sculpture by types, such as the article on bronze sculpture, instead of putting it into a category, because some of the categories and sub categories are poorly organized within themselves and wouldn’t be all that useful for us!

That's all I have for now! Cgshc09 (talk) 03:30, 4 November 2009 (UTC)Cgshc09

Universal Categories We Should Use

Just a suggestion but I think there are three categories that we all should have for our articles: Category:IUPUI public art collection (woo! I just created it!!!) , Category:Culture of Indianapolis, Indiana, and Category:Outdoor sculptures in Indianapolis. In regards to types of sculpture, such as "bronze sculpture," I think that we can link those specific categories, but we all won't be able to do so. We can also create categories that both suit our needs as well as serve Wikipedia's larger goal. Maybe we can talk about this in class more this week! Cgshc09 (talk) 06:16, 25 November 2009 (UTC)Cgshc09 - The three general categories are now updated on the sculpture template. HstryQT (talk) 03:02, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

Hey guys, we should also add our main sculpture picture for each article to the Category:IUPUI public art collection. I know some of you have done it already, but if you don't know how, I'll do it for you when all the articles are created! That way we can have a pretty image gallery accompany our articles! Thanks Cgshc09 (talk) 05:35, 1 December 2009 (UTC)Cgshc09

Hey you guys.... a lot of you are categorizing your sculptures under the Category: Sculpture category. I think that might be too broad. I was considering taking it down from pages, but since so many of you guys had it, I didn't want to do it without a few opinions. Since our sculptures are already categorized under Category:Outdoor sculptures in Indianapolis, do we need the general sculpture tag? Outdoor sculptures is a sub category of Category:Sculptures in the United States, so I think we should remove the general sculpture tag from our pages. Any thoughts?Cgshc09 (talk) 03:04, 4 December 2009 (UTC)Cgshc09

Some basic art history resources

Hey guys you can check out my talk page for some basic art history books on sculpture. All of these books can be found in the IU library system. Also, I just did a fairly basic search so add on if you want! Also, if any of you art history majors have \ good books / any advice, please add as well! Cgshc09 (talk) 03:34, 4 November 2009 (UTC)Cgshc09

Welcome & a few tips

Hi everyone and welcome to Wikipedia. I've just been doing some tidying up on some of the articles this project has created and thought it might be useful if a dropped by here with a few very simple formatting tips.

  • Section headers - these are always in sentence case, i.e. apart from proper nouns the only word which should be capitalised is the first one. e.g. it should be See also not See Also
  • On the topic of the See also section, this should only be used to link to other Wikipedia articles. It should not be used to link to project space or talk pages (i.e. any page which has a nnn: preceding the title)
  • External links - there is a whole guideline on this topic at WP:EL but the important bits of it are that external links should not be placed in the body text of the article and within the external link section should be used sparingly
  • Categories - mainspace categories should only be used on articles. I notice in particular that Category:IUPUI public art collection contains a number of user and user talk pages. If you want to categorise your drafts whilst they are still in your userspace then you should prefix the category with a colon (just as I have done in this sentence) which will suppress the addition of the page.

For anyone who wants more details about our style guidelines a good place to start is our Manual of Style which I'm sure will cover everything you need (and much you don't!). Kind regards and the best of luck, Nancy talk 10:03, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

I've also left a note at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Visual arts alerting the good people over there about this project. Nancy talk 10:12, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
I've just worked out that the reason so many of you are repeating the same mistakes is because you have been using User:HstryQT/SculptureTemplate as a template for your efforts. Whilst I'm sure the template was created in good faith, please don't use it any more as it is just replicating problems and creating more clean-up work for others!. Kindest regards, Nancy talk 11:50, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
Hi, Nancy! Thanks very much for your help in this project! As we hope that this project can be repeatable, can we talk sometime about what specifically needs to be changed about the template? Best --Richard McCoy (talk) 12:58, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
No problem. Happy to help. There are also specific resources on Wikipedia for this type of class assignment - see Wikipedia:School and university projects where I have just added an entry for you (you may want to expand it slightly) and which has some useful guidelines. Nancy talk 13:06, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
Great! Thanks, Nancy! I listed it there before we got started, but as one of our goals is to encourage others eventually to try and replicate the project, I'm happy to have more promotion on that page. We think this is a fairly adventurous and courageous project to take on for our smart and capable (yet new) Wikipedians from IUPUI!--Richard McCoy (talk) 13:20, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

Use of categories and non-free images outside mainspace

Hi everyone. I removed all the user and user talk pages from Category:IUPUI public art collection and Category:Outdoor sculptures in Indianapolis. From now on please can you make sure that the categories are only placed on mainspace articles. I've also noticed that there are a lot of non-free images on user pages, those that I have come across I have removed/deactivated, please do not revert these changes unless you move the page to mainspace. For the images that I (or an other volunteer) haven't come to yet it would really help everyone if you removed them yourselves. Non-free images can only be used even in articles in very specific circumstances and can never be used in userspace. The reason you are having these problems is that the US freedom of panorama does not extend to 2-D representations of 3-D art - i.e. the copyright remains with the original sculptor/artist not with the person who takes the photograph. Best, Nancy talk 13:23, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

Inappropriate use of article talk

Hi everyone. As you know amounts of original research have been removed from some of the articles. It seems that some people have responded to this by moving the deleted text to the talk page. Please don't do this - article talk pages aren't here as a vehicle for circumventing content policy. Thanks for your co-operation, kind regards, Nancy talk 16:41, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

Please see Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines. --Richard McCoy (talk) 14:43, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

old comment

Feel free to strategize/chat/plan/colloborate here. --Richard McCoy (talk) 14:31, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

Discussion on notability and art and art products

Notability is an important issue in WP, however it does not ever seem to have been developed or considered as applied directly to an artwork. There are the following guidelines for:




and of course Media (Books, T.V., radio, newspapers, magazines, etc) (note that this one has not yet been accepted as a guideline - it is still only a proposal Nancy talk 09:32, 6 December 2009 (UTC))

All of these often have artistic components, or are actually art or art projects. But there is no notability guideline for the visual arts, or artworks in general -- besides none of these categories directly deal with all of the issues contained within art.

