Public Art - What Does it Mean to You?

2 May 2012

Wellington City Council is reviewing its Public Art Policy, the document that guides the way public art is chosen, located and cared for. Wellingtonians are encouraged to get their thoughts to the Council by 30 May 2012.

The Council's Arts and Culture Portfolio Leader, Councillor Ray Ahipene-Mercer, says public art is a big part of what makes Wellington a stimulating and inviting city.

"Wellington's public art is the most visible and accessible form of art and is a reflection of our city's heritage and cultural diversity - from Pou Whenua on Molesworth Street to murals on bus shelters - they all say something about our creativity and quality of life."

The draft policy is a review of the 2003 Public Art Policy. Significant changes have been made since then including the formation of the Public Art Panel and the Public Art Fund in 2005, the formation of the Council's City Arts team in 2007, and changes in the Council's interpretation of public art - from permanent sculpture to temporary and performance based activity.

"The Courtenay Place light boxes are a great example of how our interpretation of public art has changed over the years," says Cr Ahipene Mercer.

"They display artworks by Wellington artists, and exhibitions change every four months, so Wellingtonians are continually exposed to new and stimulating art in the heart of our city."

The draft policy outlines eight desired outcomes for public art activity, from more artworks in the suburbs to having the city's diverse communities represented in public art activities. The policy also covers the assessment of public art proposals and addresses the relocation, management, and maintenance of public artworks.

The Council is working closely with organisations and individuals interested in and involved in Wellington's public art.

"I want to encourage all arts-minded Wellingtonians to have their say on our draft policy. Although we already have a diverse range of art in public places, we're keen to know what we can do better," says Cr Ahipene-Mercer.