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The Artist's Guide to Public Art

How to Find and Win Commissions (Second Edition)

Contributions by Barbara T. Hoffman / Foreword by Mary Jane Jacob
Published by Allworth
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

About The Book

“What artists don’t know—but need to know.” —Jack Becker, Public Art Review. A comprehensive guide to the complex world of public art. Learn how to find, apply for, compete for, and win a public art commission.

First-hand interviews with experienced public artists and arts administrators provide in-the-trenches advice and insight, while a chapter on public art law, written by Barbara T. Hoffman, the country's leading public art law attorney, answers questions about this complex area.

Packed with details on working with contracts, conflict, controversy, communities, committees, and more, The Artist's Guide to Public Art, Second Edition, shows artists how to cut through the red tape and win commissions that are rewarding both financially and artistically. This new edition discusses recent trends in the field, such as: how the political climate affects public art, the types of projects that receive funding, where that funding comes from, how the digital age impacts public art, how to compete with the increase of architecturally trained artists, and more.

Written by an artist, for artists, this guide is packed with everything readers need to know:

  • Finding commissions
  • Submitting applications
  • Negotiating contracts
  • Budgeting for projects
  • Navigating copyright law
  • Working with fabricators
  • And much more

From start to finish, Lynn Basa covers all the steps of the process. With The Artist's Guide to Public Art, Second Edition, even readers without prior experience will be more than ready to confidently pursue their own public art projects.

About The Author

Lynn Basa, an artist for almost 40 years, has conceived of and produced site-specific work for hospitals, universities, corporate headquarters, and private collections. She lives in Chicago, Illinois.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Allworth (July 9, 2019)
  • Length: 240 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781621536147
  • Ages: 18 - 100

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Raves and Reviews

“What artists don’t know—but need to know—about how to participate in the amazing, expanding, impactful field of public art could fill a book! This is that book! Just open to any page, and you’ll see why.” —Jack Becker, founder of Forecast Public Art and Public Art Review

“Essential reading for any dedicated artists seeking to make a living with their work, The Artist's Guide to Public Art is packed from cover to cover with information every artist needs to know.” Midwest Book Review

“Lynn Basa is a practitioner who knows the ins and outs of public art. The second edition of her book offers an additional chapter on how to make the leap into creating art in public places. The Artist’s Guide to Public Art is a great resource recommended to anyone with an interest or stake in the field.” —Christina Lanzl, director, Urban Culture Institute
“Filled with both practical specifics and astute perceptions of the genre, I have found The Artist’s Guide to Public Art to be an indispensable text for my public art class. This new edition updates changes within the field and makes it even more valuable as a text I can rely upon.” —Jim Hirschfield, artist and professor of art, University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill
“After reading this book, I immediately felt inspired and equipped to find and create opportunities for making art in the public realm. Its contents are comprehensive, practical, and highly relevant to current practices. A must-have for anyone interested in public art.” —Lynn Sondag,professor of art and design, Dominican University of California
“Artists—read this book! It is full of stories and practical advice on how to navigate the public art world. This second edition keeps pace with the changes in public art processes and gives a rare objective look at the good and the not so good. Lynn’s book provides a complete guide to making the leap from a studio artist to a public artist, putting together an application, a behind-the-scenes look at getting selected, and an understanding of contracts and copyright. It will help artists find their voice and even answer the question, ‘Should I consider making public artwork in the first place?’” —Karen Rudd, manager, NorfolkArts

“At the intersection of public art and public discourse, Basa paints with the finest of strokes.” —Jason Vasser-Elong, arts advocate, poet, and author of Shrimp

“This book is not just for artists! The anatomy of an RFQ was so helpful for me to really understand what the artist needs in a ‘call to artists.’” —Cheryl Stewart, program coordinator and consultant – public art, Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro

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