Mission & Programs
About The Office of Cultural Affairs Public Art Program (OCA/PAP) is charged with administering the development and management of public art projects for Atlanta City Government. OCA/PAP also provides programs and services that support our arts community while improving the quality of life for all citizens and visitors. The Public Art Program is the sole caretaker of the Public Art Collection for the City of Atlanta; this includes oversight, maintenance, and exhibition of 127 public sculptures and monuments, which are valued at over $22 million. In addition, the PAP Public Art Program oversees the curation and exhibition of 226 artworks including paintings, photography and sculpture within the “Portable Collection.”
The Office of Cultural Affairs Public Art Program operates on the premise that art enhances the quality of life for our citizens by encouraging a heightened sense of place, increasing our community’s prestige and enlivening the visual quality of Atlanta’s built environment. The program promotes a public initiative of outreach and education while working to preserve the city’s cultural heritage.
The OCA/PAP is committed to creating community through public art and builds upon community support to conserve, preserve and make available public art to citizens and visitors in Atlanta.
In 1977, Atlanta, in stride with many other major metropolitan cities, adopted its first public art ordinance which set aside a percent of capital improvement funds for the development of public art.
See most recent Atlanta’s Percent for Art Ordinance here.
In addition to the Percent for Art Ordinance, in 1994 the then Bureau of Cultural Affairs (BCA), along with concerned citizens, initiated a planning process for the development of a Public Art Master Plan. Working with it’s advisors, the BCA developed an initial plan that guided Atlanta through the 1996 Olympic Games and the installation of a number of new projects. In 1999, a task force was convened to review and update the Public Art Master Plan (PAMP) and a revised PAMP was adopted by the City in 2001.
Public Art Tours
The City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs Public Art Program is proud to host guided public art tours in Downtown Atlanta. Guides will lead you through Downtown Atlanta corridors and touch on historical sites and monuments that speak to the heart of Atlanta’s character. This Public Art Tour is a great way to learn about Atlanta’s place in history through our cultural and artistic lineage. Tour includes 15 Public Artworks and lasts approximately 120 minutes. Reservations required with a minimum of 10 people.
To schedule a guided Public Art Tour, contact:
Nick Hemenway, Outreach Specialist
Mobile App: OCA’s Public Art Tour mobile app, launched in January 2015, allows users experience the vibrant history of Atlanta’s Public Art collection through the use of a mobile device. The app features tours mapped out along the Atlanta Streetcar, Downtown Atlanta, and and art in our parks. The easy to navigate app uses GPS to pinpoint the user’s location and provides in-depth text and audio pertaining to each unique piece.
How to Download: Search “Atlanta Public Art Tour” in the app stores of Mac and Android.
Audio Tour: The Public Art Program also offers the use of telephone audio tours. To listen, simply call the phone number (404) 260-5532 and follow the prompts.
Download the audio tour map for use with the telephone audio.
Atlanta is quickly gaining acclaim for its cutting edge exhibitions, quality contemporary art and progressive arts scene. Our Downtown art gallery, Gallery 72, has a strong focus on local talent and serves as an institution that supports individual artists, local galleries, arts organizations, and curators.
Location: 72 Marietta Street, Atlanta GA 30303
Hours: 10am- 5pm, M-F
Lunchtime Gallery Tours: GALLERY 72 lunchtime tours will take place from 1pm to 1:45pm every Tuesday and Thursday except during gallery installations. Please contact the Gallery 72 office for more information. The Gallery 72 phone number is 404-546-3220 and the email is [email protected]
Click here to find out more about Gallery 72’s current and upcoming exhibitions.
The Public Art Atlanta National Registry serves as a preferred vendor list for commissioning artists for public art projects and direct purchases of artwork for the City of Atlanta. Currently the Registry shows full portfolios and resumes of over 300 professional public artists.
The Office of Cultural Affairs Public Art Program presents the Registry to project managers and communities for their consideration in upcoming commissions, invitations and direct purchases. Other commissioning agencies and private companies within Atlanta are encouraged to consult the registry as well.
To view the full Artist Registry online, click here.
The Public Art Collection
The Public Art Program is tasked with the maintenance and conservation of the City of Atlanta Public Art Collection, which includes 127 public artworks valued at over $22 million. The Collection, featuring historically significant artworks by local, regional, and nationally acclaimed artists depicts artworks that are in the care of the City of Atlanta’s Public Art Program.
To browse the full collection online, click here. To find out where these artworks and monuments are located, visit the Google Map, or download the Mobile App (search Public Art Tour on Android and Mac Stores).
The Office of Cultural Affairs Public Art Program (OCA/PAP) Collections Management Team conducts annual assessments of each artwork in the collection and prioritizes maintenance and conservation efforts.
To encourage community support of public art, The Adopt-An-Artwork program allows for concerned citizens, neighborhood organizations, companies and corporations to actively participate in the preservation of the public art collection by partnering with the OCA/PAP to provide the necessary resources to maintain the artworks in their neighborhoods and communities. Taking a proactive stance in managing and preserving the growing collection of public art in Atlanta ensures that historically significant artworks remain for future generations to experience.
Ten Featured Artworks
Browse below a selection of key artworks within the Atlanta Public Art Collection, identified by Robert Witherspoon, the OCA Conservation, Maintenance and Collection Manager.
Isamu Noguchi – Playscapes
Thornton Dial – The Bridge
Sol Le Witt – Wall Drawing #581
Curtis Patterson – Andrew Young Tribute Plaza
Alexander Doyle – Henry W. Grady
Jim Siegler (designer) & Gamba Quirino – Atlanta From the Ashes (Phoenix Rising)
Elizabeth Cattlet – People of Atlanta
George Beasley – Five Points Monument
Xavier Campaney Medina – Homage to King
The OCA Public Art Program offers internships to qualified applicants to work on various projects throughout the year. This is a unique opportunity to gain valuable knowledge of the public art process, artwork installation and upkeep, design, marketing, research and communication. Ideal candidates should have a strong interest in public art administration, a strong academic record, and an interest in learning how the arts support and contribute to the development of the greater community.
- Internships are unpaid, unless otherwise noted and course credit is available.
- Internships vary in length from 8-13 weeks. Availability and length of opportunity is based on department needs.
- Students must be enrolled in an accredited college or university.
- Students must have reliable transportation (public transit is considered a reliable source), be prompt, responsible and dependable.
Policies & Documents
In order to obtain a permit for public art, you must submit a packet of information for signature to the Office of Transportation, the Urban Design Commission, and the Office of Cultural Affairs. Once the signatures are obtained, the packet must be submitted and passed by the Atlanta City Council. We recommend that you contact the council member for the district in which the public art will be located to request the support of that council member in assisting the necessary legislation for final communication.
Temporary Art Permit Application (for Freedom Park)
Please contact Hannah Leathers with any questions regarding these processes.
[email protected]; 404-546-6849
Public Art Plans/Ordinances