How to make public art (with the City of Sydney’s help)

Calling all creatives: It’s time to submit your ideas for Art & About 2022

If you’ve got a great artwork in your head, Art & About might just be the way to make it happen.

Applications for the 2022 public art program are open. If you’re successful, you could see your artwork on display somewhere in Sydney next year.

Here’s everything you need to know about the program and putting your ideas forward.

All about Art & About

The City of Sydney’s public art program runs from February to December each year. You’ll see temporary artworks by emerging and high-profile artists around the city centre and inner city – in everywhere from moving buses to abandoned homes.

Ideas in all kinds of art forms are welcome

Artists working in any discipline can apply – from installation, sculpture, and mural art to sound, video, photography and performance.

Art & About’s 2020 program includes an audio project by Roslyn Oades, a digital work by Tactical Tech, a dance-based theatre piece by Reckless Sleepers, and an installation by Jonathan Jones.

Past Art & About programs have included a performance by Branch Nebula, an interactive piece by Elizabeth Commandeur and Mark Starmach, a mural by Will Cooke and an installation by Ian Strange.

Artist Will Cooke completing As One Door Closes Another Opens, Art & About 2021. Credit: Chris Southwood.

… and so are original and unusual ideas

We’re looking for ideas that will temporarily transform public spaces in the City of Sydney’s local government area. We wish to engage, involve and inspire Sydneysiders and are seeking creative projects that share this aim.

If your artwork fits that description, it’s a perfect candidate for the program. You don’t need to have a location confirmed at the time you apply.

The Art & About team will help you secure a location if you're shortlisted.

You don’t need to have created a big public artwork before

Applications are welcome from anyone: individuals and groups, locals and internationals, professional artists and amateur creatives.

Art & About has hosted high-profile artists such as Nick Cave, Craig Walsh and Janet Echelman. But it’s also presented work by advertising creatives and others.

As long as you have a good idea and the skills to pull it off, you’re encouraged to apply.

You’ll get some funding and plenty of support

The Art & About team will help you execute your vision. It provides skills, expertise, advice and practical support to bring your idea to life – and marketing to make sure people see your amazing work.

“It’s not a grant, it’s a collaboration," program manager Liza Bahamondes said.

Funding is up to $85,000 per project.

Get your application in

Apply online by 5pm on Monday 7 February 2022. All applications are assessed by a panel of artists, curators, and cultural leaders.

The 2022 judges include Chair of the City of Sydney Public Art Advisory Panel, Felicity Fenner.

Fenner has said the judges are looking for imagination, originality, and ability to carry out the work.

“In your application, keep the explanatory text simple and straightforward,” she said.

“Describe the look of the artwork and, importantly, the experience of viewing or interacting with it. Use images like concept drawings, photographs of earlier iterations, or renders of how it will look in situ.”

Read insider tips from previous Art & About artists.

And if you can’t squeeze in an application this year, that’s OK. Sign up to hear about future opportunities.

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