Art in Public Places

Photo of art at Southside Branch Library

Santa Fe is renowned as a center of art, set in one of the nation’s most historic communities. Its reputation as a city of art comes in no small part from the wealth of art in public places.

Since its inception in 1985, the Art in Public Places Program has built a significant public art collection for the community of Santa Fe. Consisting of more than seventy-three artworks, the collection represents a variety of media, styles, and themes. Public art can be found in civic buildings, along the Santa Fe Trails transit system, and in public parks.

Permanent Collection

The Arts Commission maintains a permanent collection of public art in locations throughout the community that are accessible to locals and visitors alike.  See permanent collection for a listing of the artworks that are part of the City of Santa Fe's public art collection.


The city’s goals for Art in Public Places are to:

  • Enliven the visual landscape
  • Honor Santa Fe’s unique historical and cultural heritage as well as reflect its present vitality
  • Increase community involvement in the arts
  • Broaden the recognition of Santa Fe as an arts center
  • Foster economic development


In 1985, the City Council passed an Art in Public Places ordinance whereby one percent of the cost of capital construction projects, whether new construction or renovation, is set aside for the acquisition of art. In 2006, under the leadership of then Mayor Larry A. Delgado, the percentage dedicated to public art was increased to two percent.

Implementation of Program

Photo of Agua Fria bus stop artImplementation of the Art in Public Places program is the responsibility of the Santa Fe Arts Commission, through the Art in Public Places Committee. Arts Commission staff serves as program liaison and manager for public art projects. All commissioned artwork becomes a part of the city’s permanent Public Art Collection.

Open competitions are held for each public art project in accordance with city procurement policies. A community selection committee is appointed by the Arts Commission to review artist qualifications and proposals. Their recommendations are then forwarded to the Art in Public Places Committee, Arts Commission and Governing Body for approval. Upon approval, the artist enters in to a professional services contract with the city for design, fabrication, and installation of the selected work of art.


Santa Fe Arts Commission
Ph: (505) 955-6707
Email: [bot protected email address]

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