Studio William Cochran - Catalytic Public Art for American Downtowns

The Shining Dark, Baltimore
Community Bridge, Frederick Maryland
Centennial Sculpture Park, Rochester, NY
The Merriweather Horns, Columbia Maryland
The Dreaming, Frederick Maryland
The Dream Pool, Frederick, Maryland
Two Roads, Silver Spring
Pillar of Fire, Washington
Torris, Alexandria, VA
Cornerstone, Rockville MD
Poets Walk, Rochester
Kardia, St. Louis MO
Desire Lines, Bethesda, MD
Oak Wisdom, Baltimore
A Handful of Keys, NY
The Lonesome Touch, Martinsburg, WV
Sky Loom
The Weaving Wall
Credits & Links
Guest Book
Co-Creation and Civic Design

A growing awareness of our impact on the natural world has paved the way for a new understanding of human life as part of an interconnected and interdependent whole. Novel forms of cultural and social engagement in art have emerged in recent decades that build on this new perspective. Participatory public art projects explore and demonstrate a shared creativity, a collective efficacy - sometimes called co-creation.

Cochran Studio is interested in projects that leverage the imaginative power of the community to strengthen and anchor the work and multiply its benefits.

The value of this approach has moved beyond theory. Our early prototype, Community Bridge, leveraged the imaginative power of the community on a mass scale to bridge differences and catalyze a massive wave of revitalization. The project drew creative participation from across the nation and some thirty other countries, helping to ignite development of the long-stalled urban park around it. This sparked public and private re-investment of more than three hundred and fifty million dollars.


The bridge helped shift park development in a more diverse, sustainable. community-friendly, direction and has served as an economic engine for its city for some thirty years, supporting downtown vitality and cultural strength. Over a thousand new jobs were generated within walking distance of distressed neighborhoods. Tens of thousands visit this unusual project every year. It is a five-star attraction on, ranked by visitors one of the top three highest ranked landmarks in the city and county.

"Community Bridge has brought community focus to a declining industrial area of the town, created significant capital investment to areas surrounding project site, and helped tourism to revitalize in this area . . architectural, artistic and cultural development in this community increased while problems related to racial tension began declining. As a consequence, the concept of this initiative has been replicated by groups nationwide . . . Today the bridge has become a symbol for shared values all over the world [and has] been tremendously successful at uniting people, building a broad sense of ownership, creating synergies between sectors, redirecting public and private investments, and strengthening communities for change."
–– Nil S. Navie, Arts in Peace Building and Community Development

"As one who has dealt with art and its relationship to society since the 1960's, I have not experienced a more successful effort in dealing with issues of race, ethnicity and community participation."
--- Floyd Coleman, Chair, Art Department, Howard University

"Community Bridge is a powerful demonstration of the contributions of art to community health. The project helped inspire the founding of the Arts and Health Outreach Initaitive at Penn State, which documents the interrelationships between the arts and health, including holistic community health and well-being."
--- Ermyn King, Coordinator, Arts & Health Outreach Initiative, The Pennsylvania State University


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