What is Public Art?
“Public art is a reflection of how we see the world – the artist’s response to our time and place combined with our own sense of who we are.” - from the Association for Public Art
Public art, in its most basic definition, is art in public spaces. While the term may evoke images of bronze statues, public art can take on a wide variety of forms and sizes. Some public art is temporary and some permanent. Often, public art is site-specific--created for a particular place or community--and can include murals, sculpture, integrated architectural work, benches, bike racks, and performances and festivals. Public Art is free and accessible to everyone.
Why Public Art?
Public Art encourages a heightened sense of place, can inspire the spirit, and provide opportunities for private reflection in public space. Public Art is part of what translates an address into a neighborhood; it can provoke thought, communication and engagement, express community values, transform a landscape, and heighten our awareness. Public art challenges people to define their own aesthetic.
Public Art in the City of Reno
The City of Reno's Public Art Program is housed in the City Manager’s Office and is overseen by the Reno Arts & Culture Commission, a citizen committee appointed by the City Council.
The City of Reno manages a collection of over 185 permanent as well as temporary works of art that are placed throughout the city. Reno’s public art collection is curated to include examples of many different genres and styles from representational to abstract and a variety of materials which provide our citizens and visitors with a diverse collection. From bronze to wood, ceramic to steel, the collection as a whole has substance and is of the highest possible quality in terms of craft and engages our citizenry. Knowing that not everyone will connect with all pieces in the collection, we are confident you’ll find something here to love. We hope that by providing the context for the collection, even if you don’t like a specific piece you’ll understand the artist’s intention.
Public Art Funding
Public Art in Reno is funded in several ways including the 2% for Art Ordinance which ensures that public art has a place in all City of Reno buildings and parks. The Reno City Council’s strategic priorities for the City of Reno include creating vibrant neighborhoods and public places by prioritizing public arts and culture. As such, the City of Reno has also set aside money from the Room Tax Fund for the Arts & Culture Commission and public art budgets. Funding public art is a broad endeavor. It can be funded by state, local or federal governments. It also offers funding opportunities for percent-for-art programs, public agencies, the general public, individuals, churches, educational institutions, museums, hospitals, corporations, and private foundations. Displaying public art is a community-wide mission with no boundaries for participation and sponsorship.
Check out the City of Reno's Public Art Master Plan to learn more.
For further information or questions, contact Megan Berner at (775) 326-6333.
How do I request a public art project with the City of Reno?
Please see the Public Art Proposal Guidelines page for more information.