National Public Works Week is May 20 through 26! We appreciate our public works staff every week of the year, but in honor of NPWW, we'll be highlighting five public works employees with a new, "Get to Know Your City Employees." each day this week. Today we're featuring Public Art Manager Jo Davis!
Name: Joanna Davis Seedorf (Jo)
What is your position? Public Art Manager
But no, really, what does that position do? Lancaster Public Art is a department with one employee (me) so I sort of do it all. Most importantly, I connect people and ideas to foster public art projects that fit our city’s needs.
How does your job relate to making Lancaster a better, safer, or more equitable community? Public art attracts and sustains civic participation by breaking down barriers and allowing for expression. All of these things lead to stronger neighborhoods and increased quality of life. When working towards a better Lancaster City, artful practices and public art boost our efforts.
Where do you like to visit in town? (Restaurants, bars, parks etc..) SO hard to narrow this down. My favorite place that not enough people know about is PAVAA Gallery on 632 N. Christian Street. I love to hit up the 300 Block of Queen whenever possible (*particular faves are Telltale Dress, My Aunt Debbie, Primitive Threads, Scarlett Willow, and Annex 24). I always LOVE visiting Moira Records to listen to records, sort through cool books. Juany always really great art all over. ABAG (American Bar and Grill) and Tellus are my favorite bars. Flora’s might be my favorite spot to eat, but there are so many yummy and fun places. I shop at Lemon Street Market because I trust the owner (Trish Haverstick) and I know she has done all the homework to make sure every product is ethically up to snuff so that I don’t have to.
Do you have siblings? Kids? Pets? I have three kids. Mazzy (10), Ramona (7) and Frida (5).
What was your job before moving to City of Lancaster? I helped to start Modern Art on the corner of Chestnut and Pine Streets.
What is one thing you wish people knew about your job/what are the most common misconceptions about your job? I am not the official Art Czar of Lancaster (although that is a sweet title). People sometimes think that part of my job is knowing all about Lancaster Galleries, what’s happening around town for First Friday, and knowing every artist in the City. While, I strive to know everything I can about art in Lancaster, my job really focuses on public art which is a specific type of art – namely art that is in public view or in/on/around public sites.
What is your best “Lancaster Moment”? When working with Emerson Collective, Church World Service, Invisible Americans, Latinx Lancaster, and Two Dudes Painting to produce Inside Out Dreamers here in Lancaster, I was so impressed with the amount of Lancastrians who waited in line on the absolute coldest, windiest day this winter to get their photos taken.