Artwork Installations
(including Monuments and Memorials)

Checklists should be used to ensure that submissions are complete. A completed checklist should be included with each submission package.

Percent for Art Commissions

The City commissions artworks for City-owned property through the Department of Cultural Affairs' Percent for Art Program. The sponsoring City agency and the Percent for Art Program are jointly responsible for the selection of the artist and the development of the work of art. A member of the Public Design Commission serves as an advisor to the Percent for Art panel. Once the proposal is approved by both the client agency and the Percent for Art Program, it should be submitted to the Commission for review. A representative of the Percent for Art Program must be present when an artist makes their presentation.

Non-Percent for Art Commissions and Gifts

Gifts of existing artworks are rarely accepted, so an artwork should not be fabricated as a gift to the City prior to approval by the PDC. If an outside (non-City) group or a City agency proposes to commission an artwork for City property outside of the Percent for Art Program, the artist selection process must be led by an art professional with experience organizing public art commissions and the process must mimic the City’s Percent for Art program. This fair and open process must include public input, a diverse list of artists, and an artist selection panel comprising at least three independent art professionals and, if possible, a member of the Percent for Art staff. Any proposal for an artwork installation must first be approved by the City agency that owns the property where the artwork will be sited. The proposal must be submitted to the PDC for review by that City agency or by the relevant capital construction managing agency.

Artwork Maintenance

All new artwork proposals must include a written viable plan for maintenance, detailing how maintenance will be provided for the entire lifespan of the artwork and confirm funding, if necessary. The plan should include details regarding the protocol, staff, and methods for maintenance and conservation. Outside groups must establish a maintenance endowment and identify an independent entity to administer the endowment.

Monuments and Memorials

Before preparing a submission, please review the Public Design Commission's general guidelines on Monuments and Memorials.

The Public Design Commission supports the installation of monuments and memorials to commemorate people, places, and events significant to New York City’s history. The PDC discourages memorials for people, places, and events that have been recognized as significant for a period of less than 20 years, unless they are of exceptional importance. Memorials to living persons will not be considered. A professional historian with expertise in the subject of the monument/memorial must establish the significance of the subject and thoroughly vet any proposed text and images.

The PDC strongly recommends that anyone planning a monument to a woman or women reference the list of public nominations for She Built NYC, the City’s initiative to commission public monuments honoring the women.

Find out more about She Built NYC.

See the full list of public nominations.

Temporary Art Installations

The Commission does not review artwork that will be installed for less than one year (“temporary”). However, if there is any likelihood that a temporary artwork will be in place for more than 365 days, the project should be submitted for review before the artwork is installed. Artworks should not be installed under a temporary program with the expectation that permanent approval of existing artworks is a certainty.

Conceptual Review

Artworks should be submitted for conceptual review and approval early in the design process and will be reviewed at a committee meeting prior to a public hearing. If any significant design changes are made in design development subsequent to conceptual approval, the project must be submitted for committee review and approval prior to proceeding to fabrication drawings.

Conceptual Review Submission Checklist for Artwork Installation

Preliminary Review

Preliminary review and approval by the Commission occurs when the design has been fully developed, and approval at this stage means that a work of art can be fabricated and installed.

Preliminary Review Submission Checklist for Artwork Installation

Final Review

Final review and approval is based on the submission of color, archival-quality photographs documenting the completed work.

Final Review Submission Checklist for Artwork Installation