Renee Piechocki is passionate about developing projects and initiatives to engage artists and communities in the public realm.
She founded Pittsburgh’s Office of Public Art in 2005 and served as director until 2017. She grew OPA to a team of five people to provide technical assistance and educational programs about public art in a thirteen-county region. Under her leadership, OPA produced more than 50 works of permanent and temporary public art and developed ongoing commissioning programs with entities in the public and private sector including the Allegheny County Airport Authority, Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, Neighborhood Allies, and Community Builders, Inc. She developed the framework and implemented Office of Public Art Residencies, which pairs artists and community based organizations to develop a creative project. Previously she was facilitator the Public Art Network, the national service program in the field of public art, (2000-2004); studio manager for Vito Acconci (1998-2000); and project manager for the City of New York’s Percent for Art Program (1994-1998).
She has collaborated with Jennifer McGregor and to develop public art strategies and plans for the University of Wyoming (2018); San Antonio River Authority (2016); City of Lancaster, Pennsylvania (2016); Cross Charlotte Trail in Charlotte, North Carolina (2016); City of Laramie, Wyoming (2015); and Boston's Rose F. Kennedy Greenway (2012). Independently, Renee has provided technical assistance and public art planning services to nonprofit organizations, municipalities, community development corporations, artists, and others across the United States.
Select public art related publications include “Contextualizing the Public in Social Practice Projects” in A Companion for Public Art co-authored with Jennifer McGregor; “Beyond the Ribbon Cutting: Education and Programming Strategies for Public Art Projects and Programs” in Public Art by the Book, edited by Barbara Goldstein; Pittsburgh Art in Public Places: Downtown Walking Tour and Pittsburgh Art in Public Places: Oakland Walking Tour; Add Value Add Art, a resource guide about public art for private developers that was created for the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh. and Artist Residencies in the Public Realm, a resource guide for community collaborations.
Her work as an artist ranges from Two Girls Working, a decade-long collaboration with Tiffany Ludwig; the Driveway of Doom produced every Halloween in collaboration with a cast of characters at her home in Pittsburgh; short films, photography, short stories, and other creative projects.
Renee Piechocki was born in Queens, New York and grew up on Long Island. She received her BA in Studio Art and Honors Program from Hunter College of the City University of New York.
To learn more than you may actually want to know, listen this this Rugged Angel interview with Kahmeela Adams.