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About The City of Dallas Public Art Collection

The Office of Cultural Affairs' Public Art program manages the commission and acquisition of new public art as well as the conservation and maintenance of the existing City art collection. The City currently maintains a collection of more than 300 pieces.

Works of public art, many created by local and regional artists, enliven parks, libraries, fire stations, recreation centers and many more public locations in downtown Dallas. The Public Art Program makes Dallas a vibrant place to live and work and a great place to visit.

The Public Artist Handbook is available for download to emerging artists interested in pursuing public art opportunities with the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs Public Art Program.


What is public art?
Public art is a term that describes artworks placed in public spaces and places where people go as part of their daily life, like libraries, parks, and public buildings. Public art contributes to the vibrant character and appearance of our city.

What are the benefits of Public Art?
Public Art distinguishes the city as a vibrant cultural environment that celebrates the diversity and creative energy of its community. Public art programs, supported by the City, help define a community's identity and reveal the unique character of neighborhoods. It is a true symbol of a city's status and maturity, expressing neighborhood pride, positive values, and enhancing the city's assets. Public art helps green spaces flourish, enhances roadsides, pedestrian corridors, and community parks. A city with public art values and invests in its diversity, identity, and future.

How does Public Art happen?
Public Art happens when the City of Dallas issues bonds to fund capital improvements. The Percent for Art ordinance provides from 0.75% to 1.5% of eligible capital improvement project costs to commission works of art for the project site.

A public call for artists is issued through the Office of Cultural Affairs and a panel is assembled to review the submitted artist proposals. The panel is comprised of representatives from the neighborhood in which the artwork will be located, artists or design professionals, the project architect or engineer, the City of Dallas project manager and Public Art department staff. After a two-stage review process, the panel forwards recommendations for review to the Public Art Committee. Public Art Committee members, who are arts professionals, artists, architects or engineers, review the selection panel suggestion and forward their recommendation to the Cultural Affairs Commission. The Cultural Affairs Commission members review the recommendation.

If recommended for approval, projects costing more than $25,000 are forwarded to the City Council for review and approval. For projects costing less than $25,000, the Cultural Affairs Commission recommends approval or rejection of the proposal. Public Art staff works with the artists, City of Dallas Project Managers, and additional Client Project Managers (where applicable) through the design, installation, completion and dedication of the project.

Donations, Gifts, and Loans
When a donor makes a gift, donation or loan to the City of Dallas for the purpose of commissioning a work of art, the selection process remains the same as for the Percent for Art projects as described above. The work is reviewed by the Public Art Committee for appropriateness and maintainability and a recommendation is forwarded to the Cultural Affairs Commission for approval or rejection.

What are the Criteria for Artist Selection?
When reviewing the artists' submissions for a Public Art Project the following criteria are considered:

  • Quality of work
  • Design
  • Appropriateness for location
  • Permanence
  • Maintenance
  • Safety
  • Diversity
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