Public vs. Private Art Commissions with Juan Alonso-Rodríguez

Dot Dot Dot: The NINE dot ARTS Podcast
Episode 16

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Seattle-based visual artist Juan Alonso-Rodríguez discusses his experience creating commissioned artwork for both public initiatives and private developers, including his recent installation for Lake Union Partners and Arté Noir at Midtown Square in Seattle’s Central District. The exterior steel sculpture depicts the area’s native Hollyhock plant, which grows even in distressing environments. The artwork symbolizes the resiliency of the area’s Black community, who’ve faced displacement in the historically redlined district. Juan also discusses what the private and public sectors can learn from one another when commissioning artwork, emphasizing the value of an art consultant to facilitate the process, serve as project manager, and protect the integrity of artists while bringing value to developers and distinguishing their properties.

Discussed in the Episode: 
Juan Alonso Studio
Hollyhocks Installation
Midtown Square Art Program
Wifredo Lam
Sagrada Família

About Artist Juan Alonso-Rodríguez: Based in Seattle, Washington, Juan Alonso-Rodríguez creates paintings, drawings, and sculptures in his studio and for public spaces. He notes, “As a believer that art has the ability and artists the responsibility to inspire social well-being, I welcome balance between the introspection necessary to formulate ideas in the solitude of the studio and the gift of sharing some of the benefits with society.” Juan was born in Havana, Cuba and moved to Miami, Florida with his aunt and uncle in 1966. He is a self-taught artist. Juan received the notable honor of the Washington State Governor’s Arts and Heritage Award in 2019. Read Juan’s artist statement here.

About Dot Dot Dot: The NINE dot ARTS Podcast

Dot Dot Dot is the continuing conversation around art in the built environment. Hosted by NINE dot ARTS CEO Martha Weidmann, episodes explore art, culture, placemaking, and more with a range of reputable art and business leaders. Tune in biweekly to learn how an original art experience can boost your business and make a social impact. Download the 2021 State of the Art Report to learn more.

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