Vancouver's Public Art Plan

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The community engagement portion of this project has been completed.

Vancouver is home to a growing and ever-evolving cultural ecosystem, with a variety of artists, arts and cultural organizations, institutions of higher education, a historical museum, a national historic site, and other arts and cultural venues such as festivals, outdoor concerts and markets, and a monthly First Friday Artwalk.

The City of Vancouver’s Strategic Plan affirms the importance of culture, arts, and heritage for the future of our community. The City of Vancouver’s Culture, Art and Heritage Plan, adopted in 2018, outlines objectives and action items for the next several years that will steward Vancouver’s exceptional heritage assets, as well as contribute to the cultural identity of Vancouver through the arts and public events.

A team of professional artists and art business people have gathered to collaboratively create a comprehensive Public Art Plan. This plan will provide a solid framework for the City's Public Art Collection that is both purposeful and sustainable.

Why does the City need a Public Art Plan?

The purpose of this plan is to provide direction for:

  • Establishing a diverse collection of public artworks
  • Creating works of public art in cooperation with the community
  • Engaging local, regional and national artists of diverse backgrounds
  • Providing ongoing opportunities for artists to advance their art with temporary and/or permanent public artworks
  • Considering economic development and cultural tourism when advocating for public art
  • Encouraging understanding of public art and sparking public dialogue
  • Incorporating high quality art and design projects throughout the community- in essence creating a museum without walls and making art accessible to all
  • Providing a legacy of art and culture for future generations

Who provides oversight of the Public Art Plan?

The City of Vancouver Culture, Arts and Heritage Commission is a nine member public development authority appointed by the City Council. The Commission is charged with overseeing the implementation of the City’s Culture, Arts and Heritage Plan, including the Public Art Plan.

The Public Art Committee is a sub-committee of the Culture, Arts and Heritage Commission. It is convened on an as needed basis to review, interpret, and provide recommendations for qualified artists and art proposals, based on criteria provided in this Public Art Plan. This board is comprised of a minimum of five members; a representative from the Culture, Arts and Heritage Commission serves as the chair; one member of the board must be a working professional artist; depending on the proposed location of the art a representative from the business district or neighborhood association will be included as an ad hoc member of the Committee.

The City is no longer accepting public input on the draft Public Art Plan.

Vancouver is home to a growing and ever-evolving cultural ecosystem, with a variety of artists, arts and cultural organizations, institutions of higher education, a historical museum, a national historic site, and other arts and cultural venues such as festivals, outdoor concerts and markets, and a monthly First Friday Artwalk.

The City of Vancouver’s Strategic Plan affirms the importance of culture, arts, and heritage for the future of our community. The City of Vancouver’s Culture, Art and Heritage Plan, adopted in 2018, outlines objectives and action items for the next several years that will steward Vancouver’s exceptional heritage assets, as well as contribute to the cultural identity of Vancouver through the arts and public events.

A team of professional artists and art business people have gathered to collaboratively create a comprehensive Public Art Plan. This plan will provide a solid framework for the City's Public Art Collection that is both purposeful and sustainable.

Why does the City need a Public Art Plan?

The purpose of this plan is to provide direction for:

  • Establishing a diverse collection of public artworks
  • Creating works of public art in cooperation with the community
  • Engaging local, regional and national artists of diverse backgrounds
  • Providing ongoing opportunities for artists to advance their art with temporary and/or permanent public artworks
  • Considering economic development and cultural tourism when advocating for public art
  • Encouraging understanding of public art and sparking public dialogue
  • Incorporating high quality art and design projects throughout the community- in essence creating a museum without walls and making art accessible to all
  • Providing a legacy of art and culture for future generations

Who provides oversight of the Public Art Plan?

The City of Vancouver Culture, Arts and Heritage Commission is a nine member public development authority appointed by the City Council. The Commission is charged with overseeing the implementation of the City’s Culture, Arts and Heritage Plan, including the Public Art Plan.

The Public Art Committee is a sub-committee of the Culture, Arts and Heritage Commission. It is convened on an as needed basis to review, interpret, and provide recommendations for qualified artists and art proposals, based on criteria provided in this Public Art Plan. This board is comprised of a minimum of five members; a representative from the Culture, Arts and Heritage Commission serves as the chair; one member of the board must be a working professional artist; depending on the proposed location of the art a representative from the business district or neighborhood association will be included as an ad hoc member of the Committee.

The City is no longer accepting public input on the draft Public Art Plan.

The community engagement portion of this project has been completed.
  • Draft Public Art Plan Available for Public Review

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    8 months ago
    CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

    The City and a team of professional artists and art business people have completed a draft Public Art Plan. We are now looking for public feedback on the draft plan. Please review the draft linked below and let us know if we missed anything or if there are things that should be revised.

    Public comments will be reviewed and incorporated into the plan, as appropriate.

    We will be accepting public comments until Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019.
  • Planning the Art Plan - Workshop #4

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    8 months ago
    CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

    On Tuesday, September 24, a group of professional artists and art business people gathered and discussed some initial components of a comprehensive Public Art Plan for the City of Vancouver.

    Following is a summary of what we discussed, and after reading the summary, we invite you to give us some feedback!

    How does the City site art? What if art needs to be moved?

    Artwork in the Public Art Collection must be placed in the public right of way or a public building. Any work of art in the Public Art Collection may be moved throughout City of Vancouver facilities at the discretion of the Cultural Services staff, taking into account requests from individual departments. Site-specific artwork may be considered for relocation for one or more of the following reasons:

    1. The condition or security of the artwork can no longer be reasonably assured at its current site

    2. The site has changed so that the artwork is no longer compatible as placed

    3. The artwork has become a danger to public safety in its current site

    Before a move is made, the city will attempt to contact and coordinate with the original artist and/or donor of the artwork. Every effort will be made to move the art to a new location that is consistent with the original intent of the art, e.g. if a work of art was designed to be viewed along the waterfront, the city will seek a new location for the work also along a waterfront. Additionally, effort will be made to ensure the same level or increase the level of public visibility for the art.

    Deaccessioning Policy and Procedures

    Deaccessioning is the process of removing artwork from the Public Art Collection. This policy recognizes that over time there may be reasons to deaccession artworks. Deaccessioning is considered only after careful and impartial evaluation of artworks within the context of the Collection. At the beginning of the process, the Cultural Services staff makes reasonable efforts to notify any living artist whose work is being considered for deaccession.

    Recommendations related to deaccessioning are made to City of Vancouver’s Culture, Arts & Heritage Commission by the Public Art Committee, according to the following guidelines:

    · In considering an object for deaccessioning, the Culture, Arts & Heritage Commission must always be aware of its role as trustee of the Collection for the benefit of the public.

    · Generally, artworks are acquired for perpetuity and not with the thought of disposal. At issue is the Culture, Art s& Heritage Commission’s responsibility to the community, its donors, and the public.

    · Objects in the collection should be retained permanently if they continue to be useful to the purposes and activities of the Culture, Arts & Heritage Commission and the Collection, if they continue to contribute to the integrity of the Collection, and if they can be properly stored, preserved, used, and exhibited.

