Lead Artists on Design Teams

Public Art South West (PASW) provided the following information on Lead Artists on Design Teams.

The promotion of the role of artists as ‘visual engineers’ and conceptual thinkers, not simply makers of objects, was central to PASW’s work. In order to devise ways in which artists could be involved in projects from the outset, PASW actively promoted the concept of ‘lead artist’ and initiated and encouraged a range of opportunities throughout the South West, with the intention of documenting the outcome.

The term ‘Lead Artist’ is used to cover a number of roles.

These include:

  • Artists brought onto multi-disciplinary masterplanning or design teams to comment upon and add to the design process, not necessarily resulting in specific commissions.

  • Artists brought in at an early stage in the design process to produce public art commissioning strategies, including briefs for recommended commissions. They may then act as Lead Artist, overseeing the recruitment and work of commissioned artists. They may undertake commissions themselves.

  • Artists leading teams of other professionals such as an architect, lighting designer or structural engineer to respond to major commissioning briefs.

  • Artists working alongside Public Art Consultants to comment upon and bring an additional creative dimension to strategies for delivery, for example in regeneration schemes.