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.
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:
Mobile App: Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affair’s Free Public Art mobile app launched in 2015. The app is currently undergoing a major update where users will get to hear stories from more artists, civil rights leaders, and community leaders speaking about the vibrant history of Atlanta’s Public Art Collection.
The app features different tours mapped around the city and uses GPS to pinpoint the user’s location and provides in-depth text and audio pertaining to each unique artwork. Available for Apple and Android users.
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.
Scan to Download App
The Public Art Program is tasked with the maintenance and conservation of the City of Atlanta Public Art Collection, which includes 139 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 Collection Management
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, Public Art Manager.
Isamu Noguchi – Playscapes
Thornton Dial – The Bridge
Sol Le Witt – Wall Drawing #581
Curtis Patterson – Andrew Young Tribute Plaza
Lynn Linnemeier – Journey to Freedom
Jim Siegler (designer) & Gamba Quirino – Atlanta From the Ashes (Phoenix Rising)
Elizabeth Catlett – 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.
If you are interested in learning more about our internship opportunities, please complete this form, attach a current CV or resume, email to Briana Camelo at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Public Art Policies
Temporary Art Permit Application (for City Parks)
Please contact Project Coordinator, Briana X. Camelo with any questions regarding these processes.