The public art program generally commissions artists to create new work specifically for identified projects including fire stations, public buildings, parks and city streets and neighborhoods. In order to reflect the rich diversity of the citizens of Utah, the public art program selects local and national artists to create artwork that represents a wide range of social, cultural, and historical values and characteristics. The work also must be enduring and thought-provoking, as well as fiscally responsible and appropriate for the spaces for which it was created.
Salt Lake City Public Art Program
Recognizing the social and economic benefits realized through an aesthetic experience in public spaces, the public art program’s purpose is to add high quality, site-specific artists’ work to the natural and built environments.
In 1984, Salt Lake City established the Percent for Art ordinance, allocating a percentage of eligible City project funds for commissioning artists for services and site-specific artwork to be integrated into new construction projects. As of 2021, that percentage is 1.5%.
Salt Lake City’s growing public art collection includes over 130 permanent artworks, in various mediums, in parks and City buildings, skate parks, recreation centers, sidewalks, city streets and plazas in all seven City Council Districts that make up the city. The City & County Building houses approximately 120 paintings, photographs, etchings, prints, and sculptures.
In addition to funding through the Percent for Art ordinance, the program partners with the Redevelopment Agency of SLC to integrate public art in their city-wide project areas. Since 1998, the public art program has partnered with Utah Transit Authority on Art in Transit, managing the public art projects on the twenty TRAX stations on the light rail system in Salt Lake City. Funding is also available through Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) and through general bond funds for specific projects. X