Public Art Program

Public Art Program News

Rotating Public Art Program Phase III Podcasts

• June 11, 2020


Pasadena’s Public Art Program has collaborated with Side Street Projects...

Rotating Program Phase III Dedication

• March 14, 2019


Mayor Terry Tornek and Councilmember Gene Masuda welcomed the community...

Dedication Event - All are welcome to attend!

• January 14, 2019


All are welcome to attend!

Overview

The goal of the Pasadena Public Art Program is to build a publicly available collection of contemporary art that celebrates the human spirit and condition. The Public Art Program seeks to assemble a cohesive collection that encourages public dialogue, understanding and enjoyment of public art. Public art serves as the perfect medium for illustrating the broad range of cultural expression practiced in the Pasadena community.

Public Art Master Plan

On October 21, 2013 the City of Pasadena City Council approved its first Public Art Master Plan which builds on the City's strong visual arts heritage, acknowledges the value of existing public art projects, and focuses on how artists can continue to enhance the public realm.

Public Art Requirement

The City’s Public Art program focuses on two areas: new private development and City construction projects. The Public Art Requirement may be satisfied by the creation of site specific public art or by payment in-lieu of artwork. For further information, please contact Cultural Affairs staff at (626)744-7062.

Public Art Program Overview
Guidelines for New Private Development
Guidelines for City Contruction (CIP) Projects

Pasadena’s Public Art Collection

The City of Pasadena Public Art Collection is now available on-line nationwide through the Public Art Archive, a free, searchable database. The Archive is provided by the Western States Art Federation (WESTAF), a non-profit arts service organization which provides technology systems for arts organizations and artists.

Pasadena’s 177 artworks, many of which have been created by artists of local and national recognition, document permanent and temporary public art projects commissioned through the City’s Private Development and Civic Public Art Programs. Artworks facilitated by the Cultural Affairs Division on behalf of community partners are also included.

Please follow these instructions to access the database for artworks in Pasadena. In the Search field, type “City of Pasadena.” There are numerous search filters to refine and extend your searches by material, artwork type, placement, date, artist name, and title.

You can also select the “Map this” feature to plan your visit by viewing the artwork’s location on a Google map, getting driving or walking directions, or saving the map for later use. In addition, there is a mobile version that allows you to navigate Pasadena’s collection from any mobile device. Simply point the browser on your smart phone or mobile device to PublicArtArchive.org, and the site will automatically direct you to the mobile version, ask for permission to locate you, and then you will see a list or map of the artworks near you.

Pasadena Public Art Collection Database Public Art Archive

Conservation

Conservation is underway on Margaret Nielsen’s “Pasadena Panorama” that greets visitors to the Paseo Colorado on the Garfield Promenade. Paseo Colorado management, Development Diversity Corporation is committed to maintain all the public artwork and has been working with the artist and Cultural Affairs staff. The Venetian glass mosaic fountain and hardscape has experienced some minor damage since 2000-01 when the artwork was installed. Conservation to the damaged glass mosaic pieces will be replaced, the tile regrouted and the entire piece will be cleaned.

 

Conservation Team includes (from left to right): Steve Forss, Tile Installation; Anne Marie Karlsen, Artist; Meagan Goldberg, Sculpture Conservation Studio and Carol Greene, Manager Terraces at Paseo Colorado.

Walking Tours

Pasadena is dynamic – vibrant with activity and full of culture. We invite you to experience the public art that is so vital to the City’s unique character. These interesting and varied walking tours feature jewels from Pasadena’s innovative Public Art collection. Each tour takes approximately 30 minutes to an hour to complete and will give you a good sampling of the City’s holdings. Walk with a friend or walk by yourself – make these tours your own.Established in the late 1980s, the Public Art Program requires that 1% of the building valuation of both new private development and municipal construction projects in the City is dedicated to public art. Public Art in Pasadena has a strong history of community collaboration for both public and private partnerships, incorporating key constituents into the planning process. Artwork is site specific and is accessible to the general public, thus improving quality of life for all residents. Pasadena’s extensive Public Art collection is eclectic, multi-cultural and reflects our values and identity. Many renowned local and national artists have created outstanding work that has garnered national acclaim for the City’s collection.As diverse as the artists that create it, Pasadena’s public art ranges from a children’s playground modeled on the Arroyo Seco and art glass mirrors that tell the story of the City’s firefighters to a much larger-than-life memorial to Pasadena heroes Mack and Jackie Robinson. The vast collection also includes functional artist-designed benches, narrative murals, interactive and kinetic sculptures, and quintessential examples of modern and contemporary art movements.

In addition to these works, important public art collections can be found at Art Center College of Design, California Institute of Technology (Caltech), and Pasadena City College.

So, take your time. Enjoy your walk, and get to know the city that surrounds you.