Artists themselves are lumped generally in a group called creative professionals (which includes scientists, academics, economists, professors, authors, editors, journalists, filmmakers, photographers, artists, architects, engineers, and other creative professionals), but somehow this group excludes musicians and actors, who are, of course,entertainers (as noted above, many products of entertainers have their own notability guidelines).

It's always interesting to compare notability standards among professions. For example, if we consider sports a profession, then athletes appear to have the easiest entry into WP. They simply have to be

  1. People who have competed at the fully professional level of a sport, or a competition of equivalent standing in a non-league sport such as swimming, golf or tennis.[1]
  2. People who have competed at the highest amateur level of a sport, usually considered to mean the Olympic Games or World Championships.

What is a comparative equivalent for an artist? A commission for a public artwork in a city is a fully professional level of art production. Perhaps instead of looking at other "creative" products or people, notability for artists and artworks is more appropriately tied to sports and athletes. --Richard McCoy (talk) 16:36, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

We cannot ignore the standard of notability within Wikipedia, but we can work to expand the community's understanding about why public art matters. Within Wikipedia's existing ideas about notability, articles about public art are considered notable when:
  • works are the subject of newspaper or magazine articles, published art criticism, or publicly-accessible press releases issued by government bodies or organizations
  • multiple and independent sources name the art work and devote significant attention to it as a subject
  • works are made by artists who are the subject of Wikipedia articles
  • works are commissioned by cities, neighborhoods, or organizations that are the subject of Wikipedia articles
  • titles and artists for the works can be identified and located in secondary sources
As noted above, Wikipedia currently lacks guidelines for notability for art works. In the case of public art, should works be considered notable when one of the following conditions are present?
  • works are commissioned or collected by a government body, museum, corporation, nonprofit organization, or prominent individual
  • works are installed in space that is open to the public; they are freely “on view” 24/7
  • works have a sufficient scale or temporal duration that they gain attention as part of everyday life
Jgmikulay (talk) 22:04, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

Should just add this point as an additional thought, if works are made by artists, or commissioned by places or organizations that are not the subject of wikipedia articles they may still be notable, if those artists, places or organizations are in themselves notable but simply no-one has gotten around to starting a wikipedia page on them, yet! So, in those cases it would be worth starting such a page for the wider benefit of the wikipedia project. And would thus mean that those works of art were notable (according to the rules laid out above). --Daniel Cull (talk) 23:28, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

Research on previous discussions of notability and art, artwork, and artists

Summary: this topic has never been addressed specifically. The concept of notability and art in general has been discussed, but usually within the context of the notability policy itself being ineffective much the same way its considered a subjective decision if art is art, much less notable.

However, in general, it seems that most experienced editors are comfortable with assessing notability based on Wikipedia's guidelines, and comfortable with the fact that notable people and things really are notable and can be assessed within Wikipedia. In the end, the strongest case for notability comes from documentation from reliable sources (as explained above). However many editors have pointed to the fact that even reliable sources are inherently subjective.

There are a few instances where editors call for the creation of guidelines for artists, but the vast majority of attention is focused on entertainers. I searched the Notability talk page, which apparently first started in May of 2005, for Art, Artworks, and Artists:

Using the archives search, I found that the word "artwork" has only appeared in 2 archives but are minor references and neither take on the topic of how an artwork can be assessed as notable.

Using the archives search I found that the word "art" appears in 24 archives, but the vast majority of those appearances come from the use of the phrase Terms of art, which really has nothing directly to do with art.

A discussion entitled Inherently Subjective casually address the fact that that it's hard to even agree if something is or isn't art, but then the discussion rambles into other more general points and ends shortly after an anonymous editor questions the necessity of even having a notability guideline.
At the bottom of a sub discussion, Jreferee tries to makes sense of it all, of a thread entitled "Wikipedia: Notability *Abolish It*", the editor, Capmango, points out that "It is silly for us to have people who have never set foot in an art gallery arguing the notability of some local artist, but that's what we do all the time." While this point was never addressed directly after this statement, it's an important one to recognize, particularly as Wikipedia is making a concerted effort to reach out to the experts in the cultural sector--those that do set foot into art spaces (note this advice page: Advice for the cultural sector).

| Using the archives search, I found that the word "artist" appears in 22 archives, but the appearances primarily deal with artists in the entertainment business (musicians, actors, porn stars, etc.). There are very few discussions that address notability as applied to visual artists, and most, in the end, do more than call for the need to have specific guidelines for entertainers.

One exception is around the deletion of the artist Tim Cotteril, otherwise known as "Frogman[2]". A biography of Cotteril was deleted and a notability discussion ensued under the topic |Multiple trivial references add up to real reference? Wrong, right?, wherein it was decided that this artist was not notable enough because he did not have verifiable "non-trivial" references. However, we live in a world where non-trivial references are becoming scarcer by the day for artists, because of rapid decline in arts coverages by newspapers. The only visible residue of the Frogman debate is in the Frogman (disambiguation) Page (which, rather cleverly, has green font in the title). A similar discussion is made more abstractly in policy is stupid. This discussion also does not produce a productive end.

--Richard McCoy (talk) 22:14, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

(coming late) The best places to catch up with art and notability on WP are the talk page of WP:GLAM, very much focused on objects, and Wikipedia:WikiProject Deletion sorting/Visual arts, usually dealing with artists. There is generally consensus among the regulars about how to interpret WP:CREATIVE for art biographies, which are dealt with at the rate of several per week. Galleries etc are also often nominated. Afd discussions on artworks are much rarer, but usually pretty clear-cut. Johnbod (talk) 15:05, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

Images of sculptures

We take copyright issues very seriously around here and you should familiarise yourself completely with the copyright issues mentioned in links provided elsewhere. Photographic images of modern sculptures are derivative works of the copyright works of the artist, and no freedom of panorama exemption exists for sculptures in the USA, and many other countries, per the Commons freedom of panorama page, so all the images you have taken for this project are not copyright to you and you do not have any rights to release these images. They may only be used under a fair-use claim even though you took the photograph. Wikipedia fair-use is stricter than the usual understanding of fair-use you may be familiiar with in an academic environment. Here are the main pointers you need to follow.

