Section Title: Art Doesn't Happen Here

1:20: Michael LeClere, " Art as an Avenue to Promote Industry, Manufacturing, and Placemaking Amidst the Decline of America's Brad Basket, Rust Belt, and & Rural Communities"


Art serves as a catalyst for community development and cultivating a sense of place. It can also be used to promote industry, manufacturing, and business. The entire artistic profession of graphic design and advertising can be considered an application of art. Although the relationship between art and advertising is highly debated and often antagonistic, the application of art within the broader context of Placemaking and economic development cannot be ignored since art is neither blue-collar nor white-collar. Art is experiential, and the distinction between art and advertising is tenuous to say the least. However, this distinction may lie in the degree to which it focuses on the human experience, enhances the context and environment it is placed in, and ultimately to what end.

This lecture will discuss the differences between art and advertising and analyze examples of art integration in the Creative Placemaking process. Topics will include historic preservation & local heritage, artistic interventions in urban and rural design, economic development, and arts role in building social capital. We will explore local, regional, national, and international examples of art integration in architecture, landscape architecture, community planning, and creating places that hold meaning, help facilitate investment, and promote stewardship.


Michael LeClere’s professional focus revolves around the belief that communities are our greatest resources. Whether large or small, they tell the stories of who we are, where we came from and where we’re going. They exist and thrive because they’ve been loved, invested in, and stewarded. Public spaces serve as our best outdoor classrooms for understanding the application of the arts, science, engineering, and economics. Just as individuals have a right to education, communities have a right to tools, resources, and strategies to sustain themselves. Communities deserve good classrooms that encourage interaction and critical thinking. They deserve good planning and design despite their size or the obstacles they face.