Artist Susan Mannion with her piece Under Darkening Skies at Ballycroy Visitor Centre, Wild Nephin National Park. Credit: Sean Molloy.
Public Art / Per Cent for Arts Scheme
High quality and ambitious contemporary art in everyday settings
The Per Cent for Arts scheme is a government initiative, first introduced in 1978, whereby 1% of the cost of any publicly funded capital, infrastructural and building development can be allocated to the commissioning of a work of art. Work created under
this scheme is most often referred to as public art.
The scheme allows people to enjoy and benefit from contemporary art and artists in everyday settings. It creates contemporary art with, by and for new and diverse audiences, including those who might not usually engage with the arts.
The Per Cent for Arts Scheme is an important source of Government funding for the arts and can provide significant budgets to enable artists to imagine and create new and ambitious work across all artforms and arts practice areas. Public Art commissioned
through the Per Cent for Arts Scheme can be any artform and exist in many different contexts. The majority of public art commissions in Ireland are by local authorities, schools, health settings and the OPW. Funding is through government funded public
capital projects whereby up to 1% of the net capital construction cost may be used to commission an artwork. Please see here for potential available budgets.
Role of the Arts Council
The Arts Council has a developmental role in the Per Cent for Arts Scheme. It is currently providing the secretariat function and expert input into the National Per Cent for Arts Committee 2022-2024, chaired by Dr Ciarán Benson. The committee, with representatives
across government departments and public agencies is working to harmonise the scheme across all public bodies, develop a new all of Government policy and updated guidelines and to redevelop publicart.ie. The outcome of this work will be in 2024.
By working in collaboration with key stakeholders, the Arts Council seeks to encourage public bodies to follow best practice guidance in the commissioning of artists and to maximise public engagement in the arts. Our approach to the scheme is underpinned
by two key policy areas in our Making Great Art Work strategy (2016-2025): public engagement and the artist. The Arts Council’s current Public Art Policy and Strategy (2018) is available here.
The current National Guidelines for the Per Cent for Art scheme are available here.
For information, advice, opportunities and sample public art projects, visit the public art website publicart.ie
For up-to-date news follow public art social media:
Public Art Team:
Sinéad O’Reilly Head of Local, Place & Public Art email@example.com
Suzanne Ring Partnership and Projects Officer firstname.lastname@example.org
Eimear Kelleher Local, Place & Public Art Assistant Eimear.Kelleher@artscouncil.ie
Mary McAuliffe Public Art Policy Development Advisor