Public Art

Opportunities | Programs


The Art in Public Places Program (AiPP) was established by the Colorado Legislature in 1977 to create enjoyment and pride for citizens of the state by placing artwork in publicly accessible locations in state buildings. Colorado’s public art statute requires an allocation of one-percent (1%) of capital construction funds for new or renovated state buildings to be set aside for the acquisition of works of art, the process of which is administered by Colorado Creative Industries (CCI).

Percent For Art:

“Percent for art” acquisitions enter the state’s permanent art collection. The works selected through this program represent great diversity in style, imagery, materials and techniques. By uniting artists, architecture and host institutions, the AiPP program integrates the art experience into the built environment and civic spaces. Works of art purchased through this program are located in publicly accessible spaces inside and outside of state buildings, such as armories, state patrol offices, state office buildings and university campuses. AiPP has successfully commissioned or purchased approximately 570 works of art for the enhancement of state buildings and the enjoyment of Coloradans.

Reasons for Public Art

  • Provides access to art for all people
  • Creative placemaking – activates public and underutilized spaces in unique ways
  • Civic pride and connection to community
  • Support of artists, including local artists
  • Adds human-scale to larger spaces
  • Invites pedestrian experiences and interactivity
  • Illustrate or reflect a story or history of the space
  • Wayfinding

Public Art by the Numbers

  • 40 YEARS since program’s inception in 1977
  • Approximately 570 ARTWORKS have been purchased or commissioned for the state’s public art collection
  • Over $11 MILLION used to support artists and put artworks in community spaces
  • State collection includes artworks by approximately 300 ARTISTS

State-Wide Public Art Programs

There are over 40 public art programs throughout the state of Colorado. They vary in size and programs, but they all make a difference in their specific communities. A full list of these programs is available here.

Many cities/municipalities have an ordinance requiring public art to be included with any major capital construction project, including buildings and infrastructure projects. Art exhibits with two- and three-dimensional artwork are another form of public art embraced by communities. Sculpture-on-Loan programs have grown over the years, and many communities have both an ordinance and a rotating collection in downtown areas and city parks. Generallly, public art is chosen by an Art Selection panel of arts professionals and community members who choose artwork that both evokes thought and speaks to the specific community in which it is situated. Public art creates opportunities for dialogue and can also create challenges for a community. An article in the Denver Post shared the challenges for communities that can arise in relation to public art.

Call for Entry / Open Opportunities


Pueblo Community College, San Juan Building

Qualifications are requested from artists interested in creating a site-specific public artwork for the exterior of the San Juan Building at Pueblo Community College in Pueblo, Colorado. The budget for this opportunity is $8,000 and the deadline is August 31, 2020. This call is open to Colorado artists only.  Full RFQ can be viewed here and applications can be submitted online here.




More on public art opportunities and best practices in the field.

Colorado Public Art Programs offers a listing of public art programs in communities throughout Colorado.

Public Art Toolkit provides information and examples of all aspects of public art, from contemporary ideas and resources, to a step by step guide to the entire process of creating public art.  While this toolkit is focused on Minnesota, the resources assembled serve as a universal guided tour, tracing the steps of a public art work from the conceptualization of the commission or purchase, through the planning, community engagement, and construction processes and, finally, the preservation of the work.

Americans for the Arts – Public Art Network provides services to the diverse field of public art and develops strategies and tools to improve communities through public art.

Call for Entry is a great resource for artists to find public art projects, fellowships, juried visual-arts competitions and other opportunities.

State Collection

The Art in Public Places Program (AIPP) was established by the Colorado Legislature in 1977 to create enjoyment and pride for our citizens.

Below is an online searchable database of the State of Colorado Public Art Collection.

Public Art Collection