Administrative Policies

AD31 Public Art (Formerly Outdoor Public Art)

Policy Status: 

Active

Policy Steward: 

Vice President for Administration

Contents:

PURPOSE:

This policy establishes procedures for the selection, acquisition, siting, and maintenance of Public Art at The Pennsylvania State University ("University"). This policy guides the coordination and collaboration among the groups or individuals who may influence the selection of Public Art including the Office of Physical Plant, the Palmer Museum of Art, the College of Arts and Architecture, and Commonwealth Campus deans and executive officers.

Public Art is defined as original and unique creations in visual media produced by or under the control of practitioners generally recognized by their peers and critics as professional artists, and located in exterior areas of the University accessible by the general public or interior building lobbies and foyers.  Public Art may include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Three-dimensional (freestanding) works of art in all media, as well as sculptural forms, bas-reliefs, or other sculptural adornment attached to buildings or structures on campus (excluding standard University outdoor furniture such as benches, light fixtures, etc.)
  • Two-dimensional art work located in public spaces

This Policy shall not apply to functional exterior building features, interior spaces (with the exception of lobbies and foyers), and landscaped features – unless it is undertaken as a form of Public Art.

GOALS OF POLICY:

  • To define policies and procedures to evaluate, accept, reject, locate, maintain, and conserve Public Art.
  • To enhance the physical and aesthetic environment of the University through Public Art.
  • To educate students, faculty, staff, and campus visitors about Public Art while advancing the academic mission of the University.
  • To expand the understanding and appreciation of art by encouraging site-specific works of art that complement the campus environment.
  • In addition, for University Park, to support decision-making based upon an approved Outdoor Public Art Master Plan for the University Park Campus that (1) defines potential sites for Public Art, (2) specifies site evaluation criteria, and (3) documents the inventory of Public Art on campus.

PUBLIC ART COMMITTEE:

The Public Art Committee ("PAC") will advise the Associate Vice President for Physical Plant (AVPPP) regarding the following:

  • Outdoor Public Art Master Plan for University Park that identifies sites for Public Art and specifies siting criteria to guide decision-making.
  • The evaluation of, and acceptance or rejection of, Public Art.
  • The maintenance and conservation of Public Art.
  • The acquisition of Public Art:
    • Recruitment and selection of artists to be commissioned for an Public Art project.
    • Selection of Public Art.
    • Implementation of Public Art projects.
  • Grants and gifts for Public Art.

The Public Art Committee will be led by 2 co-chairpersons and composed of a total of up to 12 members.

  • Co-chairpersons The Public Art Committee will be co-chaired by the University's Director of Campus Planning and Design and the Director of the Palmer Museum of Art, who shall be ex officio members.
  • Members

    In addition to the co-chairs, the Public Art Committee will include the University Planner and Director of the School of Visual Arts; representatives from the Stuckeman School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, Department of Art History, Palmer Museum of Art, School of Visual Arts, a Commonwealth Campus, and the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center; and may also include a museum patron or advisory board member and a University-wide administrator.

  • Nominations, Appointments, and Terms of Service of Members other than Co-Chairpersons

    The Senior Vice President for Finance and Business and the Executive Vice President and Provost shall jointly appoint the remaining Public Art Committee members for three-year renewable terms. Committee members will be nominated by the AVP for Physical Plant, the Dean of the College of Arts and Architecture, and/or the Vice President for Commonwealth Campuses, and approved by the AVP for Physical Plant.

Artist Selection Panel

The PAC Co-Chairpersons will be responsible for forming an Artist Selection Panel for the purpose of reviewing and recommending an artist and/or artwork for commissioned art projects.

Artist Selection Panels will be composed of members of the Public Art Committee and other individuals invited by the Co-Chairpersons of the PAC.  The Panels are formed on an ad hoc basis and may vary in composition depending on the size, complexity and purpose of the commissioned art project.

Conflict of Interest

Members of the PAC and/or an Artist Selection Panel must recuse themselves from any decision-making process, discussion or vote on a selection of artists or artwork if they would receive financial gain from the selection of artists or artwork or have a personal relationship (e.g., familial, business) with any of the artists under consideration.  For University faculty and staff serving on the PAC and/or an Artist Selection Panel, the University's Conflict of Interest Policy, HR22, shall also apply.  An artist selected to serve on an Artist Selection Panel is precluded from having his/her work considered for a Public Art project during his/her time of service.

OUTDOOR PUBLIC ART MASTER PLAN FOR UNIVERSITY PARK:

The Outdoor Public Art Master Plan for University Park is the responsibility of the AVPPP. It complements the Campus Master Plan and is approved by the Facilities Resources Committee (FRC). The Outdoor Public Art Master Plan is an "opportunities plan" that provides a rational approach to ensuring the best fit between site and Public Art. The Plan delineates three types of outdoor spaces, and specifies the parameters for siting outdoor Public Art in each of those spaces. They include:

  • Icon spaces:
    • Iconic spaces and corridors are the most visible places on campus.
    • Iconic spaces are recognized symbols of the University.
    • Outdoor Public Art in these spaces has universal interest and great significance to the University.
    • The scale of the art corresponds to the scale of the space.
  • Public spaces:
    • Public - Primary spaces and corridors are among the most highly visible and most widely recognized spaces on campus.
    • Public - Secondary spaces and corridors are visible to the public and are well visited.
    • Public - Peripheral spaces and corridors are not highly visible to the public.
    • Outdoor Public Art in these spaces is as visible and significant as the space it occupies.
    • The scale of the art varies from monumental to human-scale.
  • Private spaces:
    • A "private" space is typically located in courtyards or niches between buildings.
    • Private spaces are not highly visible to the public and will generally be visited by those who work or live adjacent to these spaces, or through individual discovery.
    • Outdoor Public Art may relate more directly to a unit or represent a more personal statement by a donor than in other campus spaces.
    • The scale of the art may vary from human-scale to intimate-scale.

