City implements new public art policy

The City of Red Deer has decreased the amount of money required from a capital project to be used for public art and has also refined the public art selection process.

City council agreed to a minimum of 1% capital construction cost allocation for the design, fabrication and installation of public art as part of each capital project over $250,000. This is down from 1.2% that was previously required.

“This is one of the bigger changes to the policy,” said Kristina Oberg, the City’s culture superintendent.

Also changed was the way the City will select public art for various projects.

“There will be more opportunity for community members to be involved in the selection of public art,” said Oberg.

The jury committee who will ultimately select public art for the City will include a representative from the community who is knowledgeable about art, two or three community members at large, a member of the project steering committee for the capital project, the public art coordinator, the project architect/designer, culture superintendent and a member of council.

All City staff including the member of council will be non-voting members on the committee.

Council also agreed to the development of a public art reserve.

“The idea behind the public art reserve is that we would take a small percentage from the money that we have for public art and put it into a reserve that would be able to be used for community public art projects,” said Oberg. “Those kinds of projects can be really useful to a community in terms of crime prevention through environmental design if there is a location that is getting a lot of tagging. That is one of the aims of that program.

“We could also allow other community groups to come forward with public art projects where they would contribute half of the money and the City would contribute the other half.”

The new public art policy will take effect immediately.