Acquisition, Placement and Rotation of Art in Public Spaces (Public Art) and Monuments
The Public Art Program at CSUSB seeks to enrich the University’s visual and intellectual environment by placing works of art in strategic locations across the San Bernardino and Palm Desert campuses. Works of art enrich the University community as well as visitors to our campuses by enhancing the educational experience and deepening the sense of place by creating public gathering spaces for reflection and intellectual discourse and are a reflection of the University’s core educational mission.
The following guidelines establish the procedures to be followed by university administrators in undertaking all accessioning (inclusion in the inventory) and deaccessioning (removal from the inventory, including discards and disposals) of works of art for the CSUSB Public Art Collection, which includes monuments and art in public spaces. These guidelines pertain to both CSUSB campuses, but exclude RAFFMA (Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art), the Anthropology Museum, and other art and artifact acquiring CSUSB museums and galleries. These guidelines specifically address acquisitions (process and procedure) as well as other necessary aspects of campus-wide public art, such as maintenance, preservation, financing, storage, deaccessions, etc. of art in CSUSB public spaces.
All public art and monuments proposed for installation in outdoor and indoor public spaces, such as lobbies and other large University-owned facilities where the campus community gathers, should be presented to the University Art Advisory Committee (UAAC) for review, evaluation, and recommendation for acceptance or rejection on both CSUSB campuses. UAAC advisory recommendations will be forwarded to the President’s Office for review and action.
Artworks installed in reception areas, hallways, conference rooms, and faculty and staff offices are excluded from this policy. Temporary student exhibitions conducted under the guidance of faculty members, temporary art installations, and public art on temporary loan are exempt from this review process.
II. Public Art Definition
“Public art is not an art form. Its size can be huge or small. It can tower fifty feet high or call attention to the paving beneath your feet. Its shape can be abstract or realistic (or both), and it may be cast, carved, built, assembled, or painted. It can be site-specific or stand in contrast to its surroundings. What distinguishes public art is the unique association of how it is made, where it is, and what it means. Public art can express community values, enhance our environment, transform a landscape, heighten our awareness, or question our assumptions. Placed in public sites, this art is there for everyone, a form of collective community expression. Public art is a reflection of how we see the world—the artist’s response to our time and place combined with our own sense of who we are.” - Association for Public Art
Art in public spaces includes two-dimensional art, three-dimensional art, media arts and monuments. It enhances and enriches public spaces. It encourages inquiry, sparks dialogue, and promotes equity. CSUSB’s Public Art Collection reflects the university’s identity, culture, and diversity. It inspires intellectual engagement and creativity, and fosters an understanding of the university’s history and aesthetic values. It reflects and enhances the CSUSB educational experience by encouraging a sense of community and engaging students, faculty, staff and alumni in many compelling ways.
III. University Art Advisory Committee
University Art Advisory Committee (UAAC) is an advisory body with responsibility for reviewing and formally recommending acquisitions and permanent loans of art for public spaces at the CSUSB campuses. In some instances, the UAAC may consult with RAFFMA’s Acquisitions Committee prior to making recommendations. All recommendations will be submitted to the President for consideration and action.
UAAC’s mission is to enhance learning and environmental aesthetics through advancing the presence of public art on CSUSB campuses. UAAC is guided by the principle that public art contributes to the educational mission, enhances and distinguishes the campus environment, and is a source of intellectual and creative inspiration to students, faculty, staff and the broader community.
- Meet at least annually to discuss vision and advocacy for public art on the CSUSB campuses;
- Review works of art offered to the University and recommend acceptance or rejection;
- Review proposals for commissioned public artworks and monuments;
- Suggest ways to acquire donated or commissioned art;
- Review and recommend deaccessions;
- Advise on appropriate placement, installation, presentation, rotation and relocation of art on the campuses;
- Advise on preservation, maintenance, and storage.
