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Staffordshire County Council

Reproduced by kind permission of Staffordshire County Council

Staffordshire County Council

Public Art Policy & Criteria For Funding Public Art Commissions

1.0 MISSION AND VISION STATEMENT FOR THE ARTS

1.1 Staffordshire County Council aims to develop and support opportunities for the people of Staffordshire to take part in and experience a wide range of quality arts activity and to share in the social, educational, economic and environmental benefits which the arts can bring. The County Council aims to support the development of an environment where the arts can flourish.

2.0 A MISSION AND VISION STATEMENT FOR PUBLIC ART

2.1 Public art should aim to enhance our physical environment giving awareness and understanding of the environment, in which we live and work. Public art provides opportunities for artists and communities to collaborate creatively in the celebration and enhancement of our environment and to share and develop skills and experiences.

3.0 DEFINITION OF PUBLIC ART

3.1 The field of public art is changing and developing rapidly. Many definitions have been put forward, which attempt to differentiate art in public places (galleries, parks, town squares etc). Public art can and should be as much about the process of engaging with a public as providing an end product i.e. a 3-D object (be it sculpture, landscaping etc.). For the purposes of this policy, therefore, the following definition is proposed:

Public art primarily employs the visual arts, but can involve a range of other art forms. It establishes a dialogue, mediated by an artist, between a community and its environment. It includes any art, temporary or permanent, located or visible from a publicly accessible space, which has been created to promote and enhance a sense of identity and reference.

4.0 OBJECTIVES OF THE PUBLIC ART POLICY

4.1 As with all aspects of the County Council's arts provision, public art will play a role in assisting the Authority to achieve its overall policy objectives. Therefore, the following objectives provide the context and rationale for the development and commissioning of public art:

  • to enhance the quality of life in the County through the development of opportunities, resources, facilities and services which enable people to take part in, and to experience the arts.

  • to develop and enable formal and informal learning opportunities in, and through, the arts.
  • to promote access to, and use of, the arts in making a more caring, fairer and safer society and in tackling the causes of social exclusion.
  • to employ the arts in raising awareness of environmental issues, in enhancing our environment and in promoting sustainability.
  • to promote the use and role of the arts in developing the County's economy and in contributing to economic and social regeneration.
  • to develop and support partnerships, which promote creative practice, attract investment to the arts, support joint working and which make the most effective use of resources for the arts.

4.2 In addition to addressing the County Council's key policy objectives, the Public Art Policy also seeks to address the following objectives:

  • to encourage the creation of public art which reflects the cultural, demographic, geographic and artistic diversity of Staffordshire.
  • to promote equality issues and to ensure the application of equal opportunities principles in the planning, development and implementation of public art projects.
  • to promote and to ensure the application of best practice in all aspects of the commissioning of public art.
  • to advocate and demonstrate the benefits of public art through the democratic selection and good management of projects.
  • to contribute to the wider debate and to local, regional and national research in the field of public art.
  • to ensure full and meaningful consultation with artists, partners and participants.
  • to support and promote the achievement of artistic quality, excellence and innovation.

5.0 THE COUNTY COUNCIL'S PUBLIC ART FUND

Staffordshire County Council has indicated a provisional three-year commitment to supporting the development of public art in the County. During 2000/2001 £50,000 has been allocated to the Public Art Fund, with a potential £100,000 for both 2001/2002 and 2002/2003.

This fund has been established to support the development of public art in Staffordshire and will be used to fund public art initiatives in the following contexts:

  • County Council-led capital scheme
  • Multi-partner regeneration schemes led by, or in collaboration, with the County Council
  • Public art initiatives led by other partners or agencies developed in collaboration with the County Council (Other partners/agencies include: District, Borough or Parish Councils/Highways Agency/ Countryside Commission/ Health Authorities/ community organisations/ private sector developers etc)
  • Advocacy work aimed at promoting the development and understanding of public art in Staffordshire.

6.0 MANAGEMENT OF THE PUBLIC ART FUND

A Public Art Fund Steering Group will be established to select projects for support and to oversee the management and distribution of the Fund. The Group will meet approximately four times each year and will be coordinated by the Arts and Museum Service through the Public Art Development Officer. Membership of the Group will include representatives of County Council Departments with responsibility for capital projects and representatives of external organisations with a remit for the promotion or practice of public art. Decisions on allocations from the Public Art Fund have been delegated to the Director of Cultural and Corporate Services, in consultation with the Cultural and Corporate Services Leader, having regard to recommendations made by the Public Art Fund Steering Group.

