What is the Public Art Archive?

  • The Public Art Archive is a totally free, continually growing, online and mobile database of completed public artworks;

  • Free to contribute to and interact with from your desktop, tablet or mobile device;

  • Managed by a team of specialists from the public art and collection management fields;

  • Copyright holders retain their rights for any data and media that the Archive displays;

  • Uses standardized vocabularies to describe artworks in a consistent manner;

  • Integrated with Google Maps to support mapping features for virtual or on foot exploration;

  • Searchable with filters that aid in research and education.

Dreaming Forward/Soñando by Alex Paul Loza. 2018. ArtsBuild Collection, Chattanooga, TN. Photo courtesy Alex Paul Loza.

What is the Purpose?

  • gather documentation about public artworks into one central repository;

  • provide opportunities to inform diverse audiences about the breadth and depth of what constitutes public art today;

  • support best practices in cataloging public art;

  • raise awareness about the value of public art;

  • showcase the diversity of public artwork types and functions;

  • provide a digital platform for sustained engagement with public art;

  • encourage on foot exploration of public art;

  • preserve the history of our public spaces.

Eligibility Requirements

The Public Art Archive recognizes the wide variety of practices and forms that public art takes. This includes objects and experiences that range from the permanent to the ephemeral, traditional sculpture to projects focused on social exchange, as well as those works supported by public or private funding sources (or a combination). To qualify for inclusion in the Public Art Archive, a work of public art must meet two requirements:

  • the work must be publicly viewable;

  • the work must be sanctioned, commissioned, placed, or displayed through an official acquisition process.

If the eligibility of a work of art is in question, contact the Public Art Archive team.