Oregon's Percent for Art legislation guides the acquisition of the state's collection of art in public places, which includes more than 2,400 works of art.
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State public art program discussions began in 1975. Initial legislation applied solely to public construction budgets in Marion and Polk counties. In 1977, the program extended to state buildings in all Oregon counties, setting aside no less than one percent of funds for the acquisition of public-facing artwork in all state building construction plans with budgets over $100,000.
Since then, the Percent for Art program has placed high-quality, accessible, and mostly permanent art in public places. The program remains dedicated to the enhancement of public environments and the improvement of the character and quality of state buildings.
Percent for Art program artwork is selected and commissioned by selection committees composed of citizens representing the user agency, community members, arts professionals and a project architect. Oregon Arts Commission project managers facilitate the selection process and serve as non-voting chairs of committees.
For each project, an Art Selection Committee evaluates possible styles, materials, locations and themes in order to select artwork appropriate for each building. Through shared discussion and a thorough review of proposals, the Art Selection Committee makes final selections of artists and works of art for the building.
Art Acquisition Process
Artwork for the Percent for Art collection may be acquired in several ways:
Over 275 state construction projects have qualified for Percent for Art funds and more than 2,000 Oregonians have participated on Art Selection Committees. Hundreds of thousands of state workers, citizens and visitors have noticed, admired, debated, questioned, appreciated and been in contact with art in public places all over the state.
There are now over 2,400 pieces in Oregon's state art collection, including drawings, paintings, mixed media, photography, sculpture, ceramics, glass, mosaics, murals, textiles and both site specific and structurally integrated art installations. Over 800 artists are represented in Oregon's Percent for Art collection. Their work has been celebrated and supported with commissions throughout the program's history.