Commissioning and Funding

Commissioning Art in Public Space

Summary of Good Practice Recommendations

Commissioners/owners have a responsibility to:

  • consult with Traditional Custodians and appoint a First Nations curator where appropriate, see First Nations and Racial Equity and Representation

  • manage development approvals and compliance with public art policies

  • provide a clear artist brief and management structure

  • implement transparent and equitable selection processes, see Equitable Application Processes

  • set realistic expectations for budgets and timelines, taking into account the administrative burden required of artists

  • meet legal obligations in intellectual property and Indigenous Cultural Intellectual Property, see Intellectual Property and First Nations 

  • pay shortlisted artists for concept designs

  • pay artist fees fairly and promptly, providing clarity and transparency of processes

  • budget for access provisions for d/Deaf and Disabled artists, separate to artist fees, see Access Rights for d/Deaf and Disabled People

  • maintain the material and artistic integrity of the artwork for its lifespan

  • contact the artist if a work is to be relocated, decommissioned or destroyed, or if the work requires maintenance or conservation

Artists have a responsibility to:

  • install the work in line with the artist brief

  • communicate regularly with the commissioner

  • manage community consultation related to the work 

  • identify and manage risks and prepare a risk management plan, if required

  • consider, communicate, plan and, where possible ensure the accessibility of installed work

  • control the fabrication process at all stages

  • manage subcontractors and include subcontractors in risk management

  • arrange the structural certification of the work

  • establish the reasonable lifespan of the artwork, in line with the brief

Contracts should outline:

  • scope, roles and responsibilities

  • clear brief in relation to size, scale, colour palette or materials, as required

  • expectations and scope of community consultation

  • process for changes, acceptance, rejection and variations 

  • methods of attribution of the artist and community, as appropriate

  • details of IP ownership and licence terms

  • responsibility for workplace health safety (see Workplace Health and Safety), accessibility (see Access Rights for d/Deaf and Disabled People), insurance and public liability (see Insurance) requirements

  • conflict resolution processes, see Grievance and Dispute Resolution

  • payment program or schedule 

  • key program dates or milestones 

  • agreement in relation to notice periods if the artwork is to be moved, or (if the work is affixed to a building) notice about relocation, demolition or destruction of the building