About the Public Art Program


Public Art

The City of Oakland's Public Art Program commissions original works of art for public spaces throughout Oakland. The program enriches the city’s visual environment, integrates the creative thinking of artists into public construction projects, and provides a means for residents and visitors to enjoy and experience cultural diversity. Public Art projects are funded through a 1.5% allocation from all eligible City of Oakland capital improvement projects, eligible grant revenue as well as private contributions. 

Current News

Keep up with all the latest Cultural Affairs news to sign up for our newsletter, and follow us on social media, by visiting our Arts & Culture homepage. A new artist request for qualifications (RFQ) for a pre-qualified artist pool for upcoming projects will be issued June 2024. Sign up at the link at the top of the page for RFQ updates! 


Public Art Calls for Artists

To learn more about current City of Oakland Calls for Artists and other artist opportunities, visit our Public Art Opportunities page and sign up for email announcements with the link at the top of the page.



In 1989, the City of Oakland adopted an ordinance authorizing the allocation of 1.5% of municipal capital improvement project costs to commission and acquire public art. In 2014 the City adopted a new requirement for .5% of residential or 1% of nonresidential private development project costs for freely accessible public art on site or within the public right of way.

Public Art staff, with guidance from the Public Art Advisory Committee, administers these funds and provides vision, planning and project management for Oakland’s public art collection. Gifts of art offered for placement on City property are reviewed through a public process managed by staff for approval by the Committee and City Council.

For more information, please visit the Public Art in Oakland website.


The Public Art Advisory Committee is an advisory body to the Office of the Mayor, Oakland City Council, and the City Administrator's Office on all matters related to public art in Oakland. Its members are appointed by the Mayor and approved by City Council. The Advisory Committee supports City staff in the development and operation of the City of Oakland's public art program. For more information, visit the Public Art Advisory Committee page.


Public Art Program Goals and Objectives

  • Develop and implement plans and budgets for all public art projects annually.
  • Develop and maintain a list of potential jurors and panelists and develop a maintenance survey/work plan.
  • Coordinate the selection of artists or artworks for the Public Art Program, with a majority of public art commissions awarded to Oakland-based artists (i.e., those with residence, studio or primary professional employment in Oakland).
  • Serve as liaison between the Public Art Advisory Committee, City Administrator's Office, Mayor's Office, City Council and other City departments.
  • Solicit funds from foundations, corporations and public agencies for public art projects in Oakland.

          The primary objectives of the Public Art Program are to:

  • provide opportunities for artists which advance their art forms and which broaden the role of the artist in the community;
  • develop for the City of Oakland a collection of the highest quality artwork which reflects its culturally diverse community and its ever-changing needs;
  • enliven, enrich and enhance the quality of Oakland's visual environment and public spaces;
  • integrate the work and creative thinking of artists into the planning, design and development of the City of Oakland by promoting and facilitating collaborations between artists, architects, landscape architects, engineers and other designers in all public construction or urban design projects and by encouraging such collaborations in the private sector;
  • provide employment opportunities for artists through the commissioning of artwork;
  • provide opportunities for residents and visitors to participate in, experience and understand the process for creation of public art.