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 portfolio for the community of Santa Fe. Consisting of more than seventy-three artworks, the portfolio 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.
Public Art Portfolio
The Arts and Culture Department maintains a permanent portfolio of public art in locations throughout the community that are accessible to locals and visitors alike. See Public Art Portfolio for a listing of the artworks that are part of the City of Santa Fe's public art portfolio.
The city’s goals for Art in Public Places Program are to:
- Enliven the visual landscape
- Honor Santa Fe’s unique historical and cultural heritage as well as reflect its present vitality
- Increase community engagement 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
Implementation of the Art in Public Places program is the responsibility of the Santa Fe Arts and Culture Department. Arts and Culture Department staff serves as program liaison and manager for public art projects. All commissioned artwork becomes a part of the city’s permanent Public Art Portfolio. The permanent portfolio includes murals created through the Community Youth Mural Program, a program that ran from 1995-2001 and encouraged youth from all corners of Santa Fe to participate with artists in creating art on city buildings. Click here to read more about this program.
Artist selections are held for each public art project in accordance with city procurement policies. A community selection committee is appointed by Arts and Culture Department Staff to review artist qualifications and proposals. Their recommendations are then forwarded to the Arts Commission for recommendation to the 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.
To locate pieces in the permanent portfolio, click here.
Contact Information and Hours
Physical Address: 201 W. Marcy (map), Santa Fe, NM 87501
Mailing Address: PO Box 909, Santa Fe, NM 87504-0909
Ph: (505) 955-6707
Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
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