Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Getting Started in Public Art

Embarking on a public art project can be a daunting and complex process, even for those who have worked in this space before. From understanding the committee process to having adequate space and equipment for fabrication, artists new to the process can anticipate unique challenges and growth opportunities beyond what their normal studio practice entails. The UAC team is committed to helping artists navigate the public art process and wanted to share some thoughts for folks with less experience to get started on winning a public art commission:

+ Partner with another artist to jointly develop an idea and submit as a team. Identifying a partner with different skill sets and collaborative experience can be a huge asset in taking on a big project. 

+ Work with a subcontractor: artists often work with subcontractors to help fabricate and/or install a public art project. This can be a good way to identify needed equipment and local expertise. Commissioned artists pay subcontractors out of their funding for a public art project and therefore should include their payment in the overall project budget. If you’re looking to connect with a local subcontractor, let us know and we will be happy to help!

+ Reach out to the UAC team to get a better sense of project expectations and process. We are here to help!

+ Attend hustle events! Hustle is a free professional development workshop series that UAC hosts with Crosstown Arts and ArtsMemphis. If you don’t see a topic you are looking for in the upcoming calendar, let us know!

+ Volunteer at project installations: volunteering can be a great way to gain hands-on experience and connect with artists currently engaged in this work. Email to be added to our volunteer list.

With all of our best,

Lauren, Siphne and Mersadies