Salt Lake City’s Public Art Program
Salt Lake City’s public art program continually seeks new ways of integrating artwork, by both experienced and emerging artists, into everyday life in our urban surroundings. We support our local artists regularly by opening some opportunities to Utah artists only. We believe that through the experience the Utah artist gains from completing a project, from the application process to the installation, they build their portfolios. This allows them to compete more successfully for public art opportunities, not only again in Utah, but in other states as well. That said, the importance of including artists from out-of-state is crucial in creating an attractive, vibrant, and diverse city and public art programs across the country support out-of-state artists for many of their projects for the same reasons. Our public art program forwards hundreds of national public art opportunities to Utah artists every year. We hope that many Utah artists will be selected to create artwork in other states to support their careers as well as promote our state’s artistic talent.
The public art program includes the following types of public art projects:
Site Specific Commissions
Artists are selected from submitted materials in response to Calls for Artists to design, fabricate and install artwork or artistic enhancements designed for specific locations. These site-specific works generally reflect the history, use, neighborhood or characteristics of the project site. The projects are designed for and/or incorporated into new construction or existing public spaces or facilities.
Since 2006, four different series’ of pedestrian-scale sculptures, Flying Objects, installed in three locations on downtown streets, have presented 48 different sculptures, many of which were completed by artists new to the public art program. Through ongoing revitalization of downtown properties, exciting opportunities for temporary projects will include new media and changing displays. Through these temporary projects the program’s goal to help provide professional development opportunities for artists, particularly those who reside in Utah.
Design Team Projects
The public art program partners with other Salt Lake City Divisions, including Engineering, Parks & Open Lands, and Transportation to place artists on design teams. The artists will consult and collaborate with architects, landscape architects, planners, and engineers to work on construction projects such as bridges, park master plans, and sidewalk and streetscape improvements. These projects may result in art elements that are integrated into the infrastructure or as stand-alone artworks.
Ongoing Integrated Projects
In partnership with Salt Lake City Division of Engineering, the program is developing a plan, as standard practice, to integrate artist-designed elements into new construction or renovation projects. The first project of this kind includes placement of cast bronze medallions designed by local artists in sidewalk, crosswalk and/or street projects.
Public Art Pre-Qualified Artist Pool
The Public Art Program’s Pre-Qualified Artist Pool is comprised of professional artists and artist-led teams, all Utah residents. Each was selected by the Salt Lake City Art Design Board through a competitive application process. The list includes both emerging and established artists who work in variety of mediums. The Pre-Qualified Pool is active for 3 year terms; the current Pool term runs from January 2023 to December 2025.
The Salt Lake City Public Art program selects artists from the Pool for certain public art commissions. Because the list of artists in the Artist Pool is publicly available, other commissioning agencies and artists may take a look at these artists too and use this list as a jumping off point regarding commissions and other opportunities. View the current Public Art Pre-Qualified Artist Pool here.