Arts Council of Northern Ireland

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Arts Council spearheads development of Public Art

Monday 5th September 2005 at 12pm 0 Comments

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland has set aside £750,000 from its National Lottery resources to fund new artistic commissions in the public realm. The new funding programme will encourage the growing interest in public art and support the rising number of high-quality commissions by organizations across Northern Ireland.

Public art benefits the people of Northern Ireland by revitalizing the urban and rural landscapes in which we live, as well as providing significant professional and career opportunities for local artists working in a wide variety of media. “How we shape our public spaces affects each and every one of us, and expectations in modern-day Northern Ireland are naturally high”, says Paul Harron, the Arts Council’s Architecture and Public Art Officer. “Since additional resources became available to it with the advent of National Lottery funding in 1995, the Arts Council has increasingly supported the impetus for public art in the region, with to date nearly £2 million awarded to over 50 public art projects. Now, with this dedicated Public Art Programme, we can take the development a stage further and encourage yet more dynamic commissioning.”

The new Public Art Programme runs alongside the existing New Work and Access funding programmes, and follows the same deadlines and two-stage commissioning and production approach. Applicants can apply for funding towards permanent single works, multiple linked works such as sculpture trails, and integrated art projects. Time-limited or temporary projects will not be a priority under this programme, although applications for such projects would be welcomed through the Lottery Arts Programme and Awards for All. Public Art Programme Awards start from £10,001.

As part of the concerted development of public art in Northern Ireland, the Arts Council recently published the Public Art Handbook for Northern Ireland, which outlines and promotes best practice in the commissioning of art for the public realm and explains how to apply to the Arts Council for funding. It also documents a large cross-section of commissioned public art in Northern Ireland over previous years. Both this Handbook and the Application Form and Guidance Notes for the new Programme are available on the link below, or by contacting the Architecture and Public Art Officer on Tel: 028 90385200.

Application deadline for the Public Art Programme: 4.00pm 6 October 2005

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