We have several examples of art policies on our Arts Commissions and Programs page. Those programs talk about the process of selecting art both as part of an agency construction project and as stand-alone acquisitions.
For the contracting piece, MRSC has historically said that the acquisition of public art, including its design, are not “public works.” In response to a previous inquiry, we said:
- Where artwork is fabricated and installed, if the artwork is not an integral, functional part of a building or structure it would not be subject to public works bidding requirements or prevailing wages if completed by the artist. Along those same lines, if there is a part of the installation that is clearly not art (such as installation of a foundation or construction related work to prepare for some artwork), that arguably should be treated as a public work and bid out.
Likewise, if the installation is a part of the building or structure the installation is probably subject to prevailing wage requirements, while a stand-alone installation may not be. But as always, we recommend checking with the Department of Labor & Industries on prevailing wage questions.
Finally, here is a sample contract: Temporary Loan of Sculpture Contract – Olympia (2014).