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City of Alexandria, VA City of Alexandria, VA
Office of the Arts
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Page updated Mar 28, 2014 4:53 PM

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Public Art in Alexandria

Public art is permanent or temporary works of art that have been planned in collaboration with the community and executed by artists with the specific intention of existing in the public realm, accessible to all.

The City of Alexandria uses the Public Art Archive to catalog and share its collection.  Created by the Western States Arts Federation (WeStAF), the Public Art Archive is a free, searchable, and cross referenced online platform that catalogs public art collections from all over the country.  The database includes all of the information related to a work of public art including images, video, and mapping.

For Alexandria's collection, click here.

Public Art Master Plan

In 2012, the Alexandria City Council adopted a policy to grow the City's public art into an inspired and engaging program that reflects the City's unique history, people, cultural identity, and future aspirations. To support this growth, the City has commissioned the development of a Public Art Master Plan.

The Public Art Master Plan will be a comprehensive, community-based plan that outlines a vision, goals and objectives for the public art program in Alexandria. The Plan will set priorities for the location and funding of projects; provide a framework for the shared financial and professional resources needed; and define the procedures for decision-making and oversight needed for public art projects to be successful.

To learn more about the public art master plan process and the strategies for community engagement, click here.

Special Opportunity Grant for Temporary Public Art

The City of Alexandria Office of the Arts is accepting proposals for the temporary placement or experience of art in public spaces in the City of Alexandria through the Special Opportunity Grant program. Artists and artist teams can apply for grants up to $5,000. The deadline to submit proposals is April 18, 2014 at 5 p.m.   

The Special Opportunity Grant's intention is to encourage innovative, thought-provoking projects that relate to a proposed space or spaces in an engaging way. All artistic disciplines will be considered including, but not limited to: visual art, storytelling, poetry, spoken word, dance, music, theatre, performance art, and new media.   

For more information including workshop dates and application instructions, click here.

The Public Art Committee

The Public Art Committee was established by the Alexandria Commission for the Arts to advise the Commission regarding the purchase, commission, donation and funding of art. 

The Committee consists of up to thirteen (13) members as follows: 

  • One Commissioner from the Commission for the Arts with expertise in art; 
  • Up to four (4) persons who reside or work within the City with expertise in urban planning, landscape architecture and/or architecture; 
  • Up to four (4) persons who reside or work within the City such as an artist or art professional; 
  • Up to four (4) persons who reside or work in the City with an interest in art; 
  • A minimum of three-quarters (75%) of the members of the Committee must be City residents. 

Committee members serve three-year terms and may serve a maximum of two full three-year terms. 

Current members of the Public Art Committee are: 

  • Amber Gordon, Chair 
  • Tyler Boenecke 
  • Susan Cohen 
  • Gayle Converse 
  • Michael Detomo 
  • Allison Heck 
  • Allison Nance 
  • Stephanie Williams 

Public Art Policies

There are numerous policies and procedures that guide the aspriations and administration of the city's public art program.

Public Art Condition Assessment

The Office of the Arts hired Conservation Solutions to evaluate 18 city-owned works of art.  The works of art include sculptures, murals, plaques, fountains, gardens/landscapes, community art projects, and other objects, including historic works. 

The evaluation was conducted between May 23 and June 11, 2013.  All works were assessed from ground level without additional access (scaffolding, man-lift, etc.).   The report was received in August, 2013 and shared with the Alexandria Commission for the Arts and the Public Art Committee.

The report outlines the current condition of each work and includes photos documenting the condition, a condition description, condition determination (excellent, good, fair, poor, deteriorated), treatment recommendations, and the overall priority for treatment within the collection (low, medium, high) for each artwork.

The Office of the Arts will use the conservation assessment to develop a multi-year public art maintenance plan and budget.  Updates and/or changes to the maintenance plan will be shared with the Alexandria Commission for the Arts and the Public Art Committee.

To view the report, click here.

1108 Jefferson St.
Alexandria, VA 22314
Fax: 703.838.6344

Office Hours
8 am - 5 pm

James B. Spengler