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Civic Art      
Los Angeles County Arts Commission Arts Education Arts Resources Grants and Professional Growth Ford Theatres Public Special Events Publications and Announcements

ABOUT CIVIC ART

In 2004, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors adopted the County’s first Civic Art Policy, which allocates one percent of design and construction costs of new County capital projects to a Civic Art Special Fund.

The Los Angeles County Arts Commission Civic Art Program provides leadership in the development of high quality civic spaces by integrating artists into the planning and design process at the earliest possible opportunity, encouraging innovative approaches to civic art and providing access to artistic experiences of the highest caliber for the residents of Los Angeles County. Working with leading artists, emerging public artists, County departments and communities, the Civic Art program creates artwork, design, public engagement activities, exhibitions, temporary art and event based programming for new and renovated facilities throughout Los Angeles County. The program has commissioned work for capital projects for public libraries, parks, pools, community centers, jails and health centers.

Los Angeles County is the largest municipal jurisdiction in the United States serving a population of over ten million people. The County covers more than 4,000 square miles ranging from mountains to beaches and encompasses 88 cities and 137 unincorporated areas. In response to a complex governing structure, large geographic area, diverse populations served and the changing nature of the public art field, the Civic Art Program is developing new approaches to public engagement, project scoping and management and collections care.

 

Oceanic Subdivision mythograph

Christine Nguyen,
Oceanic Cosmic Whisper, 2012

Porcelain Enamel Tile Mural, 14 ft x 8 ft

Malibu Library,
23519 Civic Center Way,
Malibu, CA 90265

Anne Marie Karlsen,
Subdivisions, 2008

Floor to Ceiling Glass Mural, 20 ft x 15 ft

Lawndale Library,
14715 Burin Ave.,
Lawndale, CA 90260

Mythograph, Inc.,
Fluid Dynamics, 2012

Color Concrete Stain, 14,000 sq ft

Alondra Park,
3850 W. Manhattan Beach
Lawndale, CA 90260

 

Typically, artists are commissioned from a Resource List of Prequalified Artists compiled every two years after an open call.  Open and invitational RFQs are also used depending on project needs, scope and timeline. Artists are encouraged to join the public art opportunities email list at www.lacountyarts.org. Click on “Artist Opportunities” under “Civic Art.”

The Civic Art Program is staffed by a director, an art collection manager and project managers. For more information contact:  Los Angeles County Arts Commission, Civic Art Program, 1055 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 800, Los Angeles, CA  90017, (213) 202-3987 or civicart@arts.lacounty.gov.

POLICIES & PROCEDURES

The County’s Civic Art Policy allocates 1% of the design and construction costs of County capital projects for civic art. Artworks are integrated into libraries, fire stations, health clinics, courthouses and numerous other County facilities. View our Active Projects to see projects currently underway. Completed projects can be found in the County Collection.

The Policy was adopted in December 2004 by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and revised on November 18, 2008.

Highlights of the Policy include:

  • Civic art program goals and objectives;
  • How projects are implemented;
  • Which capital projects are eligible for the civic art allocation; and
  • Allowable expenditures.

In addition to adding permanent visual artworks to County facilities, civic art funds can also be used for temporary works of art, workshops, art events, conservation and education. Capital projects which are exempt from the policy include projects which cost less than $500,000; streets; underground projects; flood control channels; and airport runways.

Originally a part of the Policy, the Civic Art Procedures were separated from the Policy in 2008 to allow for more flexibility in adapting procedures to current conditions. Included are procedures for:

  • Artist selection;
  • Financial management;
  • Maintenance and conservation of artworks;
  • Gifts and loans of artworks to the County; and
  • Deaccessioning artworks from the County Collection.

The Civic Art Program is identifying and documenting all historic and contemporary County-owned public art for the first time. Visit the County Collection to see the wide array of artworks throughout the county or download a copy of the 2009 Los Angeles County's Civic Art Collection Report.

For more information about the Civic Art Program, please contact civicart@arts.lacounty.gov.