Beaumaris Zoo Gate, Patrick Hall 2002
Tip Shop Recycled Gate, Aquila Night 1985
North Hobart Cultural Park Gate,
Bruce Pringle mid-1990s
Frequently Asked Questions
There are many reasons why Hobart City Council should be engaged in public art activity. Local government is the responsible authority for much of the planning and development of our urban infrastructure including open and public space development, provision of facilities and services at a local level and overseeing of private, retail and other commercial development. In broad terms Council's role is about improving and enhancing quality of life for residents, ratepayers and visitors to Hobart. Council therefore thinks carefully about public spaces and about the processes by which these spaces are shaped. Public art and artists can make a valuable contribution to the built and natural environment by celebrating, marking and revealing aspects of a community, its history, its character and its aspirations. A strong sense of place, identity and community invariably makes Hobart attractive to live in, work in and to visit.
Hobart City Council allocates $100,000 annually from its capital works budget to public art. This budget does not include the staff costs and will not be allocated to significant conservation of historic monuments. It may be allocated in a number of ways: as a series of small projects or one or two large projects. Sometimes funds from other areas of Council are contributed to developing public art that is linked to infrastructure or events, for example Artbike racks and Taste Festival banners.
Once a public art project has been identified, agreed to and a budget allocated, the process for commissioning a public artwork follows a logical series of stages. Agreement and sign-off at critical points in the process occur to enable all parties to move forward to the next stage and ultimately to successful completion of the project. The major sign-off points will involve recommendations being put forward by the Public Art Special Committee to the relevant Standing Committee and to Hobart City Council for final sign-off. The minor sign-off points are the responsibility of the Public Art Coordinator.
The Public Art Special Committee oversees all Hobart City Council public art projects and policy matters related to the Public Art Program, Public Art Masterplan and Annual Public Art Plans. Current membership of the Committee consists of several Aldermen, relevant Council staff and nominated art professionals from the Hobart community.
The Public Art Coordinator provides strong advocacy, undertakes long-term planning for public art and ensures good management which is essential to Hobart achieving an effective public art program. This position is also responsible for the strategic planning and day to day coordination of all matters to do with public art.
Public Art Project opportunities are currently advertised in major Tasmanian and mainland newspapers, ArtsHub and through other arts and media channels. As we develop our website further we will include a page with current opportunities for you to download and then submit your application directly to us. We will also develop an artist register so we can notify you when a new project is launched.
Hobart City Council uses different processes for artist selection depending on the project. The most commonly used is Expression of Interest (EOI): Council will advertise a public EOI where artists are invited to submit copies of their CV and visuals of their work. From this a shortlist of usually three artists are engaged for a concept fee to prepare proposals and the best is chosen by the Public Art Special Committee. Sometimes a shortlist will be developed through research by a curator rather than through the EOI process. The Competition model is only used occasionally as it requires artists to develop and submit concepts for no remuneration unless they are the winning artist. This approach is usually only taken with extremely high profile projects with considerable budgets where the competition canvasses artists nationally or internationally. In circumstances where the artist is required to work in collaboration with an architect, landscape architect, urban designer or community the Direct Engagement model might be most appropriate.
Benefactors interested in contributing to the City's Public Art Program may wish to contribute funds toward the commissioning of new public artworks, for the care and maintenance of existing works or public art educational programs.
Hobart City Council is responsible for maintaining its Public Art collection. In 2011 we will commence developing a comprehensive asset management plan for all works in the collection.
The Public Art staff are part of the Cultural Development Team within the Events and Cultural Development Unit of the Community Development Division of Hobart City Council. We also work in partnership with personnel in other teams within Community Development, Parks and Customer Services, Development and Environmental Services and Infrastructure Services.
We have begun to document Public Art around Hobart that is owned by Council, privately or by other Government bodies. Over time we are expanding the website to include >200 public art works. In the meantime keep an eye on updates on our main page listings for new projects. To get out and about in the city have a look at our Walking Tours/Maps page.
Click here to view and download a copy of The Hobart City Council Public Art Strategy .
As the website is further developed we will provide an page for you to send us your comments about Public Art in Hobart. In the meantime you can contact us here.