A-Z | Site map


Beaumaris Zoo Gate 

Beaumaris Zoo Gate, Patrick Hall 2002

Tip Shop Recycled Gate

Tip Shop Recycled Gate, Aquila Night 1995

 North Hobart Cultural Park Gate

North Hobart Cultural Park Gate,
Bruce Pringle mid-1990s


Public Art

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the purpose of the Public Art Program?

2. How much does the City spend on Public Art?

3. How are Public Art projects chosen?

4. What is the role of the Public Art Special Committee?

5. What is the role of the Public Art Coordinator?

6. How do artists find out about project opportunities?

7. How are artists selected?

8. Can people donate art for public places?

9. Who pays to maintain Public Art?

10. How is the Public Art program administered?

11. How do I see Hobart's Public Art?

12. How can I obtain a copy of the Public Art Strategy?

13. How can I contact the Public Art staff?


1. What is the purpose of Public Art in Hobart?

There are many reasons why the City of Hobart 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 the City's role is about improving and enhancing quality of life for residents, ratepayers and visitors to Hobart. The City 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.

2. How much does the CIty spend on Public Art?

The City of Hobart allocates $100,000 annually 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 the City are contributed to developing public art that is linked to infrastructure or events, for example Artbike racks and Taste Festival banners.

3. How are Public Art projects chosen?

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.

4. What is the role of the Public Art Special Committee?

The Public Art Special Committee oversees all City of Hobart 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 staff and nominated art professionals from the Hobart community.

5. What is the role of the Public Art Coordinator?

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.

6. How do artists find out about project opportunities?

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.

7. How are artists selected?

The City of Hobart uses different processes for artist selection depending on the project. The most commonly used is Expression of Interest (EOI):  the City 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.

8. Can people donate art for public places?

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.

9. Who pays to maintain Public Art?

The City of Hobart is responsible for maintaining its Public Art collection. In 2014 we will commence developing a comprehensive asset management plan for all works in the collection.

10. How is the Public Art program administered?

The Public Art staff are part of the Cultural Development Team within the Events, City Marketing and Cultural Development Unit of the Community Development Division of the City of Hobart . We also work in partnership with personnel in other teams within Community Development, Parks and Customer Services, Development and Environmental Services and Infrastructure Services.

11. How can I see Hobart's Public Art?

We have begun to document Public Art around Hobart that is owned by City, 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.

12. How can I obtain a copy of the Public Art Strategy?

Click here to view and download a copy of The Hobart City Council Public Art Strategy .

13. How can I contact the Public Art staff?

As the website is further developed we will provide a page for you to send us your comments about Public Art in Hobart. In the meantime you can contact us here.



Customer Service Centre

16 Elizabeth St, Hobart
Office Hours: Mon–Fri 8.15am–5.15pm
Telephone (03) 6238 2711
Email coh@hobartcity.com.au

Postal address

Town Hall, Macquarie St
GPO Box 503
Hobart Tasmania 7001