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Public Art FAQ

What is public art?

Public art is works of art created by an artist located in the public realm that are free and accessible for all to experience. It can take on any shape or size and can be built, assembled, performed, painted and/or cast. Public art can be permanent or temporary and is integrated into our everyday environment.

What are the benefits of public art?

Public art contributes to a sense of home and belonging while creating lasting memories for residents and visitors. It energizes public spaces, humanizes environments and can result in landmarks that help support the local economy and drive neighbourhood revitalization. People can enjoy and be challenged by the creative expression of public art in their everyday lives.

What is the Public Art Committee?

The Public Art Committee is a Council-appointed volunteer committee developed to provide recommendations and expert advice with respect to the creation and implementation of the Municipal Public Art Program. Committee members are local residents who take a leadership and advocacy role in promoting public art in the Municipality.

How is public art acquired?

The acquisition process is unique to each project. Public art policies and guidelines are in place to ensure that the procurement process is fair, open and equitable. Once a site is selected, the scope of a project can then be defined. Depending on the desired outcome of the project, the Municipality will post a request for proposal (RFP) or a request for qualifications (RFQ). Artworks can also be acquired by direct commission or by donation.

Who selects the artwork?

A public art selection panel reviews each proposal and selects an artwork based on specific criteria developed for each project. In some instances the general public is consulted and feedback is used to assist in selecting sites for public art, or selecting the final design. Public art selection panels include members of the general public and consist of five to seven jurors based on the scope of the project. If you want to participate on a public art selection panel, please contact publicart@rmwb.ca

How is public art funded?

Public art is funded through the Municipal Public Art Policy, which was approved by Council in 2014. The policy states that 0.5% of all eligible capital projects budgeted over 1 million dollars will be allocated to a public art reserve fund.

How much does each piece cost?

The cost varies according to the size, materials and scope of the project. Producing a work includes the design fee, fabrication, site preparation, shipping and installation. It is important to remember that artists are professionals and they are paid for their time, expertise and experience.

What if I don’t like the piece that is picked?

Art is subjective and individual tastes differ, but it is important to remember that public art is intended to inspire dialogue and stimulate cultural growth around public spaces.

Why don’t we always hire local artists?

We are always looking to build local capacity for local artists. Every commission for public art is open to anyone who applies. The applications we receive vary depending on the scope of the project; however the required level of expertise may not be available locally.

If you have further questions about Public Art in Wood Buffalo, contact publicart@rmwb.ca