Santa Fe is renowned as a center of art, set in one of the nation’s most historic communities. Its reputation as a city of art comes in no small part from the wealth of art in public places.
Through the Culture Connects lens of equity, inclusion, and access, Art in Public Places is an interdisciplinary and collaborative process that reflects the diverse spectrum of beliefs, cultural heritage and tradition, and artistic expressions in Santa Fe. They are cultural resources created through community engagement meant to support resilient, vibrant, and livable neighborhoods. Since its inception in 1985, the Art in Public Places Program has built a significant Public Art Portfolio that serves as a valuable cultural resource for the community of Santa Fe. Consisting of more than 80 artworks, the Public Art Portfolio represents a variety of media, styles, and themes. Public art can be found in civic buildings, along the Santa Fe Trails transit system, and in public parks. In 2006, under the leadership of then-Mayor Larry A. Delgado, the percentage dedicated to public art was increased to two percent.
The Arts and Culture Department implements the Art in Public Places program.
Public Art Portfolio
The Arts and Culture Department maintains a permanent portfolio of public art in locations throughout the community that are accessible to locals and visitors alike. See the Public Art Portfolio for a listing of the artworks that are part of the City of Santa Fe's public art portfolio.
The city's goals for the Art in Public Places Program are to:
- Enliven the visual landscape
- Honor Santa Fe's unique historical and cultural heritage as well as reflect its present vitality
- Increase community engagement in the arts
- Broaden the recognition of Santa Fe as an arts center
- Foster economic development
In 1985, the City Council passed an Art in Public Places ordinance whereby one percent of the cost of capital construction projects, whether new construction or renovation, is set aside for the acquisition of art. In 2006, under the leadership of then-Mayor Larry A. Delgado, the percentage dedicated to public art was increased to two percent.
Implementation of the Art in Public Places program is the responsibility of the Santa Fe Arts and Culture Department. Arts and Culture Department staff serves as program liaisons and managers for public art projects. All commissioned artwork becomes a part of the city's permanent Public Art Portfolio. The permanent portfolio includes murals created through the Community Youth Mural Program, which ran from 1995-2001 and encouraged youth from all corners of Santa Fe to participate with artists in creating art on city buildings. Click Here to read more about this program.
Artist selections are held for each public art project in accordance with city procurement policies. A community selection committee is appointed by the Arts and Culture Department Staff to review artist qualifications and proposals. Their recommendations are then forwarded to the Arts Commission for recommendation to the Governing Body for approval. Upon approval, the artist enters into a professional services contract with the city to design, fabricate, and install the selected artwork.
Click Here to locate pieces in the permanent portfolio.