What is Public Art?

Public art is an overarching term for temporary and permanent creative works that are integrated into landscape, architecture, or civic infrastructure. These works are created for a multitude of reasons for the public, such as enriching spaces and improving aesthetics; providing connection; sharing stories, culture, heritage; social awareness and sparking conversations; improving place-making for communities; or providing function such as paint and wooden/metal/plastic facades, play structures, boardwalks, fences, etc.

Public art is generally considered as art that is accessible in some way to some individuals, communities or members of the public, such as parks, athletic venues, libraries and government buildings/spaces, public areas, and roads.

There are vast community benefits to contributing public art to community spaces. Public art:

  • Tells the stories of people, places, and events
  • Highlights and plays on social, political, environmental, or historical themes and shares narrative in creative ways
  • Allows artists to respond to our time, creating physical manifestations of our sense of who we are
  • Encourages engagement with the municipality
  • Develops the social identity and character of neighborhoods
  • Offers engaging alternatives for the commemoration of individuals, groups, or events
  • Results in landmark focal points and destination places that attract visitors
  • Encourages creative planning and a design mindset during and development and space enhancement processes
  • Stimulates the public and private economy through job creation for arts-related professionals, engineers, architects, landscape architects, fabricators, construction workers, equipment operators, and labourers
RFPs, RFQs and Call for Artists are used interchangeably when seeking artists for Public Art projects. While RFPs and RFQs are generally used for procurement of goods or services, with RFP focusing on detailed proposals and RFQ focusing on price quotations, a Call for Artists is specifically tailored to solicit artistic submissions from artists for projects.

Request for Proposal (RFP):

An RFP is a document typically used in competitive bidding processes, where a commissioner outlines the requirements and specifications for a project or service they need. It invites potential service providers (in the case of public art RFPs it would be artists) to submit proposals that detail how they would meet the commissioner’s needs, including their approach, qualifications, timelines, and pricing. RFPs are commonly used for complex projects or services where the commissioner seeks detailed proposals and solutions tailored to their specific requirements.

Request for Quotation (RFQ):

An RFQ is a document used to solicit price quotations from potential artists for public art projects.

It typically includes the details of the required products or services, quantities needed, delivery requirements, and any other relevant terms and conditions.

Call for Artists:

A Call for Artists is a specific type of solicitation aimed at artists, typically issued by organizations or institutions seeking artists to participate in artistic projects.

It invites artists to submit their portfolios, proposals, or artworks for consideration based on specified criteria, such as the theme of the project, artistic style, medium, location, and budget.

Call for Artists processes are common in the arts and cultural sector for sourcing talent and selecting artists for various artistic endeavours and differ by project.


How do I submit my work for review?
Fill out our artist submission form to be considered for future public art projects.

View available public art applications on our Open Opportunities page. Make sure to read the RFP/RFQ Guidelines before submitting your proposal.

Become familiar with the process of creating a public art work through our RFP/RFQ Guidelines for Artists page.


I’ve seen public artwork in Squamish that is not on display on this website. What classifies as public art and how do I submit art for review?

Please note that the public art displayed is publicly accessible, available to view, generally either commissioned or approved by the building/land owner, and within the District of Squamish boundary. There are other works of art in Squamish that have not been submitted to the public art virtual map as they do not fulfill these criteria, but they are included on the Squamish Arts registry of works as part of the process of documenting the public art in the District of Squamish.

If you would like to submit an artwork for review, please fill out our Artwork Submission Form.

Through Squamish Public Art, commissions are available. These are murals and works of art initiated and funded by a building or lease owner. Squamish Arts then helps find an artist marching your specifications and runs the process for a fee. Additionally, the Downtown Squamish BIA produces the Squamish Mural Walk annually. Building owners, and leaseholders with the permission of the building owner, may submit walls to be included in the annual festival. Mural Walk is independently funded and not considered a commission. While a final review of the selected artist is given to the building owner, the artistic selection is run through a committee as part of the Squamish Mural Walk. Fill out our Artwork Request Form to be put in contact with an artist.

Budgets should cover artist fees, materials, manufacturing costs, installation costs, maintenance and warranty.