  • Do not upload any images to the Commons because only freely licenced images are acceptable there.
  • Non-free images may only be used in article mainspace and not in userspace.
  • All images must be licenced with the {{Non-free 3D art}} template.
  • All images must have a fully completed fair-use rationale. Use a fair-use template as shown here.
  • Because all these images are non-free, it is policy that they must comply with all 10 Non-free content criteria and the non-free content guidelines.
  • Fair-use images must be of low resolution and generally the maximum size of the longest side should be 300px. Many images are way too big to comply with fair-use. If you find a reduction request on one of your images, please do the job and reupload over the same image. Don't make a completely new image file.
  • Galleries of non-free images are not permitted under WP:NFCC#3a which says that non-free image use must be minimal.
  • Additional images, including the lede image need a full justification for its inclusion and should only be added if it is "contextually significant" per WP:NFCC#8 which generally means if you can describe something in prose then the use of a non-free image is inappropriate. One lede image for identification is usually acceptable.
  • If you need an image to be deleted please add the template {{db-author}} to your image and it will be deleted in due course.
  • There is no need to make a new uploads when you have a different version of an image, just upload a new version over the existing one by clicking of the "Upload a new version of this file" link near the bottom of the existing file page.
  • Please remember the burden of proof is on the uploader to justify the inclusion of any non-free images and that we are all volunteers here, so any necessary cleanup caused by disruptive editing takes away from the constructive editing time of other editors.

Good luck. ww2censor (talk) 15:10, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

Note that many countries DO have freedom of panorama, including the UK, Canada, Australia, NZ & about half the EU - see the Commons page linked above. Your own photos taken in public places in these countries avoid issues of artist's copyright, which may extend to works in museums. Johnbod (talk) 20:34, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

Question on "The Process"

Is there any way to automatically scrape data from the existing SOS! database into a spreadsheet? I'd like to get started on verifying the data for Baltimore but I don't really want to spend a few hours manually copying fields into a new spreadsheet. --Eli.pousson (talk) 13:45, 9 April 2010 (UTC)

Good question! Someone out there might know how to do it, and the Smithsonian seems to be moving (slowly) toward more openness with their data. After asking the Smithsonian for the data and getting a "no," I built the Indianapolis spreadsheet by hand. SIRIS included 205 records for our city, and we built another spreadsheet with over 120 new works we located. It looks like there are hundreds records for Baltimore, and I'm sure many new works have been installed since 1993. One of the things we'd like to demonstrate with this project is that people in cities around the world would like to gather and share information about public art. It would be great if institutions that control existing data would share it. Jgmikulay (talk) 14:42, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
Until we're able to convince the Smithsonian to make their data more accessible, rather than become overwhelmed by manually copying over ALL of the information, I'd suggest working on one specific "collection" within Baltimore. For example, maybe start on the most visited and accessible of them all - the sculptures and monuments in Inner Harbor? I have enjoyed creating Navigation Templates for specific collections within Indianapolis, and we have a listing on our Showcase Page. In this way, you can start working on verifying some important data, and possibly even taking the next steps toward updating or creating Wiki Articles, without getting bogged down by all of the data from Baltimore as a whole. Let me know if you're interested in me making a Nav Box for you! HstryQT (talk) 17:09, 9 April 2010 (UTC)

That's a really great question, Eli, and one that I've thought about a lot. If we were able to transfer the data straight from SOS!, there would be less room for error than the hand-transfer method.
As to the question of scraping the data from the SOS! database, while some private institutions or corporate entities may not allow or appreciate this, the concept of scraping seems to be accepted if not encouraged by the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. Clearly, WSPA is an educational project, and by making articles in Wikipedia, we are citing the source from which the data is taken.
Wile I would prefer that the Smithsonian make this data more easily available, scraping their data seems not only ethical and within their TOS, but also a smart thing to do for WSPA.
Having said all of that, I have no idea how to scrape data, but would be interested if someone was able to figure out how to do it easily. --Richard McCoy (talk) 13:56, 10 April 2010 (UTC)


Please check out Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Watermelon HouseWolfview (talk) 05:08, 9 September 2010 (UTC)


As the resource pages continue to be refined, it would be really helpful to organize more clearly the process for working with photos. Directions for how to upload, where, with a cut and paste template would be the most useful. Is it possible to create these for several scenarios: 1) images from SIRIS pre-1923, 2) images from SIRIS post-1923, 3) photos of sculptures made before 1923 taken by users?

It's really helpful to have information about how to post photos in Flickr and then reference the link in the upload process--thanks for including that! Jgmikulay (talk) 15:04, 26 October 2010 (UTC)

New deletion woes

Feel free to join my fight. Every time I get a new deletion request for copyright issues a Wikipedian loses its keyboard. Thanks peeps! Missvain (talk) 16:05, 10 November 2010 (UTC)


I must say that, whilst the deletion notice is rather blunt (in true wikipedia fashion), I agree that those images are at-best fair use. It doesn't really matter who took the photos - whether it's a federal agency, the smithsonian or joe-public. The issue is about freedom of panorama and how the US doesn't allow it.
It looks like those images are a good case of "flickr washing"
Because we're talking about the USA here:
If the images are of an in-copyright sculpture then the only way you can take them is as fair-use uploaded to the english wikipedia only.
if the images of out-of-copyright sculpture then you can't even claim fair-use because we can get a better photo more readily (this is the "replacability" clause in the fair-use template) and upload it straight to Commons. Sorry. Witty Lama 16:44, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

Changing the name of WSPA

Hi all, For a while now a number of the project leaders have been considering the effectiveness of the name of this project. The question is around the word "saves." It seems like having this word in the title may come off as a bit exclusionary and perhaps evangelistic. This has occasionally been problematic when the WSPA logo has been placed on the talk page of an article that may or may not actually need to be "saved."

