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Arts Commission

Public Art Program

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Public Art is artwork created by professional artists through a community input process. The artwork is funded through a public art ordinance adopted in 2000 and managed with public art guidelines. The ordinance sets aside 1% of certain capital improvement project funds for the commissioning and purchase of art. Since Nashville’s public art program began, forty permanent works of art have been added to the public art collection. Several additional works of art are in varying stages of being commissioned, fabricated and installed.

The goal of the program is to integrate artwork into a variety of public sites throughout the city so that every citizen can experience cultural enrichment and enhancement of our parks, libraries, roadways, mass transit and civic spaces while supporting the cultural identity of our city. Artwork is selected by citizen selection panels comprised of professional artists, arts and design professionals, community and site representatives. Recommendations are made to the Public Art Committee and the Metro Nashville Arts Commission for review and final commission.

Learn more about the process of civic engagement and Nashville’s first percent-for-art project.

If you would like to get involved with the Public Art process, please sign up to receive our email newsletters for artist opportunities and community meeting updates, or nominate someone to be a selection panelist.

Metro Arts maintains the public art collection through an ongoing schedule of routine maintenance as well as repair and restoration work. If you see an artwork that needs attention, please let us know about artwork that needs maintenance or repair.

Public Art Location Study & Typology Recommendations

The Metro Nashville Arts Commission partnered with the Nashville Civic Design Center to identify potential sites throughout Davidson County for consideration for future public art projects through the 1% for Public Art Fund. The report identifies and articulates the logic behind these suggested sites. In addition to potential sites this report includes a listing of other successful public art projects and typologies to serve as catalysts for each community’s selection process.

View the Location Study

Public Art Committee

Committee Members

Hope Stringer, Chair
Jim Schmidt
Omari Booker
Sheila Dial-Barton
Katie Delmez
Jana Harper
David Jon Walker

Technical Advisors

Rebecca Ratz, Metro Parks
Stephanie McCullough, Metro Planning
Don Reid, Metro Public Works


Caroline Vincent, Director of Public Art
Anne-Leslie Owens, Public Art Project Manager
Van Gill Maravalli, Public Art Project Manager
Donald 'Tré' Hardin, Public Art Coordinator

Lentz Public Health Center

The following is an Interview with artist Erik Carlson on July 30, 2014 at Lentz Public Health Center. Carlson explains how he approached his design for Circulate and how he hopes people will experience it.

Funded in part by the Tennessee Arts Commission

Tennessee Arts Commission

Community Investment Plan

public art grid photo

Metro Arts staff gave a live webinar to review the recommendations found in the comprehensive Public Art Plan on March 10. The webinar can be viewed from the following link.

Visit the Public Art Community Investment Plan project page for webinar link

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