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Public Art

Public Art refers to artwork that is located in the public's space such as in the lobby or outside a state, local government or private facility. Public art is either purchased for the space or an artist will be commissioned to create a specific piece of artwork to reflect distinctive qualities of the space, its function, natural surroundings, architectural environment, or neighborhood identity. Public art can celebrate a community's local history or cultural heritage, encourage pride of place and serve as a vital economic development tool.

The following resources can provide information about some of the more than 340 public art programs in the United States as well as links to programs around the world.

State Resources

National Resources

  • Public Art Network (PAN)
    Organized under Americans for the Arts, PAN is a national organization that links public art administrators, artists, design professionals, planners, consultants, arts organizations and communities planning public art projects. Supports an excellent listserv for members.
  • Public Art Review
    The only national journal focused on exploring the many dimensions of public art. Each issue provides opinion, analysis, criticism, and discussion about the nature and trends in public art.

International Resources

  • Public Art South West
    South West Arts, England, provides practical information, policy guidance, case studies and news.
  • Art-Public.com
    A Paris-based site that publishes a newsletter addressed to the professionals in the field of art, architecture and urban design. Requires membership.