This notion of saves was clearly borrowed from SOS! but the goal of the project is to truly become a global effort. It is also a project that would benefit from having more people take ownership in.

To this end, would the project be better served if it were re-named? How about just naming it: Wikiproject: Public art, which could either be WPA, a nice reference to Works Progress Administration, that created many public art projects. Or WPPA, which keeps the four letter acronym and also allows us to make funny jokes about Canadians. Get it? W.P.P., eh? Just a joke!

Anyway, I'd really like some feedback on this. Some bits of changing the name would be easy, others would be more difficult. We'd have to re-brand the project some and change a few things. But I wonder if we'd have to go in and change all of the 1,000 or so banners that have been placed on articles. That'd be a lot of work!

Thoughts? Other ideas? --RichardMcCoy (talk) 12:30, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

I think there would be ways (cue User:Nihiltres) to move the present WSPA banner template to a new name and edit its content; in this way we wouldn't have to switch out all of the templates with a new one. I'm also sure, if we did do a new one, there is likely a bot who can change them out.
I like WPPA because it is a traditional thing to consider the P in WikiProject part of the acronym. Obviously everything in Wikipedia is "WP:..." so, it works. It also rolls off the tongue better and is similar to our current name. HstryQT (talk) 12:36, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm not a member, but the name has always seemed OTT to me, sometimes comically so, especially when used on banners at places like Talk:Arch of Constantine, where the Italians no doubt think it is their government who is doing whatever saving is required. So almost any new name would be an improvement. But I & many others object to bannercruft in general, & would suggest that every public sculpture in the world should not get a meaningless banner, given the resources available to your project. Far more useful, but difficult, would be improving the categorization of public art, which is extremely variable. But you can't just set up a bot to do that, though some bot searches might be useful. Johnbod (talk) 13:09, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
Good thoughts, Johnbod. Yours is one of the strongest argument for changing the title. I don't know what OTT means, but perhaps you meant ODD? Also, I don't object to "bannercruft" in any way because it helps to collect and categorize public artworks and point out the historic interrelations between what is being made today and what has been made before.
The definition of public art is so often debated to no productive end, I'm not willing to weigh in on any meaningful level to what should and should not be considered public art. This would be unproductive to the actual project at hand (and I'm fairly certain there have been no incidents that have arisen after someone has removed our banner).
Oh, and, uh, why aren't you a member, Johnbod? Clearly this project could use your input and I'm sure you have a copious amount of free time to pitch in. :) --RichardMcCoy (talk) 13:29, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, OTT = "Over the top" - English phrase for excessive. Sculpture's not really my thing, so I won't join, but thanks. Johnbod (talk) 13:38, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
I support changing the name of the project to WikiProject Public Art. In keeping with other WikiProjects, I think we should avoid acronymizing the name. I actually agree with Johnbod that we need to devote some brain power to clarifying how the term public art is used and understood within Wikipedia, especially since there is a Wikiproject Sculpture and especially since we aspire for this to be a global project. It would take a lot of work, but I'd like to see the Public art article improved, maybe even to the level of Featured Article. Jgmikulay (talk) 13:47, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
I wouldn't be concerned with separating ourselves from what WikProject Sculpture is doing, but rather would suggest we combine the resources of the two under (potential rename) WikiProject Public Art, since that project is inactive. HstryQT (talk) 13:53, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
(ec)Actually when I said "categorization" above I just meant the including and grouping of works in Wikipedia categories, not general issues of definitions & categories, which I'm also not too interested in here. If your banner has been removed I doubt if it was often on definitional grounds, more likely editors questioning the relevance of your project to a particular article. Johnbod (talk) 13:57, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

I know of no instance of the banner being removed, but I haven't been watching that carefully. Even though the definition of public art is murky, I think we could quite comfortably move over to public art and not worry about getting close to sculpture.

Any other ideas for names? Also, does anyone know if there are any places within the Wiki Projects council that would benefit from a discussion about this?--RichardMcCoy (talk) 14:42, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

I actually like the idea of changing the name to reference strictly "Public Art" it's easy, it's simple and it's fairly obvious I think - and less evangelistic (even though I do like the bit of elitism it gave off and "superheroism", especially when I spend 8 hours driving around cities photographing art). I don't think we need to worry about the sculpture project - it hasn't been touched in over a year (based on edit history) and is tagged potentially inactive (like oh so many projects). And frankly, the way we are busting our butts with WSPA, I'm not worried about stepping on other projects toes at this time.
I think it's a great idea that Jgmikulay mentioned about putting work into the Public Art article and maintaining the goal of having it be a featured article. It might also help solidify our scope, and I feel like, again, based on the work I see (and spending vast amounts of time on Wikipedia, and tagging the majority of public art works with WSPA banners), we are helping to define that at this time, and we are the forerunners. Then again, I'm a one of those types that doesn't like to beat around the bush and likes to get down and dirty into projects ;) (Not sure if any of this helped....I do like the throw back to WPA, but, WPA work is often my favorite public art!)Missvain (talk) 14:57, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
I agree with what everyone has said about changing the name. It did seem a little strange that it claimed to be saving art, although I have been explaining that as that the interest the project raises will help to conserve the artworks. Although I like the straightfowardness of Wikiproject: Public Art, it seems to be lacking the pizazz of the current name. Unfortunately, I don't have suggestions at the moment, but will think about it.Claudiamoon (talk) 18:41, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

