Cultural Affairs Office
Civic Art Program
Since 1999, Houston’s Civic Art Ordinance has required that 1.75 percent of the budget for eligible City-funded construction projects be spent to integrate artwork and the ideas of artists in public spaces and to conserve the City Art Collection.
Houston’s Civic Art Program has commissioned hundreds of site-specific artworks and completed conservation projects across the city. The City Art Collection provides residents and visitors the opportunity to encounter art in airports, the convention center, libraries, parks, police stations, health and recreation centers and streetscapes.
Civic Art Collection
The City’s Civic Art Collection currently holds 677 unique works of art and represents artwork from around 390 individual artists. Artworks in the collection include paintings, murals, prints, drawings, photographs, videos, stained glass, statues, sculptures, monuments and fountains.
For more information on the artworks in the collection:
- Art in the Parks
- Art at Houston Airport Systems
- Houston Art Map
For more information on annual activities for the Civic Art Program:
- FY2021 Civic Art Program Annual Report and Equity Review
- FY2020 Civic Art Program Annual Report
- FY2020 Civic Art Program Equity Review
- FY2019 Civic Art Program Annual Report
- FY2018 Civic Art Program Annual Report
- FY2017 Civic Art Program Annual Report
- Civic Art Program Evaluation + FY2016 Civic Art Program Annual Report
Temporary Art Permitting
The City of Houston has regulations, procedures and permit requirements to authorize artwork for placement on City of Houston property such as a right of way, park, health center, police or fire station, library or community center. This includes artworks such as murals, sculptures, art displays and commemoratives. Permanent artworks require approval by Houston’s City Council. City Department Directors may authorize Temporary Art Permits. Applications must be received a minimum of 40 consecutive days immediately preceding the date sought for installation.
More Resources for Permitting:
- Application & Guidelines for Temporary Placement of Art on City Property
- Logos/branding/advertising in Murals on Private Property
- Street Art Events
- Park Art Events and Reservations
The City rarely accepts gifts of art for its permanent art collection.
Gifts of art to the City require the approval of the affected city department. Final acceptance of the proposed artwork is subject to the approval of the Mayor and City Council.
Each potential gift of art is unique and the full extent of the review and required documents will depend on the art medium and proposed location. It is a meticulous process and will take many months or years to complete. MOCA recommends scheduling a preliminary consultation by contacting Cultural.Affairs@HoustonTX.gov.
For more information on gifts of artwork to the City of Houston:
List of Artists in the Photo Carousel:
- Dixie Friend Gay: Books of a Feather
- Elaine Bradford: Pachikadi and his Flying Friends
- Hannah Stewart, Atropos Key
- Henry Moore, Large Spindle Piece
- Jaume Plensa, Tolerance
- Luis Jiménez, Vaquero
- Jesús Bautista Moroles, Houston Police Officers Memorial