UAAC will be comprised on the following members:
- Department of Art and Design chair or designee will serve as UAAC chair
- RAFFMA director, or designee
- Anthropology Museum director, or designee
- Two tenure track art faculty member recommended by the Department of Art and Design and endorsed by the Faculty Senate
- A student representative selected by the CSUSB Associated Students, Incorporated (ASI)
- A student representative selected by the Santos Manuel Student Union (SMSU)
- Vice President for Administration and Finance, or designee
- Vice President for University Advancement
- Associate Vice President for Facilities Planning and Management, or designee
- Associate Vice President for University Advancement, Office of Philanthropic Giving, or designee
- University Archivist
- Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, or designee
- Palm Desert Campus Dean, or designee, when artwork will be located at the PDC
- All members are voting members.
- Simple majority vote establishes the decision.
- All meetings are open to the public, and recommendations are part of public record.
- The committee will meet at least once a year to discuss, review and revise the vision for public art, and review needed updates to documentation, if any.
- Meetings to review art proposals will be scheduled on an as needed basis. Selected reviews (with the anticipated consensus) may be held virtually via video or phone conference. Minutes will be taken for all meetings and a report written for submission to the President, with copies to all members in hardcopy and digital file. The Division of University Advancement will provide staff support to the UAAC.
IV. Public Art Funding
Funding is necessary to assure proper treatment of public art on campus, which includes:
- Printed materials
- Regularly updated records
- Other related activities
Possible sources of funding include but are not limited to:
- CSUSB budget allocation
- Sales of existing art
Budget allocations supporting public art will be managed by the Office of the Vice President for Administration and Finance. Grants and donations will be administered by the CSUSB Philanthropic Foundation.
V. Public Art Acquisitions & Stewardship
Approved Forms of Acquisition:
- Permanent Loans
The University Public Art Collection strives to acquire and position works of public art of the highest quality in settings appropriate to the scale, purposes, aesthetics and materials of individual works. The University Art Advisory Committee will advocate for and, in collaboration of the Division of University Advancement, work to secure new works of public art through gift, purchase, and loan. Where works of public art are received as gifts, University Advancement will manage the stewardship of the donor’s relationship with the campus.
Acquisition proposals shall be submitted to UAAC on a timely basis. Recommendations shall be based on criteria that includes, but is not limited to:
- Proof of clear title to the object under consideration.
- Condition of the object and ability of the University, campus, college, department, or other administrative unit to restore the object (if necessary).
- Availability of external or internal funding to install, conserve, maintain, and preserve the object at the time of donation and in the future.
UAAC shall carefully review objects being considered for acquisition and recommend disposition of each object. Possible outcomes include:
- acceptance with the possibility of future transfer (deaccession)
- acceptance with conditions
- request for more information
Criteria of Evaluation:
- The artwork is by an established, accomplished artist whose work has received general critical acclaim or by an emerging artist of great promise, which may include exceptional work by a CSUSB faculty member, staff member, student, alumnus or alumna;
- The artwork contributes to the educational mission of CSUSB and reflects the quality of the University’s strong programs in the arts;
- The artwork is constructed from materials appropriate to its proposed location, able to withstand or accept the wear and tear inherent in public settings, and takes public safety into consideration;
- A plan for location, installation and maintenance of the artwork has been completed.
VI. Exhibition and Display
- UAAC will oversee the exhibiting of artworks from the University’s Public Art Collection. As deemed appropriate by UAAC, the Public Art Collection will be given prominence through its display on the CSUSB campuses.
- UAAC will be consulted regarding the display or relocation of moveable artworks from the University’s Public Art Collection to spaces that fall outside UAAC's definition of designated spaces for public art.
- All campus public art should be properly labeled with the following information included in all labels/plaques:
- Artist’s name
- Acquisition date
- Credit or donor attribution if applicable
VII. Public Art Collection (Asset) Management
- CSUSB has a responsibility to preserve and document the University’s Public Art Collection and all other items in its care. All Public Art Collection assets will be regularly inspected and their condition assessed under the guidance of UAAC.
- For each item in the collection an accession form will be completed and a file of relevant records on the history and condition of the item will be maintained and archived by the CSUSB Office of Facilities Planning and Management.
- All items will be assigned a unique accession number.
- In keeping with the educational mission of the University, part of UAAC’s responsibility through the management of the collection is to support teaching and research of visual culture.
- UAC will balance the developmental needs of the collection with its overall responsibility for the care and management of the existing collection. When acquiring works, UAAC will give due consideration to the resources required to house and maintain these acquisitions.