My final thought - as long as the bird stays, I'm down for anything. :) Missvain (talk) 21:54, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia can benefit from many virtues; pizazz in names is not among the profitable ones. Make the name simple and straightforward so people don't home in a cute name, see that it has no relevance to the work at hand, and look for less futile things to do. Jim.henderson (talk) 12:39, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
  • I came across the project for the first time yesterday while stub-sorting, and was initially puzzled by this campaigning group, as it sounded to be. (Not helped by the fact that a mangled version of the banner template had been put on the article page rather than the talk page... ). A straightforward title like "WPPA" would be much clearer for outsiders - and the banner is aimed at outsiders! PamD (talk) 16:20, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

Thanks everyone for your thoughts and input. We will be changing the name of this project in the very near future. --RichardMcCoy (talk) 16:30, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

Naming Conventions

I am working on an article for a piece with both a designer and a sculptor, and I'm not sure how to name it. Also, the piece is a commemorative plaque of a speech Abe Lincoln gave, and the plaque has no official title. I don't know what to name the article so that it won't be confused with other Lincoln articles. Can anyone direct me to a a good resource on how WSPA handles this type of situation?Rearnold22 (talk) 16:30, 22 November 2010 (UTC)Rearnold22

Template use

I left a message on Wikipedia talk:WSPA/WSPATemplate after finding a very messy article created using the template and moved into user space when it was far from fit to be seen in public. PamD (talk) 09:50, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

Upload problem

I have one student that every time she tries to go to it tells her that it encountered an error because she is does not have permission to view the page. This happened even when she was signed in (and her username has been activated). Does anyone have any idea what the problem could be? Claudiamoon (talk) 22:02, 8 December 2010 (UTC)

Use of template

I wonder if you need to make it even more clear on the template that an article should not be moved into article space until it is ready to be seen in a public encyclopedia. I've recently had to do a lot of work commenting out irrelevant fields (including the whole first paragraph with no fields completed, and an infobox showing "year YYYY")and generally cleaning up an article which an editor had created in userspace and then moved into article space misguidedly thinking it was ready (or were they perhaps racing a friend or classmate? Might explain!). Would the template benefit from more commenting out, so that fields not being used are suppressed - this article include the dummy "See also" section in full.

This was an article by a newbie editor - if your project is recruiting a group of new editors, then please make it easier for them to work with this article template. The article I came across was not fit to be seen online. PamD (talk) 09:30, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

Thank you for your feedback and for taking the time to clean up the one article. I understand your frustration, but know that this was a unique situation. We've had dozens of students who have followed the directions to a T and have caused no issues. I would ask that you try to be more patient with your comments to the students themselves, as I'm sure you're very much aware of the no biting policy.
When students follow directions they begin on the Template Guidelines page and then go on to the very detailed Style Guide, which lists out how to fill in every single heading, and links off to appropriate Manuals of Style and Policies. Within the template itself I state: After completing the article, please remove all excess help comments that are within <brackets>. I don't know how much clearer I can be. In the Template Guidelines page, it also states to not move your article until it is complete or a qualifying stub.
That said, a major portion of our project this year is gathering feedback on the various guides and templates and making them more streamlined. We will be working on that in the coming months. So I appreciate your input, it will certainly be valuable. Remember that Wikipedia is a learning experience for everyone at some point, even yourself, I'm sure. Thanks for your time. HstryQT (talk) 12:45, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
Many thanks to you PamD for your work! I don't blame you for being upset at all with that editor. When I saw that editor's two articles go live yesterday I assumed they would both be deleted because they were clearly not ready to be in Wikipedia. Like HstryQT states, a considerable effort has been made to prepare the students to be good researchers, writers, and WP editors. To date the 21 students in my class have worked on 38 individual artworks and our project is really starting to come together. Here's a link to the project, which has a clear set of instructions in the assignments. If you're interested you can see the Indiana Statehouse Public Art Collection and check out the many other fine articles that have been created by new WP editors. Thanks again, --RichardMcCoy (talk) 13:38, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
As for "assumed they would both be deleted", if I could have worked out a justification within one of the categories for speedy deletion I'd have done so, but it wasn't either patent nonsense or anything else speediable... might have tried A7, no assertion or indication of notability I suppose. Prod or AfD takes too long to get rid of something, so manually turning it into something looking presentable seemed the best option in the interests of the encyclopedia. And as for not biting ... I could have been a lot more brutal in my comments, though perhaps should have been a bit more gentle. The fact remains that putting something as unready as that into the main encyclopedia certainly gives the appearance of treating WP with disrespect: it's not a testbed for hurried deadline-meeting student coursework, it's a live encyclopedia consulted worldwide, and has a "random article" button so that anything is liable to be read once it's in article space. PamD (talk) 17:04, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
I'm in total agreement with you, PamD. Thank you for your work. --RichardMcCoy (talk) 17:06, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
It's very disappointing today to see that after spending two hours editing it, the editor left her other article in such a tatty state. I've upgraded it to something fit to be seen. I have doubts about the notability of these artworks, but won't bother with prod or AfD. Someone else may do so. And this is graduate school work? A lot still to be learned. PamD (talk) 08:23, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

Thanks, PamD. This is graduate school work. You can read a bit about the project here. As for the notability issue, I dug around a lot earlier this year but never found any language within Wikipedia discussions that deal with the notability of an artwork. Having said that, I believe any artwork that has been paid for by State funds and is in on public display is inherently notable. If you know of any discussions that relate to public artworks, I'd be very interested in seeing them. Thanks again, --RichardMcCoy (talk) 12:49, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

Trolling Talking about this project on Commons Village Pump

Hello folks,

I thought you might want to hear about this thread : commons:Commons:Village_pump#Wikiproject:Wikipedia_saves_public_art..._and_ignores_US_copyright_law.