    Artwork may be deaccessioned when conditions require or when such action would improve or refine the Public Art Collection. Reasons for deaccessioning may include but are not limited to situations where:

    · The use of the site has changed, the artwork is no longer appropriate, and the artwork cannot be reasonably protected or maintained

    · A work is not or is rarely on display for lack of a suitable site

    · The artwork’s annual maintenance cost is deemed excessive

    · The artwork has been damaged beyond reasonable repair

    · The artwork requires extensive conservation or restoration that is cost-prohibitive

    · The artwork is deemed inappropriate or requires removal because of new developments in the direction of the Public Art Collection

    · The site of a site-specific artwork is no longer owned by the city of Vancouver

    · The artwork endangers public safety and there is no alternative placement or site to mitigate the risk to public safety

    · The site of a site-specific artwork is so severely altered that the work no longer is physically possible or conceptually relevant

    · The artwork was commissioned or accepted with the provision or understanding that it was to have a limited life cycle or installation period

    Deaccession of any artwork from the Public Art Collection is based on a written recommendation of the Cultural Services staff. The recommendation must specify reasons for the deaccession. The recommendation is then presented to the Culture, Arts & Heritage Commission. The Commission may approve the deaccession only upon a two-thirds majority vote. City and state regulations may apply when deaccessioning City property.

    The manner of disposition should be in the best interest of the City of Vancouver and its residents. Disposition should occur as follows:

    · Unless the Culture, Arts & Heritage Commission specifically determines an alternative means of disposition, all dispositions are by sale with the primary objective of obtaining the best possible price. Sales of artworks are allowed through public auction. Trade through artist, gallery, museum, or other institution for one or more other artworks of comparable value by the same artist is acceptable

    · Artwork that was commissioned or accepted into the Public Art Collection as site-specific works may be destroyed in lieu of being sold or reinstalled at an alternative site. This process is known as decommissioning rather than deaccessioning. Generally, site –specific works are created for a specific location and are not appropriate for relocation

    · In rare instances, the Cultural Services staff may recommend re-installation of artwork if its integrity and original intent or purpose can be preserved. When possible, this is done with the cooperation and supervision of the artist or the artist’s estate. Deaccessioning artworks may be placed in another institution where they serve a similar purposed to that for which they were originally acquired

    · Regarding the sale or trade of artworks, the City of Vancouver offers the right of first refusal to the artist, if still alive, and/or the original donor if the artwork was a gift to the City. In the case of artwork by a living artist, an exchange may be made if appropriate

    · Absent mandatory donor restrictions or requirements, City of Vancouver staff, elected officials , Commission members and their immediate family members (spouses and minor children and other family members who live at home) and other members of their immediate households and controlled entities may not be the purchasers or recipients of deaccessioned objects

    Net proceeds from the sale of deaccessioned artworks are designated “for acquisition only” and must be used only for the growth or care of the Public Art Collection, consistent with acquisition procedures. The donor of a deaccessioned artwork that enters the Collection as a gift is fully credited in documentary files, in publications and on identifying labels for artwork purchased with proceeds of the sale. The purchased artwork, so credited, is labeled and identified as a “gift of [name of donor] by exchange.”

    Conditions and circumstances of any deaccession are entered into the Collection’s permanent record. If possible, a file on the object is retained, including object and donor history, photographs, conservation/restoration records, appraisals, and other relevant records.

    Collections Maintenance Responsibilities

    The Cultural Services staff maintains an inventory of all artworks in the Public Art Collection. The inventory is conducted bi-annually, with updates reported to Risk Management Services for insurance purposes. Where possible, the inventory of artworks should include estimated valuations of objects in the Collection. New donations to the Collection require an appraisal at the time of the gift, typically provided and paid for by the donor. Valuations of artworks are established principally for insurance purposes.

    The Cultural Services staff oversees the assessment, treatment, maintenance and relocation of artwork. Cleaning and repair of artworks in the Public Art Collection are completed by a roster of qualified on-call art conservators, who comply with currently accepted standards of care and conservation. A complete evaluation of all public art by a professional conservator is conducted every ten (10) years. This evaluation may cause changes to be made to the maintenance plans for each work of art.

    The Cultural Services staff, in collaboration with the Facilities Department, coordinates repairs with the involvement of other art conservators or independent contractors as needed. Reasonable efforts are made to notify artists of repairs to their works.

