Art in the public spaces of UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) should serve to educate and enrich the lives of students, faculty, staff, the local community and visitors in support of the academic mission.  This document outlines a process for procuring and managing public art at UCSB.  This document will describe the process by which proposals are to be considered for the installation of artworks in exterior and interior public spaces on campus.  The desired outcome is to enhance the environment with artwork.  This policy applies to all proposals seeking to place art in public spaces on property belonging to the University.

The committee is responsible for the process of evaluating and reviewing the selection, acquisition, installation, and management of public artwork at UCSB in order to make recommendations to the Design Review Committee.  This policy includes both outdoor and indoor art.  It pertains to the grounds of the University, and any building occupied by the University, including leased property.

Public art includes artworks, sculptures, and site works which depart from the campus standard amenities of structures, street lamps, signage, trash receptacles, bicycle racks, benches and outdoor furniture on the campus grounds and inside its buildings.  Indoor artwork, as defined by this policy, is limited to those portions of the building that are considered public spaces, such as lobbies, lecture halls, reception areas or theaters, and sports stadiums and arena.  This policy includes purchased, gifted, and/or loaned works of art, murals, textiles and the like.

The Public Art Committee is a subcommittee of the Design Review Committee. Voting members include:

  • a representative of the Office of the Chancellor
  • a representative of the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor
  • a representative of the Design Review Committee (if DRC is not represented through any other committee member)
  • a representative of the Academic Senate, non-Humanities & Fine Arts representative
  • a representative of the Art, Design & Architecture Museum
  • a representative of the Associated Students
  • a representative of the Department of Art
  • a representative of the Department of History of Art and Architecture
  • a representative of the Graduate Student Association
  • a representative of the Office of Public Affairs & Communications
  • representatives of Facilities Management, Design & Construction Services and Campus Planning & Design will be non-voting staff support to the Committee

    The committee does not hold regular meetings; rather, it is convened when there are proposals to consider on an as-needed basis. The staff advisor to the DRC serves as convener.

Committee Responsibilities:

  • Evaluate all proposals for the permanent installation of art works in exterior and interior public campus spaces, taking into consideration the quality of the art work, the appropriateness of the site, and any related issues.
  • Consult with internal or external experts in the field when considering acquisition of new public art.
  • Consult with relevant campus stakeholders and include those discussions in the recommendation to the Executive Vice Chancellor and Design Review Committee 
  • Make recommendations to the Executive Vice Chancellor and then the Design Review Committee.
  • Consider developing a comprehensive plan for acquiring and placing public art, taking into consideration the public art acquisition plans as have been successfully developed and implemented at other higher education institutions.


  • The review or approval of installations in existing exhibition spaces specifically designed for that purpose and assigned departmental spaces, i.e.: in the galleries of the Art, Design & Architecture Museum or Kohn Hall, Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, Mosher Alumni House, and Intercollegiate Athletics.  Such installations are the responsibility of staff of the respective units.
  • The evaluation of plans for the design or installation of memorials, buildings, or other University facilities.  The Offices of Campus Planning & Design and Design & Construction Services are responsible for advising the Chancellor and the Vice Chancellor of Administrative Services on such installations.
  • Student works under the direction of a faculty advisor installed on a temporary basis (less than two weeks).


Public Art Installations

Individuals or groups proposing an art installation are expected to provide all of the information required for the installations detail.  There is no established timeline for review of proposals for permanent installations.  The review process is as follows:

  • Review by the Public Art Committee (PAC)
  • PAC requests review by relevant stakeholders
  • PAC makes recommendations to the EVC
  • Upon receiving concurrence from the EVC, the recommendation is forwarded to the DRC


Proposals for public art to be submitted to the committee for review shall include:

  • the name of the campus sponsor
  • date of proposal submission
  • contact information for the individuals or agencies submitting the proposal
  • name of the artist and biographical information
  • narrative  of work and conceptual installation site to illustrate the artistic intent
  • a written description of  the artwork, including: the date of the artwork, the medium, dimensions, weight, volume and mounting method, and necessary utility connections 
  • multiple views of the artwork, showing all important structural features of the work including pedestal or landscaping recommendations, as appropriate
  • graphic illustration(s) such as site plans and elevations of the proposed location including the adjacent context
  • photographs of the artwork and a photo-montages of  the installation in situ
  • its current and future ownership status
  • the cost of its purchase (if it is not a gift)
  • estimated cost of transportation, installation, maintenance, and insurance
  • a funding source for the artwork and installation
  • a maintenance program, including budget and funding source
  • the target dates for installation and duration, if temporary
  • any and all other useful information


Other considerations for discussion and inclusion:

  • Artists or proponents who would like to display or install performance, installation, or sound art on public spaces on the UCSB campus must submit their plans to the Committee.
  • The University fully supports the right to artistic expression and recognizes the merits of performance and installation art; however, artworks must comply with University policies in order to provide a safe and healthy environment.  Artists and other participants in performance, installation, and sound art must comply with all University policies regarding drugs, alcohol, weapons, explosives, and other hazardous materials.
  • Specifically prohibited on UCSB property are:
    • setting off fireworks, explosives, or any similar device
    • displaying or using a knife, gun, or other weapon
    • possession or use of illegal drugs or alcohol
    • exposing others to blood, urine, feces, chemicals, or other hazardous materials 
    • any activity that has the potential to cause injury to the artist, any other participants or performers, audience members, or others.
  • Definition of a Work of Art includes: sculpture, in situ creations, paintings, murals, decorative benches, lamps, or other such “street furniture”, video installations, and other new media, both permanent and temporary.  For the purposes of this committee, it does not include short-term (less than two weeks) student installations made under the supervision of a faculty member, or short-term film and video projections installed for announcements or curricular purposes, or directional or informational signage or banners.
  • Students interested in presenting performance, installation, or sound art on the UCSB campus outside of classrooms must submit a proposal to the Committee, outlining the details and the timetable for the artwork.  The committee will review the proposals, and the student will receive notification of the committee's decision.  Any installed art deemed a public health or safety hazard and installations that have not received authorization will be removed immediately.
  • If the total project will cost more than $35,000, then it will need to go through the Office of Budget & Planning capital projects process.
  • If commissioning an artist for work on campus, a contract between the artist and the University will need to be developed through the Office of Budget and Planning.
  • Permanent art installations and major temporary installations may have a Design & Construction Services project manager assigned to guide the project through the process.  Recharge rates will apply.
  • A Project Initiation Form (PIF) may need to be submitted online to start the project.  
  • Depending upon the scale and complexity of the installation, a project may go through multiple phases of project development.  Typically, the project team (artist, sponsor, project manager and consultants) will develop a preliminary set of plans and documents for review by university stakeholders.
  • The project team will incorporate the Public Art Committee’s input into the development of final construction documents.
  • All artwork offered as a gift to the University must be formally approved by the University Development Office in compliance with Administrative Policy 450-11, Acceptance and Acknowledgement of Gifts and Private Grants.