Commons is often said to be an unwelcoming place, and I apologise for the low esteem you may have for Commons contributors following these sad events. :-(

Jean-Fred (talk) 18:57, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for the heads up. I'm happy to see collaborators already engaging the discussion. Jgmikulay (talk) 21:23, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
Good to see how that was handled quickly and people can easily see that you're doing the right thing. Witty Lama 04:35, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

Self referencing in the article

I see people have already noticed this issue, but for those who mightn't have done so yet... I've noticed a couple of WSPA articles with this in them:

This article was created as a part of the Wikipedia Saves Public Art initiative.

Can you please remove this from the article? This would be fine in the talkpage (and many of the talkpages already use the "this article is/was part of a school assignment" template, but is inappropriate in the article itself as it is both self-referential and completely non-noteworthy in the grand scheme of things. If the fact of the WSPA course gets discussed in some reliable source, and a particular article is mentioned in that source, then and only then might the fact of the WSPA course be relevant to mention in the article itself. I hope that helps. Keep up the good work guys :-) Witty Lama 04:41, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

Thank you for articulating this. I think we've caught all of the instances of WSPA image usage on the main article pages. Just the banner on the talk pages should remain. HstryQT (talk) 12:05, 10 December 2010 (UTC)


In an effort to clean up the user box and template for this project, I seem to have created a gigantic mess of them both. I'm currently trying to figure out what I've done, but if anyone has any ideas or wants to pitch in, please do so! --RichardMcCoy (talk) 14:45, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

The user box has now been moved to its more appropriate home User:UBX/Public art, but the other two accidental accounts should somehow be deleted. You may try adding a Speedy deletion template to it, or just asking on that talk page. But it may be considered an account that needs to be deleted, which would be different. HstryQT (talk) 15:07, 23 December 2010 (UTC)
I've been working on redirecting/deleting/renaming the project pgs so that they reflect the current project name. There were a few duplicate userboxes, so they now point to {{User WP Public art}}, in the template namespace. There are still a few loose pages out there, still trying to locate them! --Funandtrvl (talk) 04:39, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
Here is a link to the special page showing in non-italics, which pages still have to be redirected or moved to the new project name: [2]

lead sentence "Title of Artwork, is a public artwork ..."

I wonder: this project is focussed on "public art", but surely the primary characteristic of any piece of public art is not that it is a public artwork but that it is a bronze statue, or a mural, or whatever? I wonder whether the wording of the article template is a good idea? Shouldn't editors be encouraged to write "X is a marble statue of Y" or "Z is a bronze memorial commemorating W" as the opening line? It matters, because in some circumstances the opening few words of the article are all one sees (eg hovering a mouse over a link), and the Wikipedia norm is that the topic of the article is fully and accurately described in that opening statement. The nearest I can find to chapter and verse for this is "If its subject is amenable to definition, then the first sentence should give a concise definition: where possible, one that puts the article in context for the nonspecialist." at WP:MOSBEGIN, but I think that just about covers it.

And there certainly shouldn't be a comma after "title of work", anyway!

Just another thought arising from my first encounter with WSPA, speaking as a generalist WP editor! PamD (talk) 16:36, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

A very good point. Could we have a respnse from the "leadership"? Johnbod (talk) 03:57, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

Clarity on project leadership & task force leadership

In the previous iteration of this project, when it was first coming into existence, there was a listing for "Project Leadership," this title was more of a matter of convenience of organization. There are no "leaders" of the entire project; public art and Wikipedia are way to big for any few people to lead. Instead, everyone should consider themselves a project leader. Start a task force in your city or area and get to work.

The membership page has been adjusted to reflect this correctly.

While I love to hear new ideas, the most productive way to address them in my opinion is to do them yourself; this is the fun of Wikipedia and looking at public art. --RichardMcCoy (talk) 22:15, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

Finding, tagging and assessing all of the articles about public art

This is a place to plan the best system for finding, tagging, and assessing articles about public art. Of course this should be a place to consider the project on a global scale. Productive thoughts encouraged. --RichardMcCoy (talk) 03:00, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

Thanks. First question, do you pretty much assume all monuments (washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, etc) and public art in scope or is there a limit to that? --Kumioko (talk) 03:33, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
The article you link to gives different definitions of the term. Which are you using? Johnbod (talk) 03:56, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

Public art can be defined in so many arenas. Your best bet is to reflect on the tagged articles that I have done. I have tagged over 1200 articles as public art related. Public art can consist of objects that are artistically aesthetic in some manner that are in the public sphere - free and easily accessible to view. A simple gravestone that is declared a "tribute" is not necessarily a work of art worth discussing, however, yes, the Washington Monument is. Graffiti can be considered public art. Murals, performance art that takes place in parks for free, chalk art on the ground by talented artisans. You are always welcome to send me links of interest and I will confirm if it works in our arena.

My biggest need is for people to take photos and WRITE ARTICLES. Tagging articles, IMHO, isn't a major concern. Missvain (talk) 16:46, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

I see the main project page says, almost at the start, "The definition of public art is often debated. This WikiProject seeks to be as inclusive as possible." That would appear to mean that all art in public ownership is included, for example the entire contents of the NGA Washington. If that is the case the project overlaps with the great majority of the area covered by the main Visual Art project, & I can see any point in having two projects covering virtually the same subject. Nor is wider WP opinion at all favourable to project forking in this way. It would be better to redefine the scope to cover art that was intended or commissioned with public ownership or display in mind, and also outdoor art more generally. I'm not fussy about an exact definition, but at the moment the declared scope appears to include Rembrandt prints and Ancient Egyptian jewellery in museums, not that you are tagging these of course. Johnbod (talk) 17:40, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
The public art article needs a lot of work. As state in the lead sentence of this project, "The definition of public art is often debated. This WikiProject seeks to be as inclusive as possible." I stand behind that and would prefer to do as Missvain says, work on productive ends rather then spend time parsing definitions here. However, if someone would like to review all of the current scholarship and update the article on public art, this would certainly be a benefit to many, including those directly involved in this project. --RichardMcCoy (talk) 17:36, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
Well you would seem the obvious people to do it. More useful than tagging anyway. But "public" = "publicly-owned" is certainly a usage that can be found. What is your actual definition of the proper scope? Don't parse, just explain. Johnbod (talk) 17:44, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
I have no interest in defining public art.--RichardMcCoy (talk) 17:49, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
After the Battle Royale I have gone through the last couple months regarding the scope of WikiProject United States I would offer one bit of advice. If it ain't broke dont fix it. If the members of the project thus far have been satisfied with the scope I wouldn't try and change it unless you want to see if an ugly sack full of worms can be an expression of art through discussion. --Kumioko (talk) 18:05, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
I see no point in a project trying to tag or identify a category of object which cannot be clearly defined. Does a miniature portrait in the National Portrait Gallery count as "public art" because it is publicly owned? The project's article template, {{Public art article}}, starts off with the statement "X is a public artwork". If "public artwork" can't be defined, then every such article should be tagged with {{clarify}}. I would rather see the article start with "X is a bronze statue ...", and later described and categorised as "Public art" if appropriate. PamD (talk) 18:31, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