    Maintenance Procedures

    Objects in the Public Art Collection require a wide range of care under the oversight of the Cultural Services staff. The staff creates a maintenance plan, which is updated bi-annually, to determine current and future collection needs. When available, funding is allocated by the Culture, Arts & Heritage Commission for framing, documenting and routine maintenance of artworks in the Public Art Collection. Secure storage is provided for artwork not on display. The Cultural Services staff works with the Public Art Committee to determine funding for special conservation or restoration projects outside the scope of routine maintenance.

    A centralized computerized collections management system is used to inventory, photograph, document and track all artworks in the Public Art Collection. All documentation, both written and visual, is maintained in an easily retrievable format. Exhibited artworks are labeled with the title, artist and date of the work, at a minimum. At the discretion of the Cultural Services staff, artworks may be temporarily placed in storage or loaned to other institutions such as nonprofit galleries and museums.

    PUBLIC ART PLAN REVISIONS

    The Culture, Arts & Heritage Commission is responsible for approving this Public Art Plan and all subsequent revisions. The Cultural Services staff for the City of Vancouver is charged with monitoring and implementing this policy and may review and propose revisions at any time. Revisions will not take effect until approved by the Culture, Arts & Heritage Commission. Minor updates that do not affect the plan itself (grammatical corrections, updated citations, updated dates, etc.) do not require approval.

    Procedures used to implement this plan as prescribed in any section are exclusively the purview of the Cultural Services staff and do not require approval from the Culture, Arts & Heritage Commission.

    At the end of our workshop

    The group discussed ideas for a mission statement for the Public Art Plan.

    Public comment is now closed.


  • Planning the Art Plan - Workshop #3

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    8 months ago
    CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

    On Tuesday, September 10, a group of professional artists and art business people gathered and discussed some initial components of a comprehensive Public Art Plan for the City of Vancouver.

    Following is a summary of what we discussed, and after reading the summary, we invite you to give us some feedback!

    Criteria for Acquiring Art for the Public Art Collection

    The Culture, Art & Heritage Commission and its Public Art Committee must adhere to the criteria provided in the Public Art Scope of Collection. The following considerations are reviewed and evaluated by the Commission pertaining to all acquisition types.

    1. Aesthetic Quality and Artistic Merit - What has the artist proposed to accomplish with the work and does it align with the project goals? Is the work of art appropriate for the community it serves? Is this original artwork?

    2. Placement/Siting - What is the relationship of the work to the site? Is it appropriately scaled? Does the artwork have a connection with the surrounding community?

    3. Fabrication, Handling and Installation - Are the projected costs accurate and realistic? Does a certain site present any special obstacles to installation?

    4. Maintenance Requirements - Are the materials durable and will they last? Does the work have a limited lifespan due to built-in obsolescence or inherent weakness?

    5. Liability and Safety. Proposed projects may require additional review by the City’s Risk and Traffic Safety Programs.

    6. Ongoing Expenses - If the work of art requires significant and/or costly ongoing maintenance, the city may require the donor to include an endowment with the art - to provide ongoing funding of the required maintenance.

    Criteria for Non-Acceptance of Public Art

    The City of Vancouver cannot accept all works of art. Artwork that fails to meet professional standards for acceptable public art practice includes one or more of the following:

    • Faults of design or workmanship pose a public health or life safety hazard or diminish the value of the work
    • The maintenance and/or insurance cost of the art is determined to be too costly to include in the public art collection
    • The artwork is fraudulent, inauthentic or appears to be of inferior quality relative to the quality of other works in the City’s Art Collection
    • The artwork is not the original work of fine art. If the artwork is one of a multiple, it will be accepted only as an authorized limited edition. In the case of fine art prints and photographs, a limited edition is 200 or fewer
    • The artwork is not appropriate for the proposed site due to scale, material or subject matter
    • In the case of commissioned works, if the final work of art does not meet the criteria of the contract, the City is under no obligation to accept the art

    Monuments & Memorials

    The Culture, Arts & Heritage Commission may consider requests for monuments/memorials that are artwork. The Culture, Arts & Heritage Commission will work with any affected city departments on acceptance, approval, placement, siting and location of monuments/memorials. Donors typically pay the costs of design, manufacturing and installation. Simple memorial requests are referred to the appropriate city department.

