Community Services

Bernalillo County's Public Art Program was established in 1992 with the adoption of the county’s Art in Public Places Ordinance, enacted in 1992 (revised 1997).

The program is funded by one percent of the county's general obligation bonds passed during the general election every two years, with the exception of library bonds. Public art projects are associated with these bond initiatives. The ordinance also created the Arts Board, a 10-member appointed advisory board that recommends artworks for public acquisition and display. Two members per district are appointed by their respective county commissioner. 

The intent of the "Art in Bernalillo County Places" ordinance is to promote and encourage public awareness of the arts and cultural properties and to integrate art into Bernalillo County facilities and structures. The program currently has over 500 works of art, most of which can be viewed via the Public Art Collection Story Map and Betty Sabo Inventory Story Map.

 “Public Art has the power to inspire curiosity, encourage contemplation, facilitate dialogue, foster community engagement, and create a sense of place. Located throughout the county the collection enhances quality of life through the acquisition of exceptional works of art by artists at various career stages.”  Bernalillo County Arts Board Vision Statement

The county's Public Art Program believes that public art can:

  •  Energize public spaces, inspire thought, and transform live, work and play places
  •  Heighten awareness, question assumptions, transform the landscape, express community values, and help define a community’s  identity
  •  Have an economic benefit for a community by attracting visitors, and by supporting artists and local businesses 

The county’s Public Art Program is housed in the Office of Community Engagement and Outreach, Community Services Division. Please click here for the Public Art Program's unsolicited proposals submission and review guidelines. 

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