Please define how the defintion of public art fits to your example; it's clear to me. I encourage PamD and Johnbod to work to clarify that definition with current scholarship:
"The term public art properly refers to works of art in any media that have been planned and executed with the specific intention of being sited or staged in the physical public domain, usually outside and accessible to all. The term is especially significant within the art world, amongst curators, commissioning bodies and practitioners of public art, to whom it signifies a particular working practice, often with implications of site specificity, community involvement and collaboration. The term is sometimes also applied to include any art which is exhibited in a public space including publicly accessible buildings." Please discuss this definition on the talk page of that article. --RichardMcCoy (talk) 18:40, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

Why should Pam & I work on this? You've set up the project with yourselves as "leadership" - now act the role. Johnbod (talk) 21:38, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
I've tried to say this in a number of ways, but now please stop harassing members of this project if you have nothing productive to offer to it. To help you and others that have ideas of how you think this project can or should be improved, I've re-worked the members page to make the the project leadership more clear. Project leaders were leading projects in their own cities or areas, which we've re-named Task Forces. In short, this project operates under the concept of respect and doing what you want to do. You and PamD seem want this defined, so again I invite you to do something productive rather than always critiquing the project.--RichardMcCoy (talk) 23:25, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
As I've said at greater length on my talk page, you need to stop making personal attacks and start responding normally to those outside the project who ask perfectly normal questions. My effort is to try to keep this project harmonized with our wider art coverage and respecting standard WP policies rather than going off at its own tangent, as it sometimes shows signs of doing. I'm sure Pam feels the same way. Johnbod (talk) 01:17, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

I'm sorry this is not an area that interests you personally, but perhaps you'll find a way to interact positively in the future.--RichardMcCoy (talk) 03:27, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

19th & 20th century statues do not interest me much, but publicly-owned art in musums certainly does. Your declared scope at the moment is very ambiguous, and on the most obvious interpretation, much too broad. It is not being negative to raise this question. Johnbod (talk) 03:37, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
I've replied to Richard at greater length on my talk page. I resent being accused of "harassment" when I have merely contributed an outsider's viewpoint to this project after doing substantial work on the article through which I first encountered it while stub-sorting. PamD (talk) 09:16, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

It has been quite clear to me from the outset of this project that "public art" is not "all art that is owned by the public" but "art that is in the public space". This is as it says in the opening sentence of the public art article: " in any media that have been planned and executed with the specific intention of being sited or staged in the physical public domain." Generally, art that is in the public space (not to be confused with the public domain in terms of copyright) is also owned publically, but it is not the case that all publicly owned art is in a public [generally outdoors] space. I don't see why this is unclear. 99% of the time this project is concerned with outdoor sculpture. Witty Lama 14:00, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

Sorry for the confusion. I did not accuse you of harassment, PamD; only Johnbod. As I replied on your talk page, you have a history of being productive with members of the project (patient, and supportive, too!). Thanks, Witty Lama, for stating what I had assumed to be self evident about public art when given a quick read. --RichardMcCoy (talk) 14:53, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
Well as we all seem to be in agreement I have boldly amended the openiong of the Project page to actually say what everyone has apparently meant all along. I have not included graffiti - I think you should discuss that with WikiProject Graffiti first, in case they are not as inactive as they seem. Johnbod (talk) 15:10, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
A question: does art which is in, on, or associated with a church/temple/other religious building count as "public art"? It should perhaps be stated one way or the other in the project scope, since such a huge amount of (OK, European in particular ...) art is of this nature. PamD (talk) 15:32, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

Moving on

Nice edits, PamD! I've added a secular & religious context. I hope that this level of definition has satisfied yours and Johnbod's questions. I wish I could be more optimistic to think that it might help or encourage people to actually do work in this project and not feel like this discussion has been nothing but a distraction that has drawn us away from the actual work. It would make a lot more sense to me if you two were actually part of the project, rather than outside observers with occasional interests in its development and "guidance" vis a vis Visual arts. The project needs more members doing work!

After seeing Wikipedia:WikiProject Sculpture go inactive and die, I think it a bad idea to narrowly define this project. It must remain as open as possible to attract new editors. Even losing one is a tremendous loss (miss you, User:Modernist). Likewise, holding any one person responsible for its direction and perception, or other user's work is a problematic situation.

This is such an important but marginalized field within this Encyclopedia, and a project that needs a constant influx of outside experts and "newbies" to be welcomed and encouraged by experienced Wikipedians if it is to succeed. For the reason that it has brought the very demographic to Wikipedia (women, experts, and expert women!) that Wikipedia itself struggles to attract, I will remain sensitive to seasoned Wikipedians moving in to make this project fit a narrow definition or concept, or questioning it to no productive end.

This project has prized editors that have experience in the field and a desire to work in the cultural sector, rather than Wikipedians that have expertise in Wikipedia. In this way, I will continue to defend their work, and even take a sense of ownership of it, not ownership of any articles! The small and occasionally interested community in this work should not have to suffer from their lack of experience editing Wikipedia and constant questioning and threats of notability.

