Local News

Smart codes connect community to Raleigh public art

Posted February 25, 2013

— The City of Raleigh has launched a new coding tool that engages the community with the city's flourishing public arts scene. 

"We actually have about 300 works of art that are in the city's collection," said Kim Curry-Evans, Raleigh's public arts coordinator.

Curry-Evans is launching the Q-Art Code Project, which will allow anyone with a smartphone or tablet that scans QR codes to access information about the art.

All public art pieces are now tagged with a QR code on their signs. Snapping a photo of the code with a special bar code scanner app takes art spectators to a page detailing the piece and its artist.

"It's an opportunity for the City of Raleigh to share information about artwork that's in the city's collection," Curry-Evans said.

For 12 special pieces, including the Shimmer Wall at the Raleigh Convention Center and the famous acorn at Moore Square Park, students at North Carolina State University interviewed the artists and created video presentations that will play when the QR code is scanned.

"It helped us to document (the art)," Curry-Evans said. "(Now we) have it in perpetuity for people beyond our lifetimes."

For now, Curry-Evans said she hopes to give Raleigh residents a fresh appreciation of the art they see every day and the people who create it. 

"I think this is giant step to show how (art) can be such a positive influence in the community," she said.

The project, which will cost the city $15,000, launches later this week.

Here's a map of public art in Raleigh:


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  • jahudson Feb 26, 2013

    What a neat idea!

  • Just another bad guy Feb 26, 2013

    Art can be great. Hard to make a living without public funding. And who in the public arena gets to decide what art is worthwhile and which artists continue to starve?
    Is this the best use of public funds? Taxing all so that a few that like art get the experience, though we all have the opportunity.

  • westernwake1 Feb 25, 2013

    I think this is a great initiative, and a very innovative use of QR codes for a public purpose.