Public Art Commission
In 1991, the Planning Commission, on the recommendation of City Council, appointed a Public Art Commission (PAC) to administer a Public Art Program. In January of 1997, City Council passed an ordinance formalizing the Percent-for-Art Process and mandating its funding through the Capital Improvement budget.
Please refer to the City’s legislative calendar for information on Public Art Commission meetings: https://richmondva.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx.
Slave Trail Trailhead Art Installation
We must always remember that those who were enslaved and carried across the Atlantic may have come empty-handed . . . but not empty-headed. They came as social beings, persons embodying and creating culture and history.
Henry John Drewal, Historian
The Public Art Commission seeks a permanent art installation that honors African cultural traditions left behind—and carried forward—by African women, men and children in spite of displacement and enslavement. The installation will be located at the Slave Trail trailhead.
In memorializing a sampling of the cultural traditions of their original homes, the installation will tell the larger story of the myriad cultures that merged to form an amalgamated culture of enslaved people in the United States, a culture that—in many ways—continues to influence the daily lives of all Americans.
The vision for this project is an art installation that complements a planned structure depicting an abstracted slave ship/amphitheater designed by Baskervill and scheduled to begin construction in the spring of 2024. Considered together, this new commission and the Baskervill structure will provide a virtual portal and transition from Africa to North America.
RFQ Deadline: EXTENDED: December 4, 2023, 11:59 PM EDT
Honorarium for Draft Proposal: $3,000
Commission Budget: $300,000 (inclusive of all artist’s fees, materials, insurance, fabrication,
installation, travel and all other project-related expenses)
Click HERE to learn more about this RFQ and how to apply.
The Public Art Commission regularly receives announcements of upcoming RFQs for art projects around the country. We have begun posting these to our Facebook page on a regular basis so check back often: https://www.facebook.com/publicartrva
If you would like to get notices from the PAC about Richmond’s own RFQs, please contact the PAC Secretary to have your name added to our growing mailing list: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The meeting schedule for the Public Art Commission is the fourth Thursday of the month at 4:30 p.m. for the regular meeting in the 5th Floor Conference room at City Hall unless otherwise noted. For further assistance please contact Land Use Administration, at 804-646-7319 or via email.
Public Art Commission Meeting Agendas are available on the Legistar Calendar: https://richmondva.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx
The PAC consists of eleven members, appointed by the Planning Commission, with staggered three year terms with the opportunity for reappointment for one additional term, making a total possible term of service of six years.
The representatives from the Urban Design Committee and the Planning Commission shall serve terms on the PAC that are coincident with their appointments to those bodies. The Director of Planning and Development Review shall hold a permanent seat on the Commission as liaison to the staff.
Additionally, the Commission is comprised of representatives from the fields of visual arts, visual arts education, and architecture, along with two citizen representatives.
The current members are:
|Ms. Ashley Kistler, Chair||Citizen|
|Ms. Ana Edwards, Vice-Chair||Arts Education|
|Mr. Kevin Vonck||Director, Department of Planning and Development Review|
|Ms. Andrea Almond||Visual Arts|
|Mr. Vik Murthy||Planning Commission|
|Mr. Charles Piper||Culture Works and Architect|
|Ms. Maggie Small||Visual Arts|
|Mr. Justin Doyle||Urban Design Committee Representative|
|Mr. Gary Flowers||Citizen|
|Mr. Matthew Spahr||Visual Arts|
For more information about the members or their terms, contact the Public Art Coordinator.
Commissioner vacancies are posted on this page as they become available. If you are interested in applying to serve on the Public Art Commission, please submit the application form to: PDRLanduseadmin@richmondgov.com. Thank you for your interest in serving as a Public Art Commissioner. Call 804-646-7319 with questions.
What is a Public Art Master Plan?
The Public Art Master Plan is a ten-year plan that will provide a clear vision for the future of public art in Richmond. The plan will include goals for Richmond's public art, define priorities and artistic approaches for the program, identify strategic partnerships and possible sources of alternative funding, and provide direction for ongoing program development and management. The plan will also address opportunities for ongoing public engagement, support increased opportunities for public art, and celebrate art as an essential element for a thriving community.
Why does the City need a Public Art Master Plan?
The Public Art Master plan will guide the city’s and community’s future investment into public art. The plan will update all policies to reflect current standards and create a platform for community engagement, artistic excellence and comprehensive integration of public art into city processes. The City of Richmond owns 44 artworks values at $1.46 million that need to be inventoried, assessed, and maintained on a regular basis. The master plan and available funding enable Richmond to increase the size, quality and scope of its public art collection and gain national recognition in the arts scene.
The Percent-for-Art program ensures that the highest quality art will have a place in public spaces throughout the city. The program encourages the participation of the surrounding communities in various stages of the artworks' development.
Based on national public art models in 27 states and nearly 200 municipalities, Richmond's Public Art Program follows well-established guidelines adapted to our particular needs.
A 1% allocation for art is earmarked from the City's Capital Budget of appropriate new or renovation construction projects having budgets over $250,000. Appropriate projects are ones that provide public services and accessibility, such as firehouses, police precincts, courthouses and detention centers, hospitals, clinics, passenger terminals, parks, and recreation centers.
Once funding has been established, a Site Selection Team is convened, consisting of a representative of the staff of the facility being built or expanded, members of the community, the architect, a City official from the sponsoring agency, and two to three members of the Public Art Commission, one of whom is an artist.
Through an open call-to-artists, applications are reviewed for artistic quality and appropriateness of their ideas or concepts to the specific project. The site requirements and the nature of the community are seriously considered when the selection team makes its recommendations to the Public Art Commission for consideration of the selected artwork.