About the Public Art Archive

What is the Public Art Archive™
The Public Art Archive™ (www.PublicArtArchive.org™) is both a project and “The Archive™” database. The PAA project is a national effort to increase public awareness and stewardship of public artworks, including “The Archive” database, a Tumblr blog titled “Find, Know, and Grow Your Public Art”, at http://publicartarchive.tumblr.com/), various educational initiatives, and local community engagement efforts. “The Archive” database is a free, online and mobile accessible catalog of completed public artworks worldwide. It was launched in 2010 and continues to grow both in content and features.

Unique Elements
The PAA Project is:
Managed by a team of curators, public art administrators, information specialists, web developers, graphic designers and arts advocates.
Guided by a 13-member Senior Advisory Committee of scholars, practitioners and experts in public art and related fields.
Supported by a 40-year old non-profit arts service organization, the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF). Learn more at www.westaf.org.

The Archive™ is:
Totally free for artists and collection managers to contribute artworks to.
Totally free for any visitors to search, browse, explore, and map artworks from anywhere.
Totally free for any mobile users to visit while they are on the go.
Built on a standardized and highly rigorous metadata structure.
Organized by controlled taxonomies to describe artworks in a consistent manner.
Integrated with Google maps and includes advanced mapping features for virtual exploration.
Searchable with filters that aid in research and education.

Yes, Add Your Public Art!
We are currently accepting content submissions to the Archive in two ways. If you have up to 20 entries to add, please go to the CallForEntry.org website. Here is a link to the call itself, including eligibility and required information. You can submit one entry for each artwork this way. Alternately, if you have more than 20 works to contribute, please see this document to begin, and email PAArchive@WESTAF.org when you are ready for the import template.

The PAA team works with each public art administrator to advise on how to tackle this sometimes overwhelming project. We are happy to take a few records at a time, whenever it is convenient for you. Please do get in touch.

The Impact of the Public Art Archive™
The Archive houses tens of thousands of public artwork records in a single, centrally located database, making these works easily accessible to all audiences, including researchers, authors, academics, policy-makers, tourists, artists, administrators, and the general public. It includes comprehensive data and rich media, to allow collection stewards to share their artworks with new, broader audiences; to help explorers find information about public art in their world; and to aid in the sharing of best practices in public art for researchers and stakeholders.

The database is available from any computer for full searching and filtering, and the mobile-optimized site helps bridge the gap between artworks in the physical world and the information in the digital database. This foundation allows for the adoption of best practices in cataloguing, opens new opportunities for sharing information, and ensures a sustainable and scalable future for the project.

The Scope of Documentation
There is no census of public artworks in the United States, so it is impossible to know the true number of works that exist and need to be cataloged. Public Art Archive recognizes and respects the wide variety of practices and forms that public art takes, ranging from the permanent to the ephemeral, traditional sculpture to projects focused on social exchange and engagement, and those works supported by public or private or a combination of funding sources. At this time, however, Archive resources do not permit for every public artwork to be catalogued here. It is our hope and intention that as the Public Art Archive grows, it will continually become ever more representative of the expansiveness of public art.

At the current moment, every submission to the database must fit into the following two criteria:

1. Public works of art that were commissioned, gifted, adopted, or granted for the purpose of being presented in public spaces for the benefit of the public.
2. Sanctioned artworks that were commissioned through a traditional commissioning process, or acquired through an official acquisition process (especially works that are maintained through public funds).

Beyond that, there are NO requirements regarding the following criteria:
- Types of works including new media, environmental, or performance pieces.
- Duration of works, including those that are temporary or temporal.
- Funding or ownership, including works that are owned by corporations, private organizations, partnerships, or individual persons.

When a work’s eligibility for inclusion in the Archive is unclear, final determination will be made by the Public Art Archive Senior Advisory Committee using the following guide (from The Practice of Public Art (Cartiere and Willis, Routledge, 2008, p15)):

Public art is art outside of museums and galleries and must fit within at least one of the following categories:
- in a place accessible or visible to the public: in public
- concerned with or affecting the community or individuals: public interest
- maintained for or used by the community or individuals: public place
= paid for by the public: publicly funded

Stay up to date!
Join the PAA mailing list here: http://www.publicartarchive.org/content/connect.
Follow @PAArchive on Twitter, “like” the Public Art Archive facebook page, and follow our Tumblr Blog!

Didn't find what you were looking for?
Checkout the FAQ pages here, http://www.publicartarchive.org/content/frequently-asked-questions.

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