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Commission for Arts and Culture

Public Art

Hiding My Candy
© Hiding My Candy by Donald Lipski
Photo: ©2013 Philipp Scholz Ritterman

Public Art Transforms the Built Environment of San Diego and Enhances Public Spaces

Through the Public Art Program, the Commission for Arts and Culture promotes artistic development, transforms the city’s built environment through the inclusion of public art, and provides access to high quality artistic and cultural experiences. The Commission develops and stewards the Civic Art Collection, integrates art into capital improvement projects and public places, and ensures the inclusion of art or space for cultural use in private development projects.

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San Diego’s Council Policy for Public Art (the “2 Percent-For-Art Program”) was enacted to provide a funding mechanism for the acquisition of artwork for new public buildings and civic spaces. The policy requires a set-aside of 2 percent of eligible construction costs for art in the City's Capital Improvement Program projects. Through the Public Art Program, the Commission for Arts and Culture has engaged artists to integrate artworks in libraries, parks, public safety facilities, civic buildings and other public spaces throughout San Diego.

The Commission also engages artists to develop new artwork in the public realm through a variety of projects and initiatives. Artwork created through these projects aims to make San Diego a more dynamic and creative city, engage people, stimulate dialogue and the exchange of ideas. They improve the visual quality, design and experience of spaces, and foster shared art experiences in San Diego neighborhoods.

Other initiatives implemented through the Public Art Program include professional development for artists, development of public policy related to art in public places and advocacy for public art programming throughout the San Diego region. The Public Art Program is guided, in part, by the principles and recommendations contained in the 2004 Public Art Master Plan.