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The City of Oakland's Public Art Program commissions original works of art for public spaces throughout Oakland. The program enriches the city’s visual environment, integrates the creative thinking of artists into public construction projects, and provides a means for citizens and visitors to enjoy and experience cultural diversity. Projects are funded through a 1.5% allocation from all eligible City and Redevelopment Agency capital improvement projects and eligible grant revenue.
Current and Recent Public Art Projects
The Uptown Art Park is opening Friday, April 5th! Join us for the celebration! Learn more about the innaugural exhibition and the participating artists: Repurposed
In addition to the Uptown Art Park, several exciting Public Art Projects are underway throughout Oakland.
- Uptown BART 17th Street Gateway
- Measure DD: 12th Street Bridge
- Measure DD: Lake Merritt - Estuary Channel
- Measure DD: Lake Merritt Garden Gates
- Proposition 84: West Oakland Youth Center
- Proposition 84: Cesar Chavez Park
To learn about these current projects and recently completed Public Art Projects, visit our Public Art Projects page.
Public Art Calls for Artists
To learn more about current City of Oakland Calls for Artists and other artist opportunities, visit our Public Art Calls For Artists page.
The Great Wall of Oakland
On the first Friday of every month, during Oakland Art Murmur, a free screening of contemporary media artworks is held on the side of a building that overlooks Grand Avenue just west of Broadway, behind Luka’s Taproom & Lounge. The Great Wall of Oakland is a collaborative project of Metrovation Development, Signature Properties, the City of Oakland Public Art Program, the Oakland Museum of California, and the Lake Merritt-Uptown and Downtown Oakland associations. Learn more by visiting the Great Wall of Oakland website.
OaklandArts.org Public Art Directory
Click here to view the Public Art Registry on OaklandArts.org. The registry is a work in progress. To request information on a specific work that is not yet on the site, please e-mail Steven Huss at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In 1989, the City of Oakland adopted a Public Art Ordinance and an Oakland Redevelopment Agency resolution authorizing the allocation of 1.5% of municipal capital improvement project costs to commission and acquire public art.
Public Art staff, with guidance from the Public Art Advisory Committee and the Cultural Affairs Commission, administers these funds and provides vision, planning and project management for Oakland’s public art collection. Gifts of art offered for placement on City property are reviewed through a public process managed by staff for approval by the advisory boards and City Council.
The Public Art Advisory Committee is a subcommittee of the Cultural Affairs Commission. The Advisory Committee works with City staff to develop Oakland's public art program and keep it running smoothly. For more information, visit the Public Art Advisory Committee page.
Public Art Program Goals
- Develop and implement plans and budgets for all public art projects annually.
- Develop and maintain a list of potential jurors and panelists and develop a maintenance survey/work plan.
- Coordinate the selection of artists or artworks for the Public Arts Program with a majority of public art commissions awarded to Oakland-based artists. (e.g. residence, studio or primary professional employment in Oakland)
- Serve as liaison between the Cultural Affairs Commission, Public Art Advisory Committee, City Manager's Office, other City Departments and Council.
- Solicit funds from foundations, corporations and public agencies for public art projects in Oakland.
Public Art Ordinance and Documents
In 1989 the City of Oakland adopted a Public Art Ordinance (11086 C.M.S.) and an Oakland Redevelopment Agency resolution (89-8 C.M.S.) for a "Percent for Art Ordinance" plan which authorizes the allocation of 1.5% of municipal capital improvement project costs for commissioning of public artwork. These monies are set aside in the Public Art Program Fund.
Oakland Specific Documents
- Public Art Program Policies and Procedures
- Oakland Gifts Policy
- Public Art Policy Guidelines For Artist-Community Initiated Projects and Cultural Funding Program Recipients
State and Federal Documents