Dallas Public Art Program & Office of Cultural Affairs

Dallas Public Art Program & Office of Cultural Affairs

City of Dallas Public Art Program

The City of Dallas Public Art Program enriches the quality of life for the citizens of Dallas.  Public art enhances the cultural appeal of the City to visitors by overseeing the integration of high-quality visual art into public spaces. The Public Art Program provides opportunities for local artists, as well as visual artists from around the globe, through the commission of public artworks. Now in its 29th year, the Dallas Public Art Collection includes 300 public works of art including commissions and donations.

The first public art program in Dallas began in 1982 and was known as Art in Public Places. With the support of the City Council, a Cultural Policy was adopted in 1985.  One year later work began on developing a Public Art Master Plan. The Office of Cultural Affairs (OCA) and the Cultural Affairs Commission (CAC) were established in 1989 to oversee the Public Art Program. The groups work closely together to integrate high-quality visual art into public spaces throughout the City of Dallas. Public artwork today can be enjoyed throughout the City of Dallas—in City buildings, on public plazas, at fire and police stations, in public parks and at Dallas Love Field.

Public art maintenance and conservation is an important part of the Public Art Program.  Conservation requires dynamic protection of the historic and artistic features of the works of art.  Artworks are conserved with the cultural significance of the works and their installation environments in mind.  Successes in conservation, such as the rescue, conservation, and re-installation of Dallas-artist Octavio Medellin’s window (1960) at the Moody Performance Hall and the ticketing hall at Dallas Love Field, remind us that public art is an important cultural, artistic, historic and educational link connecting the heritage of Dallas to future generations.

The Public Art Program is a division of the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs.

City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs

The City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs (OCA) is a division of the City Manager’s Office that works to provide arts and cultural opportunities for the citizens of Dallas and its visitors, enhancing the development of a healthy urban community. The objective is realized through the support of artists and partnerships with arts and cultural organizations. OCA provides a variety of programs and services, including the management of twenty-two cultural facilities, four neighborhood cultural centers, direct funding programs that contract for services from individual artists and cultural organizations, a public art program that commissions work from local, regional and international visual artists, and the operation of a city-owned FM radio station, WRR Classical 101.1. OCA works with its citizen advisory board, the Cultural Affairs Commission, to nurture, develop and oversee the cultural system and to ensure that all Dallas citizens and visitors have the opportunity to experience the finest in art and culture and have access to the arts as a means of cultural expression.