Public Art Planning

The Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture works each year with many other city departments, community groups, and the Mayor and City Council to develop the annual Public Art Project Plan. The yearly plan identifies public art projects that offer the greatest potential to improve the design of Phoenix through experiences in the arts. The plan is presented to the Mayor and City Council for review and approval. Budgets for individual projects range from under $10,000 to $2.5 million. The total budget for each project includes the artist’s contract amount (which generally covers design, fabrication and installation) and the administrative costs for the project. Art projects are funded in part through the sale of city-issued bonds, which are repaid with revenue from the city’s secondary property tax and enterprise funds.

PDF2014-19 Public Art Plan

To pick the best sites and projects, Phoenix uses a GIS mapping system to see the “big picture” of the city’s Capital Improvement Program. By layering all of the things Phoenix plans to build – streets, water, wastewater, storm sewers, parks, transit and many other public facilities and infrastructure – onto a map, public art planners can see where concentrations of new construction and investment offer opportunities for integrated design, and where public funds can be used more efficiently by coordinating and connecting projects, maximizing the visibility and benefits of public art.

The Public Art Project Plan includes the following types of public art projects:

1. Design Team Projects
Placing artists on design teams to collaborate with architects, landscape architects, engineers and community members to plan major capital construction projects such as recycling facilities, freeway bridges, streetscape improvements and community centers. Design team projects may result in art elements that are constructed as an integral part of new infrastructure, stand-alone elements built and installed by the artist or a combination of both.
2. Site Specific Commissions
Artists design and fabricate artwork or artistic enhancements designed for specific locations that reflect the history, use or sense of community for the project site. Site specific commissions may be incorporated into new construction or existing public facilities.
3. Purchase of Existing Artwork

The city maintains an extensive portable works collection that includes 1,000 works of art that are displayed in public buildings.
4. Temporary Commissions
Temporary commissions include a range of short-term projects that provide professional development for artists and that respond to selected locations or opportunities. Temporary projects may include media commissions, temporary sculpture, changing displays, banners or other displays for a limited time.
5. On-Going Integrated Projects
The city has commissioned a number of artist-designed amenities that may be integrated with new construction or renovation. On-going projects include opportunities such as display banners that are periodically changed to provide new content.
Artwork Refurbishment
The city must periodically refurbish public artwork that is part of the city’s collection. Sometimes it is necessary to modify existing artworks to adjust to changing site conditions or to renew the appearance of existing artworks that have been exposed to the elements. These modifications go beyond routine artwork maintenance activities.
7. Master Planning

The city periodically develops public art master plans to determine the best opportunities for incorporating art into public projects. Such master plans often recommend specific projects or series of project, and where they should be sited to achieve the greatest public benefit.