    Murals

    The City of Vancouver’s policy is to not allow murals on city-owned facilities. Exceptions to this policy may be made by the City Manager. There is no City permitting process for murals on privately owned buildings; however, if text is included in the mural design, it may become subject to the City's signage ordinance. The City strongly encourages the artist or organization to have written approval of the mural design from the building owner before work begins.

    Public Comment is now closed.




  • Planning the Art Plan - Workshop #2

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    8 months ago
    CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

    On Wednesday, August 28,, a group of professional artists and art business people gathered and discussed some initial components of a comprehensive Public Art Plan for the City of Vancouver.

    Following is a summary of what we discussed, and after reading the summary, we invite you to give us some feedback!

    Acquisition Types - How should the City should acquire art?

    Artwork considered for acquisition must have a direct connection to the arts programming and objectives of the City. The type of acquisition may vary and may include ceremonial gifts, commissions or art competitions, or donations/bequeaths. The Culture, Arts & Heritage Commission approves all artwork designated for the City’s Public Art Collection. Projects with high visibility or significant costs may require approval by the City Council.

    The Culture, Arts & Heritage Commission takes into account the extent to which an acquisition meets the criteria and objectives of the Public Art Collection, and any other factors that may influence acceptance or rejection of an acquisition. A chief consideration is whether the work can be sited rather than stored, or is temporary.

    Scope of Collection

    The scope of collection for a Public Art Collection is important and should be considered carefully. There was much discussion of the sharing of knowledge and expertise of other municipalities' scope of collections. After such discussion and further research, the following scope is proposed as a draft:

    The City of Vancouver’s Public Art Collection consists of artwork acquired through donations or through commission or purchase under the authority of Vancouver City Council. The Culture, Arts & Heritage Commission and Cultural Services Manager are responsible for the development, administration, and management of the Collection with advice provided by the Public Art Committee.

    The Collection includes primarily original two- and three-dimensional, freestanding, and integrated artworks. The Collection is intended to be inclusive and contain works from both established and emerging artists from multiple genres.

    The following criteria are considered by the Culture, Arts & Heritage Commission and the Public Art Committee when assessing artwork for inclusion in the collection:

    • Artwork is produced by local, state or regional artists. The artist’s credentials, recognition and quality of work will be reviewed.
    • The work contributes to the documentation and interpretation of the culture and heritage of Vancouver;
    • The work is original and of aesthetic quality or value similar to pieces already in the Collection and would contribute to the Collection as a whole;
    • The work will appeal to a broad community audience as well as future generations;
    • The work is in suitable condition for use and exhibition;
    • Durability and safety of any artwork designed for permanent display;
    • Appropriate site availability and the relationship and scale of the artwork to the proposed site, surroundings and to the collection as a whole;
    • Maintenance requirements. Because the City must be able to provide proper storage and care, no artwork will be accepted that requires extensive or extraordinary preservation and care.

    Work not consistent with the scope of the City’s Public Art Collection shall be accepted only in rare circumstances and only after review and recommendation from the Culture, Arts & Heritage Commission.

    Loans

    Outgoing – Works of art that are part of the City of Vancouver’s Public Art Collection and are not permanently installed in a specific location may be considered for loans for special exhibitions in public spaces. City staff may cancel loans for good cause at any time.

    Artwork in the Public Art Collection may also be loaned to educational, non-profit or private organizations for the purpose of exhibition in publicly accessible areas. Loan requests must be submitted to the City of Vancouver at least two months before the proposed loan period. The borrower is responsible for all costs related to the loan unless otherwise agreed upon. It is the responsibility of the City staff to review and approve or decline loan requests. Loans will only be approved if the borrower is willing to agree to the appropriate terms as stipulated in the loan agreement. All requests will be considered on a case by case basis. Long term loans will not be permitted unless approved by the Culture, Art & Heritage Commission.