6.1 Public Art Fund Steering Group

A Public Art Fund Steering Group will be established to select projects for support and to oversee the management and distribution of the Fund. The Group will meet approximately four times each year and will be coordinated by the Arts and Museum Service through the Public Art Development Officer. Membership of the Group will include representatives of County Council Departments with responsibility for capital projects and representatives of external organisations with a remit for the promotion or practice of public art. Decisions on allocations from the Public Art Fund have been delegated to the Director of Cultural and Corporate Services, in consultation with the Cultural and Corporate Services Leader, having regard to recommendations made by the Public Art Fund Steering Group.

6.2 Selection of Projects

A statement of how they meet the Funding Criteria for Public Art Commissions must support all projects. The Public Art Steering Group will ensure that all projects, which are considered and recommended for approval, take account of the following:

  • represent value for money
  • have realistic targets and timescales
  • are appropriately budgeted and offer market rates to artists and project managers
  • can demonstrate support for the project, including community support/consultation
  • offer an equitable geographical distribution of projects across Staffordshire
  • have taken account of any relevant planning regulations, bye-laws, listed building or Site of Special Scientific Interest status (SSSI)
  • have taken account of physical ownership, copyright and maintenance issues
  • guarantee reasonable public access to the commission location/site, including any private sector scheme or development to which the Public Art Fund has committed financial support.

6.3 Project Management

In the case of County Council-led public art initiatives, projects will be managed as follows:

  • directly by the Public Art Development Officer (where skills, time and expertise is available in-house)
  • indirectly via the employment of an external Project Manager (where additional skills, time and expertise may be required)

A pool of Project Managers will be sought via an application and interview process and will be selected to form an Approved Suppliers List, in accordance with County Council Financial Regulations. Project Managers will be selected for projects from this list according to availability and suitability of their of skills and/or experience.

6.4 Project Brief and Contract Details

a) Project briefs

The Public Art Development Officer will be responsible for drawing up project briefs for County Council-led projects in consultation with relevant project partners. For projects led by external agencies and match-funded by the Public Art Fund, responsibility for drawing up project briefs will lie with the relevant Project Manager and must be presented to the Public Art Steering Group for approval.

b) Artists' agreements

Artist's contracts will be issued having regard to the standard guidelines adopted by the National Artists Association and in compliance with the County Council's Contract Standing Orders and Financial Regulations.

c) Tendering procedures

In line with Standing Orders, full-tendering procedures will be adopted for all projects valued in excess of £10,000. For projects with a value less than £10,000 procurement will follow standard tendering procedures in all instances where appropriate and in order to demonstrate value for money. However, where three tenders are not available (owing to the specialist nature of a commission) a Waiver of Standing order No 55 will be sought.

7.0 CRITERIA FOR FUNDING PUBLIC ART COMMISSIONS

7.1 All projects should:

  • represent value for money
  • have realistic targets and timescale
  • be appropriately budgeted and offer market rates to artists and project managers
  • demonstrate support for the project, including community support/consultation
  • have taken account of any relevant planning regulations, bye-laws, listed buildings or Sites of Special Scientific Interest status (SSSI)
  • have taken account of physical ownership, copyright or maintenance issues
  • guarantee reasonable public access to any private sector scheme or development to which the Public Art Fund has committed financial support
  • indicate partnership commitment and show evidence of funding (applied for and received) from other organisations
  • consider appropriate and effective evaluation which will be publicly accessible for research purposes

7.2 The following areas are eligible for funding provided that they are part of a Capital public art commission scheme (revenue costs can not be funded):

  • research and feasibility studies for projects
  • artist's design proposals
  • artist's fees, travel and subsistence expenses
  • transport, site preparation and installation costs
  • project documentation and evaluation costs
  • promotion and marketing costs
  • project management fees (for externally placed project management)
  • community participation programmes linked to projects
  • maintenance or after-care costs (County Council-owned property/land only)

7.3 Artist Selection & the Artist's brief

Staffordshire County Council has consulted with West Midlands Arts Board and has taken account of both the Public Art Policy and Good Practice Guidelines for the Commissioning of Artists information sheets. We would ask all projects to consider these documents.

