During Tuesday’s regular City Council session, members adopted the 2017 Public Art Plan for the City of El Paso.
The annual plan presents an update on art projects that have been completed, as well as a breakdown of projects that are scheduled to begin during this calendar year. The City’s Public Art Program is funded through 2 percent set aside from the budgets of every capital improvement project within the city.
Projects that are in progress will be located at the Westside Pool, Blackie Chesher Park and Travis White Park. The City’s public art inventory will continue to grow as the projects from the 2012 Quality of Life Bonds are completed.
“El Paso has a rich cultural heritage where the arts are an integral part of the community identity. The success of public art has allowed the city to enhance local communities and neighborhoods by creating visual landmarks and sources of inspiration, education and pride,” said Director of the Museums and Cultural Affairs Department, Tracey Jerome. “Local artists have also benefitted from the program by having their work selected or through participation in development programs that help them learn the skills they need to compete for public art projects.”
In the past 10 years, the City’s Public Art Program has completed 54 projects, with another 23 in process. The City has acquired 98 artworks from local artists through the Art Purchase Program. These pieces are displayed in City buildings.
The Allied Artists Program provides an opportunity for local artists to work with nationally recognized artists on various public art projects to help them gain the experience necessary to compete for public art commissions across the nation.
Since its inception, the Public Art Program has worked with 115 artists, 65 of which are local. In addition to directly funding artists, this program has impacted 84 local businesses through its projects.
The City’s Public Art Program has received national attention as different projects have been featured in national arts publications.