Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a list of frequently asked questions:

  1. How can I get involved in public art as an artist?

  2. Where do I find an artist for a public art project?

  3. Where do I find a public art coordinator?

  4. How do I become a public art coordinator?

  5. I am an architect and want to involve an artist in a project – what process do I need to follow?

  6. Are all Government agencies involved in Percent for Art?

  7. Is Percent for Art the same as the public art?

  8. What is the usual percentage of a budget dedicated to public art?

  9. Do local governments have Percent for Art policies?

  10. How does a local government Percent for Art scheme differ from State Government?

  11. Where can I find examples of public art?

  12. Are there different public art commissioning models?

  13. What does the term cash-in-lieu mean when applied to local government public art programs?


Abbreviations:

BMW: Building Management and Works (Department of Finance)
DCA: Department of Culture and the Arts
EOI: Expression of Interest


1. How can I get involved in public art as an artist?

Most artists commence by gaining experience with small public art projects.

Artsource have a well-established public art database. You are required to become a member before you are able to register. Artsource also run a series of Professional Development Workshops (Public Art Masterclasses) for artists interested in becoming involved in public art.

The Tenders WA website lists government Expressions of Interest (EOI) for public art. You are required to register on the website to access the information.

Local Councils often advertise EOIs for public art through local media outlets, their own websites and newsletters, and/or Artsource.

To gain experience, you may consider approaching an artist experienced in public art about mentoring, or working with them on a project.


2. Where do I find an artist for a public art project?

Artsource have a well-established database that lists artists who are interested in public and private commissions. 
You could speak to an experienced public art coordinator who may be able to recommend an artist, or several artists, for your specific project. The BMW Buyers Guide with Art Coordinator Panel contacts can be found here.


3. Where do I find a public art coordinator?

BMW has an approved Art Coordinator Panel that can be accessed by other government and non-government agencies. The BMW Buyers Guide with Art Coordinator Panel contacts can be found here.


4. How do I become a public art coordinator?

BMW advertises expressions of interest for their approved art coordinators panel approximately every two years. However, you may wish to contact the Arts Program Manager by email on PercentForArt@finance.wa.gov.au and express interest in being considered for the panel membership.

Please refer to the DCA Public Art Commissioning Guidelines to gain an understanding of the scope of the art coordinator’s role.

You may also consider approaching an experienced art coordinator about informal mentoring. 


5. I am an architect and want to involve an artist in a project – what process do I need to follow?

The commissioning process differs according to the scope of the project and the budget. Best-practice commissioning models are outlined in the DCA Public Art Commissioning Guidelines. You could speak to an art coordinator who may agree to manage the project and recommend an appropriate artist(s) for your particular project. Please refer to The BMW Buyers Guide with Art Coordinator Panel contacts here

Alternatively, you can make direct contact with an artist through Artsource via their well-established and comprehensive database. You may prefer to initiate a commissioning process through Artsource.


6. Are all Government agencies involved in Percent for Art? 

No, however, most agencies strive to incorporate Percent for Art in their construction projects. The official Percent for Art Scheme (the Scheme) was established in 1989 resulting in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the DCA and BMW, who jointly administer the Scheme. BMW are one of several agencies responsible for Government building projects. 

More recently the Percent for Art Scheme has been adapted for use by other State Government agencies, such as Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MRA), Perth Transport Authority (PTA), and Main Roads WA (MRWA), as a model of best practice. These models are often referred to as percent for art programs, strategies, or policies, as they are based on a percentage of a development’s overall budget being used to commission public artworks.

Many local governments have percent for art schemes. These however, are independent of State Government schemes.


7. Is Percent for Art the same as public art?

Percent for Art is the Scheme or programme that produces public art. All Percent for Art is public art, but not all public art is Percent for Art.

Public art is a broad term for all art commissioned for the public realm most often with public money. For a definition of public art please refer to the DCA Public Art Commissioning Guidelines. Percent for Art programs are based on the percentage of a development’s overall budget being used to commission public artworks.  


8. What is the usual percentage of a budget dedicated to public art?

For projects over $2 million under the DCA/BMW Percent for Art Scheme, the current allocated percentage for public art is up to one percent of the overall budget for the build. This includes new construction and refurbishment. Typically, public art projects range between $20,000 to $400,000 in value but there are also major projects with larger budgets.

For projects valued at less than $2 million under the DCA/BMW Percent for Art Scheme, public art can be considered at the discretion of the commissioning agency. The percentage varies according to the budget.

Private developers may consider allocating funds for public art using the percent for art methodology or allocate an amount that matches the scope of the artwork brief. 


9. Do local governments have percent for art policies?

Many local governments in metropolitan and regional centres have developed, or are in the process of developing, public art strategies and/or tool kits. These include, but are not limited to: City of Greater Geraldton; City of Vincent; City of Fremantle; City of Perth; City of South Perth; Cambridge City Council; City of Nedlands. Most local governments post EOIs for local government public art projects on their websites and/or advertise EOIs through different media outlets and/or Artsource.


10. How does a local government percent for art scheme differ from State Government?

In most instances, local government Percent for Art is mainly connected to private land development projects, whereas State Government Percent for Art projects are public works.


11. Where can I find examples of public art?

A variety of examples of WA Percent for Art Scheme projects can be found on BMW and DCA websites. In addition to the projects listed by year on the DCA website, you can also refer to the section under ‘Artwork Types’ and ‘Case Studies’. 

You may also view a short film commissioned by DCA, that promotes public art projects in the grounds and interior spaces of the Fiona Stanley Hospital in Perth. The film features prominent Western Australian artists and can be found on the DCA website. In addition to the above, the DCA Public Art Commissioning Guidelines have a resources section that lists useful public art websites.


12. Are there different public art commissioning models?

Best-practice public art commissioning models are listed in the DCA Public Art Commissioning Guidelines. The project scope and budget is often the main determinate when choosing the model most appropriate for the commission. Some projects utilise more than one commissioning model for a project where more than one artwork is required.


13. What does the term cash-in-lieu mean when applied to local government public art programs?

In some public art programs there is a cash-in-lieu option. In-lieu of commissioning an artwork, the artwork budget is handed over to the commissioning agent to determine the acquisition process and the location for artwork(s). This approach has been used by local governments, State Government agencies, and other organisations.