"Commissioning artworks can bring considerable benefits to a project. Artists can offer new skills of imagination, which can contribute to the use of materials, or the involvement of communities otherwise unharnessed.

Commissioned artworks, whether temporary or permanent are significant additions to familiar places or spaces, and their impact should not be under-estimated.

Often artists work as part of a larger project, perhaps a new building or regeneration initiative. A process of working is required which acknowledges other design and construction disciplines and which allows for artistic creativity to flourish.

For these reasons commissioning requires adequate research time, it involves specialist skills and requires financial investment. Therefore a clear framework is essential for the success of the project, and your vision should be clearly articulated" West Midlands Arts Board.

Extract from "Good Practice Guidelines for Commissioning of Artists"

The Artist's brief should consider:

  • who the commissioner is, their mission and normal areas of work.
  • background to the project including principles established by the feasibility
  • vision for the project
  • site details - factors to be considered
  • technical brief
  • timescale
  • selection criteria and panel
  • selection procedure
  • outline of contract stages and sample contracts
  • budget - is this global, does it include VAT
  • Ownership and copyright - including designs, models etc.
  • requirements of artists in responding to the brief
  • insurance requirements - during development and post completion
  • the artist's role in consultation

Artist Selection Procedures

Outlined below is a brief description of the most commonly used appointment procedures. The project proposal should indicate which method has been used, and the reasons for the method of Artist Selection used. Selection panels should be properly briefed and clear guidance be given on their responsibilites and the extent of their influence. The selection process can involve considerable time on behalf of the panel and this should be made explicit at the outset in order that equal opportunites can be met. As with any other appointment the professional field should be represented (if possible) and it is therefore essential that artistic expertise is represented on your selection panel. Staffordshire County Council encourages projects which are devised, developed and delivered as part of a collaborative partnership with a number of agencies, and includes contribution and involvement of the County Council Public Art Development Officer.

Limited design competition

An invitation to a minimum of three or four artists to respond to the brief in the form of a proposal. This could include a maquette or model of the proposed work, drawings,site plans and budgets.

Decision made on the proposal and artists past work

Open competition

A call for interest advertised in the art press, slides or portfolios are submitted to the selection panel. May precede a limited competition.

Decision made on the past work of artists.

Direct Appointment

An approach made directly to an artist, usually preceeded by research and studio visits. It is most usual for this approach to take place with the advice of a specialist consultant in orderto ensure that the needs of both the client and aritst are met.

Competitive Interview

Artists invited to attend interview and make presentations of past work.

Decision made on past work of artist.

8.0 APPLICATION FOR PARTNERSHIP FUNDING

The application/project proposal should take account of and demonstrate that it meets the Public Art Policy, and meets all criteria as set out in the funding criteria (Point 7) and must include:

  • a detailed brief of the proposed project, including any images, maps etc.
  • details of the site, and any supporting evidence from site owners demonstrating agreement to the project proposal
  • the written Artists' brief & proposals for artist selection
  • detailed project budget (to include: artists' fee, materials, fabrication, transport, site preparation, installation and maintenance costs, artists' travel and subsistence expenses, project documentation and evaluation costs, promotion and marketing costs, any project management fees (for externally placed project management)
  • detailed income budget (to include contributions from other funding partners (cash and in-kind). This should also include a contingency & take account of the exit strategy
  • evidence of consultation with the local & regional community and others
  • evidence of any community participation programmes linked to the project
  • evidence that the project takes account of equal opportunities, and is fully accessible to the public
  • detail of the evaluation method and procedure you intend to apply to the project
  • an indication of the amount that you are seeking from the County Council.

The application must by made in writing and sent to:

Public Art Development Officer

Staffordshire Arts & Museums Service
Staffordshire County Council
Shire Hall Gallery
Market Square
Stafford
ST16 2LD

Public Art Development Officer
Staffordshire County Council
November 2000

For further details on the Public Art Policy and programme, contact:

Owen Hurcombe; Tel:01889 881388; Email: owen.hurcombe@staffordshire.gov.uk