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QR Codes Enhance Public Art


The Dogwood Arts Festival, which has initiated the Art in Public Places Knoxville program, has solicited the support of U.S. Cellular to enhance Knoxville’s public art exhibit.

So with U.S. Cellular’s help, each of the 22 new sculptures on exhibit under the Art in Public Places Knoxville program will have a Quick Response code on its description plate. The plate will also contain a text message short code.

Exhibit visitors who scan the two-dimensional barcodes with their smartphones will be taken to a mobile web page that contains more information about the sculpture and its artist. Moreover, those with feature phones can send a text message to the short code and get a one-time text message that contains the same information as the mobile page.

According to Dogwood Arts executive director Lisa Duncan, the difference about Knoxville’s public art program now is that they have utilized new mobile technology and QR code technology to educate art viewers.

Incorporating QR code technology into an art piece can give people an enhanced viewing experience. Not only will people get to appreciate the beauty of an art piece as it appears to the eye, but they will learn more about the person behind it, the things or feelings that inspired it, and the significance or meaning of the piece at the very moment they are standing in front of it.

Aside from learning more about a particular artwork, visitors to the exhibit who scan the code will also be able to vote for their favorite piece. The artist who gets the most number of votes for his or her piece will receive the “People’s Choice” award.

The Art in Public Places Knoxville was established four years ago and features a new set of artwork each spring when the Dogwood Arts Festival starts. This year’s Art in Public Places Knoxville sculpture exhibit is found downtown in Krutch Park.

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