    Incoming – The City of Vancouver may borrow artwork from individuals, artists, galleries, educational institutions, or other arts organizations for the purpose of exhibition in public spaces. Decisions regarding incoming loans are made by city staff. Loans will only be approved if the lender is willing to agree to the appropriate terms as stipulated in the loan agreement prepared by the City of Vancouver. All requests will be considered on a case by case basis. Long term loans will not be permitted unless approved by the Culture, Art & Heritage Commission.

    Further Discussions

    The group discussed the need for a mission statement for the city's Public Art Collection, which we'll discuss and draft at a future workshop.

    The group also discussed the procedures for murals - another topic for an upcoming workshop.

    Public comment is now closed.

  • Planning the Art Plan - Workshop #1

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    8 months ago
    CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

    On Tuesday, August 20, a group of professional artists and art business people gathered and discussed some initial components of a comprehensive Public Art Plan for the City of Vancouver.

    Following is a summary of what we discussed, and after reading the summary, we invite you to give us some feedback!

    How does the City define "Public Art?"

    For the purposes of the Public Art Plan, works of public art may include, but are not limited to:

    • Sculpture: in the round, bas relief, mobiles, fountains, kinetic, and electric work in any approved material or combination of approved materials
    • Paintings that are portable, in oils or acrylics
    • Murals
    • Graphic arts – such as printmaking, drawing, and banners
    • Mosaics –works executed in tile, glass, stone or other materials
    • Crafts using clay, fiber, wood, metal, plastics, stained glass, and other materials both functional and ornamental
    • Photography including digital and traditional photographic print media
    • Mixed media, which may include any combination of two and three dimensional forms of media including collage
    • Earthworks – environmental installations and environmental art
    • Light-based or luminal art that is experiential, site-specific or installation based work. Video and animation, projected or displayed on a video monitor
    • Portable art that may be displayed at locations other than a substantially permanent location or adjacent to the project site
    • Temporary performance or time-based art
    • Decoration of city-owned property in the public right of way includes signal boxes, manhole covers, sidewalks (where chalk or permeable paint should be used) and street intersections in residential areas, retaining walls, and light poles
    What happens when citizens initiate a request for public art in Vancouver?
    Based on a lively discussion involving many hypothetical projects and practices from other municipalities, the following is a draft of procedures that the city may employ when considering a citizen-initiated request for public art.

    The Culture, Arts & Heritage Commission reviews all citizen-initiated requests for artwork projects. Citizens who wish to site privately-funded, privately-owned artwork on public land or rights of way (e.g. murals) must comply with the city’s current Art in Right of Way Policy.

    Proposals for publicly-owned artworks or public monuments (projects requiring team input regarding design, construction, fabrication, installation and placement) and proposals having benefactors contributing $10,000 or more to the artwork require careful consideration and will require public comment before a final decision. Such projects are referred to the Public Art Committee. All costs are the responsibility of the presenter. Projects with high visibility or significant financial contributions may require approval by the City Council.

    Community-initiated concept proposals require a project abstract including:

    • Project Introduction

    • Preferred Location

    • Anticipated Budget and Funding Strategy

    • Anticipated Timeline

    • Community Feedback

    • Context & Themes.

    In addition, project concepts must be reviewed and endorsed by all affected departments and/or site/facility owners.

    Community Feedback – proposed concepts and/or donations must include community feedback about the proposed donation. If a site is proposed, the community feedback must represent the views of residents adjacent to the site or other stakeholders to the site. The city can assist in facilitating communication to the affected neighbors; however, any expenses relating to the collection of feedback are the responsibility of the presenter.

    Public comment period is now closed.