Monday, May 11, 2009

Public Art Handbooks/Guides

Public Art Commissions are an often overlooked area of opportunity - but information about how to enter into this arena and/or how to have one's artwork seriously considered is needed. The following resources provide some very useful and insightful guidance:
Public Art Commissions: An Artist Handbook - North Carolina Arts Council - This handbook offers practical advice to artists seeking a public art commission and includes samples of "calls to artists," proposal letters and what to expect during the interview. Information about budgets and contracts also are included.

Managing Public Art Projects: A Handbook for Artists - Although written for UK artists, a wealth of information and exercises are included which can be very useful for artists interested in pursuing public art commissions anywhere. It notes that: "Public art offers many opportunities for artists, but it also challenges them to develop skills in addition to those required in many other forms of visual arts practice. Public art tends towards working practices which involve co-operation, negotiation and an interface with others, particularly professionals, who are not necessarily used to working closely with artists."
Notes for the Public Artist: What's expected of a public artist? - Douglas MacCash - this is a very short put pointed article about what an artist should consider trying to enter the public art arena

An Artist's Guide to the Phoenix Public Art Program - Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture - "This guide presents general information regarding professional issues that artists may encounter working in public art, as well as specific information how City of Phoenix public art commissions are managed by the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture's Public Art Program. This guide attempts to address the most frequently asked questions about the program."

Art in Public Places Public Artist Handbook: A Guide to the Commission Process - Washington State Arts Commission

What to Ask Before Applying for a Public Art Commission - This is an article by Regina Chavez Chapman that was published in the New Mexico Art in Public Places Newsletter

NOTE: Public Art 4Culture compiles a list of current public art opportunities available across the country and internationally. The Public Art Calls List provides brief project descriptions, deadline dates and how to receive more information about each opportunity. It is distributed approximately every 2 months. You can sign up to receive the list via e-mail on the following site:


Eileen D. said...

The very best resource I've ever seen is "The Artist's Guide to Public Art: How to Find and Win Commissions" by Lynn Basa, Allworth Press. It goes over the entire process in detail and answers questions I never would have thought to ask!

Gwen Magee (Gwendolyn) said...


Thanks for sharing this additional resource.