I for one don't believe this day of notability reckoning is on the horizon as has been suggested, and if such a thing does come, it will only prove the irrelevance of Wikipedia and a failure of its mission. If this encyclopedia is to become encyclopedic, than it needs to look a bit deeper about subject matter and how certain articles are more naturally fit to meet notability and verifiability standards by their existence in pop culture. The coverage of the arts has continued to wain in the U.S. and elsewhere, but the relevancy and notability of it has not. If Wikipedia mirrors this lack, than its relevancy will lack. --RichardMcCoy (talk) 18:00, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

Discussion regarding the use of the importance parameter

(the below was copied from User:Missvains talkpage per her request)--Kumioko (talk) 17:05, 1 February 2011 (UTC) Not sure if you knew yet but the smithsonian banner has been modifed to include the task force you asked for. It took a little longer than expected because I had to ask another user for some help but its done now. Just add |SIART=Yes and |SIART-importance=Top, High, Mid, Low or NA depending on the class. Please let me know if you have any questions. I just did the Talk:Archives of American Art article as an example. --Kumioko (talk) 15:02, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

I actually removed importance levels due to conflict we were having about who is to judge what is important and what isn't? The fact that sculptures by people like Robert Indiana have been declared "Low importance" by projects like WP:United States and WP:Indiana makes no sense to us. So, we scrapped the idea. Missvain (talk) 15:28, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
That is the way it is supposed to work - articles will always have different importance levels for specialized and more general projects, and to expect them all to be the same is the wrong approach. Otherwise WP:United States would have thousands of "Top Importance" articles, which would make the excercise rather pointless. Johnbod (talk) 15:54, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
Well the importance criteria is subjective but differs by project and could and probably will be different even for Task forces within a project. For example:
  • The Archives of American Art article is IMO of low importance to WPUS
  • its probably of low or Mid importance to Washington DC
  • Its probably mid to high importance to the SI project
  • its probably Top importance to the Archives of American Art task force.
This is all subjective of course but I hope this gives the general idea. I personally believe that dropping the importance is the wrong approach and heres why. There are 2 general schools of thought in WP when it comes to using the importance. 1) says it gives the article an importance to its readers and 2) says that it gives the project the ability to focus on the articles that are most important to it. I prefer to think of it somewhere in the middle myself. In the case of WPUS we have about 32000 articles, Now if we dropped the importance and just went with quality we would have a huge pile of articles to cull through and decide which to work on next or which should be priority. Adding the Importance allows a lower level of granularity and allows the project to focus on the articles that are most important (Statue of Liberty, Declaration of Independance, Michael Jackson (that last was a bit of a joke but is in the top ten of most popular pages for WPUS). Although your project is much much smaller with what will probably be under 2000 articles not having the importance is going to make it difficult to decide on what articles are truly important to the project and or to the readers and therefore will make it harder to focus on those that people view and want to improve. I hope that helps. Good luck. --Kumioko (talk) 15:58, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
That's right, though 2) is imo the key one - 1) I don't think very important. Johnbod (talk) 16:06, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

I think this conversation would be better served to take place within the project so others might benefit from seeing it there (please feel free to copy and paste my response there; I hope the others agree to do this). Having said that, it will take considerable work to develop subjective criteria for evaluating public art in terms of importance, and I think this level of relevancy will become more evident as the project progress. While it's valid for all of the reasons discussed above, not a high priority in my book, but clearly an opportunity for others to take the lead on and develop a proposal to present to the members of the project. --RichardMcCoy (talk) 16:43, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

I certanly have no problem with someone copy pasting my comments here and regarding your other comment. WPUS (mostly User:North Shoreman has done a lot of the work) has been developing an importance rating for us to better gauge the importance of US related articles. It can be found here but please copy it somwhere else if you want to change it around. In general of you replace "the United States" with Art or Public Art I think wou'll be in good shape with some minor tweaking after that. I hope this helps. --Kumioko (talk) 16:54, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

Thanks Richard and everyone for your thoughts. I too would appreciate if we moved this discussion to the Wikiproject Public Art talk page(s).Missvain (talk) 16:51, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

I also noticed that this conversation has taken place under a Smithsonian project. Doh! That wasn't meant to happen. I actually have had no participation in the SI GLAM projects up until now, so, I'm not aware of what processes have taken place and the desires of SI GLAM users regarding talk pages. Missvain (talk) 16:57, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

Whilst I agree with Richard that if you wanted to make a academically rigorous definition of public art it would take a lot of time and scholarship, I do agree that the "importance" field is a useful thing to have in the template. It is not hurting anyone by being there and it does not require a detailed explanation of what is meant by importance in this context. For the British Museum project for example, I tagged items related to the British Museum on an importance scale that I basically made up as I was going along. People came along after me and changed some, no problem. My criteria was effectively "if there was a fire, which would be the first 5 objects to save [top], next 10 [high], next 20 [mid] and all the rest [low]. Very rough, but it did the job. And of course, some "low - BM" articles are "top" for other wikiprojects and vice versa which is fair enough. I would say, let there be an importance field, if no one uses it it doesn't matter, and if it is useful then that's great. No drama. Witty Lama 14:08, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

my two cents:

for importance, yes, they are different among projects; while some don't use because it's too "i don't like it", i can see the usefulness, if you tied it to pageviews, to get priorities for an article improvement drive. you could also sort by articles lacking photos (phototag). (some information is better than none). i would also be happy to use missvains "priorities" or "importance": your wish is my command. it's part of a divide and conquer strategy for big problems. i don't know if it's better than randomly sprinkling improvement dust, but some people like a to do list. Slowking4 (talk) 23:06, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

  1. ^ Participation in and, in most cases, winning individual tournaments, except the most prestigious events, does not make non-athletic competitors notable. This includes, but is not limited to, poker, bridge, chess, Magic:The Gathering, Starcraft, etc.
  2. ^