What is public art?
Public art is most commonly associated with a sculpture or painting in areas accessible or visible to the public, but it goes 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 the artists and architects who create them.
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 that 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 of Utah 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 here.