Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

The Contemporary Artist and the City: Urbanism, Identity, and Creativity

Suzanne Elder Burke.

An examination of the plentitude of art in urban centers. Historically, the artist and the artworld have been centered in the city. The strong relationship between the artist and the city is due to the number of ways in which the city fosters the artist as an individual producer of art and as a participant in a global art culture and art market. The city is also enriched by the presence of the artist. The urban environment effects the artist and the work of art through the support of an art world, the existence of the artist community, the influences on the identity of the artist, and the inspiration of the diversity and activity of the city. Located in the city, the art world encourages tourism and a unique sense of identity for the city dweller. Art allows the inhabitants an increased sense of individuality and humanity while cultivating more tolerance of diversity. In addition, the existence of the art world benefits the economy of the city. The artist gains prestige, support, inspiration, and freedom from the city. To the city, the artist offers identity, humanity, tolerance, tourism, and capital. The mutually beneficial relationship between the artist and the city is a long-standing association which has nurtured the development of the urban center and the artist alike.


Suzanne Elder Burke  (United States)
Assistant Educator
American Federation of Arts

  • Artists
  • City
  • Production of Contemporary Art
  • Creativity
  • Identity

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)