The Outdoor Public Art Master Plan is used to guide decision-making regarding siting and selecting outdoor Public Art at University Park. It is the foundation for identifying and evaluating sites for outdoor Public Art, and for recommending a preferred location for each work of outdoor Public Art. An inventory of outdoor Public Art is maintained that includes works of art that are and are not in the Palmer Museum of Art's collection.

CRITERIA FOR SELECTION AND ACCEPTANCE OF PUBLIC ART:

The criteria for selection and acceptance of Public Art shall take into consideration the following factors:

  • The artist is nationally and/or internationally recognized.
  • The work is conceptually and visually compelling.
  • The work has a pedagogical purpose or value.
  • The work is of museum quality.
  • The work has art historical significance.
  • The work is durable and appropriate for the outdoors (if applicable) and will not require onerous maintenance.
  • The work in some manner represents a critical awareness of and response to contemporary cultural life.
  • The work enhances the physical and aesthetic environment of the campus.
  • The work advances the University's educational mission.
  • Funding is in place and is adequate for covering all costs, including installation and maintenance.
  • The artist's willingness to convey ownership of related intellectual property rights to the University.

PROCEDURES FOR SELECTING, ACQUIRING, COMMISSIONING AND SITING PUBLIC ART:

APPROVAL PROCEDURES:

  • Outdoor Public Art Master Plan for University Park:
    • The Outdoor Public Art Master Plan Committee develops the Outdoor Public Art Master Plan for the University Park Campus.
    • The Public Art Committee reviews and recommends the Outdoor Public Art Master Plan to the AVPPP for approval.
    • The AVPPP recommends the Master Plan to the FRC for approval.
  • Permanent Public Art at University Park:
    • All proposals shall be submitted to the Public Art Committee for approval.
    • The Public Art Committee reviews each application for the installation of Public Art for conformance with the Campus Master Plan, the Outdoor Public Art Master Plan and the criteria outlined above.
    • The Public Art Committee recommends proposal to the AVPPP for approval.
    • The AVPPP recommends the proposal to the FRC for approval.
  • Permanent Public Art at campuses other than University Park:
    • All proposals shall be submitted to the Public Art Committee and to the campus' Chancellor or Dean.
    • The Chancellor or Dean is to request guidance from the University's Public Art Committee prior to advancing the proposal to the AVPPP for approval.
    • The Chancellor or Dean and the AVPPP recommends the proposal to the FRC for approval.
  • Temporary Installations of Public Art (does not include temporary installations of student projects administered by the School of Visual Arts or other colleges and schools). Also, refer to Policy AD57.
    • At University Park, the proposal may be reviewed by the Public Art Committee, if requested by the AVPPP, and must be approved by the AVPPP.
    • At campuses other than University Park, the proposal may be reviewed by the Public Art Committee if requested, and must be approved by campus Chancellor or Dean.

APPLICATION:

Those interested in installing public art on campus shall submit an application to the Public Art Committee that includes the following information:

  • Name of artist and artist's biographical data.
  • Name and description of the work of art.
  • Cost and value of the work of art.
  • Location(s) of artist's other works of art.
  • Provisions for property insurance.
  • Maintenance Plan with life cycle costs for the work of art.
  • Method of acquisition:
    • If the art is a gift to the University, the name of the donor and any conditions requested by the donor must be provided.
    • If a purchase is to be made, the source of funding and any conditions attached to the use of the funds must be provided.
  • Description of artist's intent for work of art, or a proposed site for the work of art.

MAINTENANCE OF PUBLIC ART:

Office of Physical Plant ("OPP") will approve the methods for installing, resiting, and maintaining public works of art.

OPP will maintain outdoor Public Art at the University Park campus. Public Art at campuses other than University Park will be maintained by that campus' physical plant. An analysis of anticipated maintenance requirements will be a consideration in the selection and acceptance of Public Art. Permanent Public Art must be durable, require minimal maintenance, and have a life expectancy of 20 years or more. The source of maintenance funding must also be identified.

OWNERSHIP OF PUBLIC ART:

Before commissioning or accepting any permanent Public Art on University property, the University must obtain ownership of the Public Art.  In addition, the University shall attempt to obtain ownership or a license to intellectual property covering the Public Art.

RELOCATION, REMOVAL OR DEACCESSION OF PUBLIC ART:

The University reserves the right to relocate, remove, or deaccession Public Art.

Public Art may be deaccessioned by the University in accordance with the collection policy of the Palmer Museum of Art.

The Public Art Committee will maintain records, including photographs, of deaccessioned Public Art and, when practical, will keep track of new owners and locations.

FURTHER INFORMATION:

For questions, additional detail, or to request changes to this policy, please contact the Office of Physical Plant.

CROSS REFERENCES:

Other Policies in this manual should also be referenced, especially the following:

AD51 - Use of Outdoor Areas for Expressive Activities

AD57 - General Regulations on Use of University Property

HR22 – Conflict of Interest

Effective Date: August 4, 2015
Date Approved: August 3, 2015
Date Published: August 4, 2015

Most recent changes:

  • August 4, 2015 - Major revisions throughout the entire policy to reflect changes to the administration and operation of public art on all University Campuses.

Revision History (and effective dates):

  • New Policy.