- An accounting of the entire University’s Public Art Collection will be undertaken every two years, including an updating of accession records by the Office of Facilities Management.
- These guidelines do not include artworks being displayed by or in the collection of RAFFMA, the Anthropology Museum, or any museum or gallery located indoors or outdoors within the museum’s or gallery’s established land designation, or other art and artifact acquiring CSUSB museums and galleries.
VIII. Relocation or Removal (Deaccession) from the Public Art Collection
Occasionally, the UAAC may recommend that a work of art be relocated, removed and deaccessioned. Options include:
- Removal from the University’s Public Art Collection. UAAC may carry out deaccessioning of collection items in the interests of collection development and management. UAAC regards the right to deaccession items as a necessary part of developing the collection to its fullest potential, and a responsible mechanism for collection management. Strict guidelines for deaccessioning will follow established industry standards, and be in accordance with the objectives set forth in the UAAC Mission and Goals statements.
- All recommendations for the deaccessioning of items will originate with UAAC and be forwarded to the President for recommendation and approval. Deaccessioning will result in one of the following:
- Return artwork on permanent loan to lender. The lender (who may or may not have elected to be involved in the review process) will be advised of the President’s decision to return the object to the lender. Upon the lender’s consent, the artwork will be returned to the lender, and any prior contractual agreement terminated.
- Gift of artwork owned by the University.
- The artwork may be offered to another organization or facility that operates for public benefit, preferably for public display.
- A deed of gift will be signed by CSUSB and the recipient to formalize transfer of ownership and record any mutually agreed conditions. These may include obligations to ensure consistency with the terms of the original acquisition.
- Sale of artwork owned by the University.
- CSUSB may sell the artwork in a fair and open process. Sale by public tender or auction is preferred.
- Proceeds from the sale will be used to fund acquisitions, and to maintain and conserve the public art collection.
- UAAC may recommend under extraordinary circumstances the responsible deconstruction, removal, and disposition of objects or artwork deemed too damaged for restoration or due to public safety concerns. Should destruction of an artwork be necessary, it shall be done in an environmentally responsible fashion and sustainable manner. Destruction of the work will only be sanctioned when all other options have been thoroughly evaluated and no viable alternative found.
- Retention in the University’s Public Art Collection and:
- Relocation to another public location;
- Removal and placement into storage;
- Lending to another organization; or
Public art has a long history of controversy and it is essential that decision-making remains independent from political pressures, fluctuations in artistic taste, popularity or public opinion.
Relocation or removal of public art should be considered only after careful and impartial evaluation and undertaken, and only when no other option exists. It should involve the same degree of careful review as a decision to commission a work of art; informed by professional judgment and the interests of the University community.
A public artwork may be considered for relocation or removal only if one or more of the following conditions apply:
- Significant and/or substantial changes in the pattern of use, community, character, or design of the environment where the public artwork is located necessitates a re-evaluation of the relationship of the public artwork to the location.
- The public artwork location or part of the location is to be redeveloped or demolished and it is not possible to incorporate the public artwork into the redevelopment without compromising the integrity of the public artwork or incurring excessive costs.
- The public artwork requires a high level of maintenance and/or conservation, incurring excessive costs.
- The public artwork possesses serious or dangerous faults in design or workmanship and repair or remedy is impractical, not feasible, or will undermine the integrity of the public artwork.
- The public artwork endangers public health and safety and remedy is impractical, not feasible, or undermines the integrity of the public artwork.
- CSUSB is unable to reasonably guarantee the condition or security of the public artwork in its present location or the public artwork is irreparably damaged, due to reasons beyond the university’s control.
While these criteria may prompt a review process, they are not the criteria upon which a final decision on whether to relocate or remove a public artwork is based. Decisions will proceed according to carefully developed policies and procedures.
IX. Review and Revision of Policy
The UAAC will review the Policy on Acquisition, Placement and Rotation of Art in Public Spaces (Public Art) and Monuments every five years. The next scheduled revision will be in 2026. Proposed policy revisions will be submitted to the Office of President for review by the Administrative Council and approval by the President.