Skip to Content

UPPS 08.03.04 - Public Art and Memorials

Public Art and Memorials

UPPS No. 08.03.04
Issue No. 5
Effective Date: 2/21/2020
Next Review Date: 9/01/2023 (E3Y)
Sr. Reviewer: Dean, College of Fine Arts and Communication


    1. For major new construction projects, as defined by The Texas State University System (TSUS) policy, one percent of the construction budget will be allocated for the acquisition of public artworks, unless an exception is approved by the TSUS Board of Regents. These works of public art shall be located at or near the site of construction projects.

    2. The president will determine an amount to include for public art and memorial projects when the first project budget is submitted to the TSUS Board of Regents for inclusion in the Capital Improvements Plan.

    3. Others may propose permanent or temporary public art displays and memorials for university locations within public view.

    4. The TSUS must approve public art and memorial projects, including erecting of statues and monuments.

    5. This policy does not address student art installations that are covered by separate guidelines and coordinated by the School of Art and Design. Nor does it address art installations located in the Alkek Library, Honors College, or Joann Cole Mitte Art Building.


    1. Public Art – various forms including sculpture, paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, murals, and mosaics, whether physically present or electronically generated, located in a place accessible to the general public. It is the specific intent to define public art as including all forms of artwork whether decorative or functional, interior or exterior, freestanding or physically integrated into buildings as artistic elements, and whether designed by students, faculty, or independent professional artists.

    2. Memorial – a structure of artistic value that is erected to commemorate an event, person, or group. Statues or monuments may only be erected for persons who have made outstanding or meritorious contributions to the university, the TSUS, or who have attained the highest distinction in their respective fields of endeavor or for entities that have supported the university or the TSUS in an exceptional or noteworthy way.


    1. The following persons will comprise the Public Art Committee (PAC):

      1. dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communication (chair);

      2. director of the School of Art and Design;

      3. associate vice president for Facilities; and

      4. director of Facilities Planning, Design and Construction, or designee (for art associated with capital projects only).

    2. For art associated with major new construction of a facility:

      1. deans and department heads from the units that will occupy the new facility will select ad hoc members from the building user groups; and

      2. the committee will convene shortly after the building committee is formed and before the design development documents are completed to ensure adequate time to determine the suitability of the art location, subject, and appearance.

    3. For art not associated with construction of a facility, the committee will include appropriate members of the university community as ad hoc members as determined by the president.

    4. The PAC shall meet as public art proposals require review, or to address other public art planning issues. The PAC will base its recommendations upon committee consensus.

    5. The PAC does not presume any authority over artworks, photographs, etc., that faculty and staff place on view in their offices.

    6. When a work of public art is selected, the PAC will provide the university archivist with information about the artists, donors, and historical background needed to catalog the university’s public art collection.


    1. The PAC will advise the President’s Cabinet on the acquisition, placement, maintenance, removal, relocation, and rejection of public art and memorials on campus. Public art selection must address such issues as: artistic quality, appropriateness, site context, public sensibility, durability, maintainability, safety, and cost. The PAC will also work with the TSUS Office of the General Counsel on drafting, finalizing, and updating the contractual documents (e.g., purchase, donation, loan form, etc.) governing these actions.

    2. When selecting works of public art:

      1. The PAC may solicit recommendations for a project from professional art consultants and university stakeholders such as students, faculty, staff, and alumni, as appropriate. The committee may also expand the pool of eligible artists through a request for qualifications.

      2. As appropriate, the university may utilize faculty members in the School of Art and Design to help the committee develop unifying themes or to select specific artists or works of art. Faculty and staff members who will provide their artwork for consideration in a major construction project are precluded from participating in the selection process.

      3. The PAC will submit at least two proposed artworks to the President’s Cabinet for review and recommendation of approval by the president.

      4. The public art package will then be forwarded to the TSUS for final approval.

    3. In accordance with the university’s ongoing commitment to attracting and supporting a diverse community, the university will also give consideration to including a diverse array of artists when selecting public art and memorials.

    4. Prior to approving the placement of memorials on campus in accordance with UPPS No. 08.03.03, Campus Memorials, the University Advancement Executive Council will consult with the PAC.


    1. The public art may require infrastructure to support the design (e.g., structural, plumbing, or electrical design), all of which require a state of Texas licensed engineer to prepare and certify that the construction documents comply with code. All plumbing and electrical work is to be performed by state of Texas licensed plumbers and electricians.

    1. Those purchasing or making loan arrangements must secure and document funds prior to making any acquisition arrangements. If funding is contingent on philanthropic contributions, the appropriate official, as defined in UPPS No. 03.05.01, Soliciting, Accepting and Processing Gifts and Grants from Private Sources, must approve a formal fundraising plan prior to submitting the project.

    1. The PAC will oversee a committee that will develop and maintain a catalog containing a description of every work of university public art. Therefore, each public artwork should have an identification number affixed to, associated with, or inscribed into it, for tracking location, monitoring condition, and managing inventory. This identification number and record will also include name of artist, title of work, media, date acquired, and other pertinent information.

    2. The catalog will be placed in the University Archives and updated as needed.


    1. The PAC will evaluate and schedule art for removal according to the criteria below and will write a memorandum stating the reasons for removal with an estimate of the associated costs and revenues. The president must approve removal or sale of all public art.

    2. The university’s art collection account will receive the proceeds from any sale of public art. Surplus art should be transferred to Materials Management and Logistics for proper disposal or sale in accordance with UPPS No. 05.01.02, University Surplus Property (Equipment and Consumable Supplies).

    3. Criteria for determining removal, giving additional consideration to the historical value of the artwork:

      1. the university is unable to properly care for the artwork or there is a marked discrepancy between the cost of the conservation and the public art’s aesthetic, historical, or financial value;

      2. an artwork is of markedly inferior quality, either intrinsically or relative to other public artworks in the collection;

      3. the artwork lacks a demonstrable import or relevance to the university;

      4. the appraisal of an artwork has increased in value such that the proceeds of its sale would significantly strengthen other aspects of the public art program and collection; or

      5. the university cannot reasonably guarantee the condition or security of the public artwork.


    1. Reviewers of this UPPS include the following:

      Position Date
      Dean, College of Fine Arts and Communication September 1 E3Y
      Public Art Committee September 1 E3Y
      University Archivist September 1 E3Y

    This UPPS has been approved by the following individuals in their official capacities and represents Texas State policy and procedure from the date of this document until superseded.

    Dean, College of Fine Arts and Communication; senior reviewer of this UPPS

    Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs