Public Art

In response to the growing number of community areas, groups and individuals that would like to develop a public art project, Aberdeen City Council has produced a Public Art document to guide the Council when considering the commissioning and caretaking of public art in Aberdeen; by setting out clear objectives for public art, a clarification of policies, processes, and the means of implementation. 

This document provides guidance for elected members, designers, developers, creative practitioners, individuals, organisations and communities who have an interest in developing temporary and *permanent public art work, or a decision making role in approving proposals with a relevance to public art. It also contains information about how the Council intends to consider public art proposals in the future, through the Public Art Panel Aberdeen.
*Ref: ‘Permanent’ public artwork means the artwork is intended to be installed for the longer-term.


What is Public Art?

The definition of Public Art that Aberdeen City Council aligns with is:-
‘Public Art refers to a work of art in any media that has been planned with the intention of being 
sited or staged in the physical public realm. This means outside spaces but can also at times refer to 
inside spaces that are accessible to the public, although not a gallery, museum, designated 
exhibition or performance space. Public art is usually, but not always, commissioned specifically for 
the site in which it is situated. Public art can take many forms, it can be permanent or transitory, 
large scale placemaking works or small intimate works which blend into the fabric of their 

Public art can be, but is not limited to:

  • Designed features that are part of the built or natural environment.
  • Permanent features as part of buildings.
  • Landscaping or street furniture.
  • Landmark sculptures.
  • Trails and wayfinding features.
  • Temporary installations.
  • A creative process that invites public participation or interaction.
  • A spectacle, part of a festival or event.
  • A spontaneous creative act or ‘happening’.


Making an application or enquiry to Public Art Panel Aberdeen. 
If you are developing a Public Art Project or if you require advice about the process required to
develop such a project on Aberdeen City Council land, building, spaces, or adopted roads, you will 
need to apply to the Public Art Panel Aberdeen (PAPA) panel. 
To make an enquiry or an application please complete the Public Art Enquiry form below and send to . The stages are set out below. 


Stages of PAPA Process 

1. Contact us as soon as you start planning your project using the Public Art enquiry form above and 
send to
2. The Public Art enquiry form will be reviewed, initial feedback provided, and advice given on next 
steps, which may include submitting a full application form. 
3. The submission of the Public Art application and supporting documents. 
4. The application is reviewed by the Panel. 
5. Panel decision notification is sent, which includes feedback on the proposal and any specific 
requirements for progression.

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