Why Foursquare?

So why use Foursquare to connect to public art? Foursquare uses your geo-location to allow you to ‘check-in’ to a venue. On its own you might think this doesn’t sound all that interesting, but there is so much more it can do and will be able to do that you really shouldn’t count it out. For this project I have used lists and could use the power of Foursquare Radar. The list that I have created, Art in Syracuse, can be saved for easy reference of the different pieces, museums, galleries, and parks in and around Syracuse. If you enable the radar function you would get a notification if you are near any of these that you add to your ‘to do list’.

Art in Syracuse: Foursquare List

Art in Syracuse: Foursquare List

This function would work for anything you save, a restaurant a friend recommends or a local shop you really want to check out. What is really interesting about this use of the application, notifications on or off, it is hyper local. You are seeing whats popular around you and you can interact. Leave a tip so that a local or a tourist knows that the best local joint for BBQ, or where to go to relax on a giant serpent. Imagine a world where travel doesn’t mean locating the corporate brands you know, but using locally generated data and tips to discover a city you aren’t familiar with. What if sharing our local treasures by checking-in and writing tips help someone discover the beauty in Syracuse?

"01101" on Instagram with Foursquare integration

“01101” on Instagram with Foursquare integration

There is a lot of competition in the world of location-based applications, but for now Instagram and Path use foursquare for their location data and allow for easy integration. Foursquare has switched to open source maps, and the API is available. There is some exciting possibilities in the realm of augmented reality, apps that are using foursquare so that you can use your camera to see where a location is. If you are wondering about what information the application shares about your location, this grid is really helpful, as we as the privacy page. Essentially you have the control, you can decide how much you share and ‘checking-in’ allows that venue to know that you did so. Read the policy and decide if you want to ‘check-in’.

If you decide to use the app, or if you already are, ‘check-in’ at some of the public art in Syracuse. Leave a tip, start a conversation about the work, share it with a friend, create ‘check-ins’ if they haven’t been created yet, and connect with the city! Your tip or photo might be the thing that gets someone walking around downtown, playing on ‘Walt’. After all, if it inspires you why wouldn’t it inspire someone else? Share what you find on Instagram and Twitter @CuseArt, with the hashtag #cuseart. Have fun!


‘The Hand’ and ‘Walt, the Loch West Monster’

'The Hand' by Brendan Rose

‘The Hand’ by Brendan Rose

Architecture and art are not exclusive things. One can see that in the work of Brendan Gabriel Rose. ‘The Hand’ sits as a powerful cultural symbol of support and strength in the space next to the City Hall Commons.

'The Hand' by Brendan Rose

‘The Hand’ by Brendan Rose

A hand speaks; it can convey power, emotion, and belief. It is a tectonic sculpture that’s concrete bones are supported by metal plates and wooden tendons. It is a beautiful piece of constructive art that blends the architectural and sculptural. As you sit at a nearby bench or just pass through the courtyard it becomes part of the architectural fabric that surrounds you. It’s inclusion in this fabric creates an inspirational and vastly more welcoming environment. You can see the July 26, 2008 construction of ‘The Hand’ hereStructure, materials, and emotion are front and center in Brendan’s work in architecture and art. His thesis as an architectural student at Syracuse University was titled “The Nutalism”, where his work done in Syracuse is exactly what I think we need more of. Design, construction, community, and culture are all intertwined. His work helps nurture and builds those connections.

'Walt, the Loch West Monster' by Brendan Rose

‘Walt, the Loch West Monster’ by Brendan Rose

When Brendan became the first ‘Syracuse Public Artist in Residence’, or SPAR, Walt, the Loch West Monster was the first sculpture he completed. Unveiled at “The Molting of Walt,” on Nov. 11, 2011 on the Onondaga Creekwalk, the giant serpent is constructed of steel plates, concrete, ceramics and wood. . ‘Walt’ seeks to act as a symbolic and formal reminder of the importance of Syracuse’s relationship with the Onondaga Creek. ‘Walt’ is a perfect complement to the Creekwalk. The Creekwalk is all about community revitalization and commitment to a long neglected natural beauty the city has in the creek. ‘Walt’ reflects and is an icon of that shift to restoration and protection. The monsters construction and placement lend to interaction, from the bench on his body to the way he is passing under the sidewalk. To see more about the projects construction you can visit the SPAR page. For more information about Brendan and his other projects, visit brendanrose.com

To visit these pieces and more check out my Art in Syracuse list on Foursquare


‘Walt the Loch West Monster’ at the beginning of the Creek Walk

Walk Score: Syracuse

If you check our the Walk Score of Syracuse you will see a score of 85 in the downtown area, but as you move away from downtown the picture is not as good. Liverpool scores a 45 and is rated as car-dependent. So why does all this matter? The people in Syracuse love their cars and there is plenty of places to park right?

Actually we love to walk, at least some of us do. The Onondaga Creek walk is a great example. This ongoing project is currently a 2.6 mile trail connecting Armory Square to Onondaga Lake. Future plans will extend the trail to Liverpool, around the lake, and into the Valley. People were utilizing the trail as soon as it opened. While much of that traffic might be pedestrian, the difference between the Creek Walk and the paved trails at Onondaga Lake Park is the urban connection. The Creek Walk connects neighborhoods and provides potential for attractive walkable or bikable commutes for some. People are starting to discover that this type of potential is important to our happiness and health.

As you start the Creek Walk in Armory Square you are greeted by ‘Walt the Loch West Monster’ the protector of the creek. ‘Walt’ was the first completed work of the first Syracuse Public Artist in Residence (SPAR), Brendan Rose. The large and inviting metal serpent was created to call attention to the relationship between the city and the creek. It is my belief that this connection between the natural and urban environments is really critical to our well being. That is why I love this particular spot on the walk so much, it carries a real weight. ‘Walt’ has all the attributes that make public art so valuable to our community. The protector speaks to our city culturally. Attractive destinations give people a reason to get out of their cars, and while there are many contributing factors to making that a reality it would be hard to argue that public art is a bad investment.

Discovering Art in Syracuse

Four Square list: Art in Syracuse

I am hoping that by connecting the physical art that surrounds us to the digital information world that we crave we can discover connections in areas that are lacking with our local public art. This list is only a starting point, I hope it will grow as I am able to physically locate and gather information about the art.

Syracuse Art Foursquare List