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Public Art

Public art is most commonly associated with a sculpture or painting in areas accessible or visible to the public, but it can and does go well beyond those media. Terrazzo floors, etched glass, ceiling panels, textiles, stair railings, risers, pavers, planters, landscape, fences and grates are just some of the possibilities for public art contributions to public spaces. The possibilities are as vast as the imaginations of artists and architects.

Utah’s Percent-for-Art Act

In 1985, the Legislature passed the Utah Percent-for-Art Act (Utah Code Title 9, Chapter 6, Sections 401-409), which designates 1% of construction costs of new and/or renovated state public buildings is added to the project for the purpose of commissioning, maintaining and conserving site specific art at, on, or in the facility. The collection includes a broad range of media from textiles and glass to stone and metal monumental works.

The Utah State Legislature Infrastructure and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee reviews all capital projects for the State and approves or cuts public art funding for those projects. If you would like to contact the legislators on the committee to express your views on art in public places, the committee membership and committee schedule and contact information can be found online.

Utah Public Art Program Opportunities

  • Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control – West Valley – It is the intention of the Art Selection Committee to commission or purchase art by Utah artists. These public artworks may draw inspiration from or derive context from our customers, our communities, our cultures, the architecture and/or our magnificent Utah geographies. This commission is open to resident Utah artists only.
    Budget: $17,500 – Deadline: September 23, 2016
  • Unified State Lab Phase II Taylorsville – This second phase of Utah’s consolidation of laboratory services includes a new crime lab for the Department of Public Safety, the Medical Examiner and the Department of Agriculture and Food. While the majority of the building is not accessible to the public, the facility is part of a wider open campus serving the people of Utah. The Selection Committee is looking for an artist to help contextualize this unique facility and site into an art intervention for the public, visitors and employees.
    Budget: $275,000 – Deadline: October 6, 2016

Projects in Progress

Other Utah Public Art Opportunities

  • In conjunction with numerous revitalization efforts, The Gateway is kicking off a property-wide Request For Proposal (RFP) for various public art to transform the longtime downtown shopping destination into the artistic and cultural heart of Salt Lake City. Collaborating with artists and arts councils, we invite artists to stretch their creativity to interpret various spaces around the property creative unique, memorable experiences through artwork. We want this initiative to ultimately offer a home for a range of unique public artistry to Salt Lake City, as a place to celebrate creativity, community, and urban identity.
    Budget: Various – Deadline: September 20, 2016

National & International Public Art Opportunities

  • The Arts & Science Council (ASC) is accepting qualifications from professional Artists or Teams of Artists in response to a public art opportunity for the City of Charlotte’s Berryhill Roundabout.
    Budget: $85,000 – Deadline: September 23, 2016
  • Indiana State University Foundation – Request for qualifications for a site-specific project to be located in the city of Terre Haute, Indiana, inside Federal Hall on the ISU campus. This historic building has been recently restored to house the ISU College of Business.
    Budget: $40,000 – Deadline: September 23, 2016
  • The San Francisco Arts Commission is seeking artists for several major commissions for the City’s new Traffic Company and Forensic Science Division building, which will be located in the Bayview/Hunter’s Point neighborhood.
    Budget: $1,125,000 (both projects combined) – Deadline: September 30, 2016
  • The City of Ashland Public Art Commission (PAC) seeks to commission an artist to design and execute a site specific public art installation along an exterior pedestrian corridor linking Main Street to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival theater campus and the city parking garage.
    Budget  $110,000 – Deadline October 1, 2016
  • The City and County of Honolulu Commission on Culture and the Arts desires to commission an outdoor sculpture of King Kamehameha III for Thomas Square, Honolulu, Hawaii. This Request for Qualifications is open to all artists, or artist teams, qualified to work for the City and County of Honolulu.
    Budget  $250,000 – Deadline October 2, 2016
  • The City of Norfolk, VA is commissioning an artist to design and create public artwork for the Lafayette Gateway. The Lafayette Gateway is a centrally located round-about in one of the many established neighborhoods in the City of Norfolk.
    Budget: $80,000 – Deadline: October 13, 2016.
  • Philadelphia’s Public Art Program invites artists to submit an application with the Public Art Artist Registry. The registry allows artists to participate in all selection processes by maintaining a record of their work that will be consulted by Public art staff, panelists, architects, and City agencies as public art opportunities become available. The registry is open to all professional artists.
    Deadline: Ongoing


Contact Jim Glenn at or 801.245.7271 or Felicia Baca at or 801.245.7272

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