Rotating Public Art Exhibition Program

The Rotating Public Art Exhibition Program complements the permanent artworks commissioned by the City’s Private Development and Capital Improvement Public Art Programs by temporarily installing loaned contemporary sculptures in each of Pasadena’s seven Council Districts. After successfully installing a total of eighteen artworks during Phases I and Il, with its third iteration, the Rotating Program welcomes eight new artworks, three of which were created in direct response to their respective sites.

This temporary public art program aims to expand the context for public art in Pasadena. It enlivens neighborhoods by producing dynamic visual experiences in unique settings. Furthermore, the Rotating Public Art Program diversifies opportunities for artists working in the public realm, stimulates local discourse about public art, and provides a cultural draw for visitors to Pasadena.

Exhibition Podcasts

Phase III artists discuss their artworks in the Program

Contact

If you become aware of an artwork in the Rotating Public Art Exhibition Program that has been vandalized or damaged, or for questions, please contact Cultural Affairs at (626) 744-7547.

National Endowment for the Arts "Our Town"

My Pasadena – NEA Our Town Funded Projects

• October 4, 2017


The City of Pasadena Cultural Affairs Division, along with partner...

My Pasadena NEA Our Town Public Art Project

• August 11, 2017


Thanks to the National Endowment for the Arts Our Town...

Lions, Tigers, And...

• August 11, 2017


PLEASE CLICK BELOW TO VIEW VIDEOS OF THE Lions, Tigers,...

Parson's Nose Theater Presents Our Town

• August 11, 2017


The City of Pasadena Cultural Affairs Division, along with project...

Professional Artist Email Signup

Professional Artist Email Signup
The City of Pasadena’s Public Art Program occasionally posts Calls to Artists. Please fill out and submit the fields below if you would like to receive email notifications specific to public art opportunities for professional artists.

Public Art FAQ

What are the goals of the Public Art Program?

The goal of the Pasadena Public Art Program is to build a publicly available collection of contemporary art that celebrates the human spirit and condition. The Public Art Program seeks to assemble a cohesive collection that encourages public dialogue, understanding and enjoyment of public art. Public art serves as the perfect medium for illustrating the broad range of cultural expression practiced in the Pasadena community.

What type of artworks is included in the Public Art Collection?

With more than 175 artworks, the City of Pasadena’s Public Art Collection features over 175 artworks ranging in medium including ceramic tile, murals, lighting, painting, sculpture, fountains and mixed media. As diverse as the artists that create it, Pasadena’s public art ranges from a children’s playground modeled on the Arroyo Seco and art glass mirrors that tell the story of the City’s firefighters to much larger-than-life memorial to Pasadena heroes Mack and Jackie Robinson.

Are tours available of the Public Art Collection?

The Cultural Affairs department has curated several Public Art Walking Tours that provide a good sampling of the City’s holdings. The vast collection also includes functional artist-designed benches, narrative murals, interactive and kinetic sculptures, and quintessential examples of modern and contemporary art movements. For more details and to view Walking Tours, visit: www.cityofpasadena.net/arts

What is the Arts & Culture Commission’s role in the Public Art Program?

Composed of 9 members (1 appointment by each of the 7 Council members and the Mayor), the Arts & Culture Commission serves to advise the City Council on matters pertaining to the City’s arts and cultural program. With support from City staff, Developers will have their public art project reviewed by the Arts & Culture Commission to ensure it meets the standards and goals of the Cultural Affairs Division.

How are artists selected to receive public artwork commissions?

Artist Selection Panels are established by the Cultural Affairs department to review and recommend artists for inclusion in the Public Art Program. Selection panel members are comprised of arts professionals, community members, and stakeholders. Special attention is given to ensuring disciplinary, institutional and cultural diversity.

What are the qualifications and selection criteria for public art opportunities?

The City’s Public Art Program is best supported by artists working in the public realm with demonstrated past experience or proven technical and aesthetic ability to successfully create artwork responsive to the site and community. Proposed artists will be reviewed based on a proposed art concept, but also on education, gallery affiliation and previous work. It is hoped that as the program matures, the collection of public art in Pasadena will include works by local, regional, national and international repute, and inclusive of artists at varying point in their careers.

How do I find out about Public Art opportunities?

New opportunities will be posted on the "Opportunities" section of the City’s Public Art Website. You can always contact us at arts@cityofpasadena.net to inquire about future opportunities.

What Grants are available to artists or organizations?

The Cultural Affairs Division is pleased to make available several grants through the Annual Grants Program. This program supports the creative life of Pasadena by expanding public access to the arts in our community. Each year, through an application process, awards are made to eligible applicants to fund diverse programming that benefits the greater Pasadena community. For more information, visit the Annual Grants Program on the City’s website.