Bruce McKaig

Public Art

The Measured Step

This edit is from The Measured Step, an installation and performance piece that was part of The Road Home, a collaborative evening with artists Sandra Paola Lopez Ramirez and Soulaf Abas. The singer is Cyndie Bellen Berthezene and Bruce McKaig is at the rack. All four were artists in the Santa Fe Art Institute Equal Justice Residency 2018. The work explored place and identity, referencing cave wall art and ephemeral handprint signatures.


2016/17, building a barter network between artists, workers in other industries, and neighbors


I was awarded a 2016 Crusade for Art grant and am using it to build a barter network in Baltimore between artists and tradespeople (electricians, plumbers, carpenters, care givers). This project allows me to work with my art and my economics background. More info here.

 This Place Has A Voice

2012 - 14, Canal Park and Near Southeast, Washington DC

I conceived and organized a free public Event Day (September 20 2014) that included more than two-dozen artists with performances, sculptures and installations, historical walking tours, and student docents from local universities. The image above shows students installing oversized portraits of local residents in the park. As well as working with artists and community, I was the liaison with project funders: DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, The DC Department of Transportation, and the DC Humanities Council. The project was possible because I united the disparate goals of the individual funders. More info here.

Box O’Art

A treasure chest of instructions and props traveled to five public spaces in Washington DC in 2011

Participants tried to comply with the instructions as they navigated each other’s complimentary or conflictual presence.

Community Center Portico Design

2010, Washington DC

I was contracted to conceive the design, recruit additional artists for the project, and execute the installation. The initial budget was $10,000 and I procured an additional $7,500. The solar powered lights along the portico roof undulate through a series of seven colors. The work involved coordinating permits with city planning agencies because the center is in a residential neighborhood.

Brent Elementary School Library Design

2008, The School Libraries Project Washington DC

Commissioned and funded by The School Libraries Project (Washington DC), I produced two murals for permanent installation in the Brent Elementary School's library. The project's goal was to inspire reading through the art experience, so I incorporated elements from the reading curriculum as well as historical documents from the school's past. I interviewed the school librarian, custodian, and other personnel for input on the murals content.

brent frontdesk0408.jpg

Photo Burro

2002, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities

In an abandoned department store basement that I converted into a darkroom, I covered the sculpture with light sensitive cyanotype (blueprint) chemistry, then "processed" it by squirting water on it with syringes. Instead of placing a photograph on the sculpture, I materially made the sculpture itself a photograph. This was part of the "Party Animals" art exhibition that took place throughout Washington, DC, the largest public art exhibit ever held in the city. After being placed on the streets for six months, the work was auctioned off as a fundraiser for the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. It was purchased by a local photography collector.

Below is an interview about the work with Joe Bruncsac, WETA 2002

 Letter to Alex O: the Movie

I used a grant from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities to produce my first time-based work, an animation on DVD of a fictitious tour guide twirling and sliding to different places on the planet represented by photographs I made during my travels. Since the project was publicly funded, I wanted to give the work back to the public. I produced 1000 DVDs of the work and gave them away free to people on the streets in DC. Here’s a short clip of me giving them away on the streets: Give Away