• Reflectivity by John Fleming (LSU Bookstore)

  • From Idea to Practice by In Plain Sight Art Studio (Southeastern Louisiana University, Computer Science and Technology Building)

  • Aspire by Curtis Pittman (Louisiana Tech University, Keeny Circle)

  • Shady Lane by Ball Nogues Studio (LSU HSC Human Development Center)

  • Marvelous Monarch by Brandon Ballengée (Bogue Chitto State Park Kids Trail)


The Percent for Art law, enacted in 1999, stipulates that whenever more than $2 million in state funds is to be spent by a state agency for the construction or renovation of a state building, 1 percent of the state money shall be expended for the project to acquire, conserve, or restore and install works of art for display in, on, or on the grounds of the state building.

The Louisiana Percent for Art program provides the citizens of Louisiana with an improved public environment, adds visibility to the cultural heritage of the state and its people, attracts visitors to the state and creates economic opportunities and training for public art artists and related industries.

Quick Q&A about the Percent For Art program

What is public art? ↓ See answer.

Public art is a mirror that reflects the environment, cultural values and artistic vitality of a community in which it exists. At its best, public art is more than just art installed in public places. It is a broadly based process of dialogue, involvement and participation involving all segments of a community. Public art enhances the quality of life for citizens by encouraging a heightened sense of place, enhancing a community's prestige and enlivening the visual quality of the built environment. Successful public art is site-specific and responds to the concept of placemaking.
For purposes of the Percent for Art program, a "work of art" includes all forms of original creations of visual art, including but not limited to:

  1. Paintings, including all media and both portable and permanently affixed works of art such as murals.
  2. Sculpture, including bas relief, high relief, mobile, fountain, kinetic, environmental, electronic and in-the-round sculpture.
  3. Prints, calligraphy, drawings, stained glass, mosaics, photographs and works in fiber or textiles, wood, metal, plastic or other materials or combination of materials.
  4. Mixed media, including any combination of forms of media.
  5. Any craft as defined in R.S. 25:897(C).

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How are public artworks selected? ↓ See answer.

Under Louisiana state law, contracts for personal services (e.g., sculptors, painters, art restoration, etc.) may be entered into directly, without necessity of competitive bidding or competitive negotiation.

Further, R.S. 25:900.1(E) provides: "Each work of art acquired, restored, or conserved as provided in this Section (i.e., the Louisiana Percent for Art program) shall be selected or determined by the assistant secretary of the office of cultural development of the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism who shall request the advice of and consult with the contracting agency (i.e., the Division of Administration, Office of Facility Planning and Control), the state agency who will occupy or operate the building, the Louisiana State Arts Council, and the project architect. When selecting such works of art, preference shall be given to works of art of Louisiana artists."

Therefore, by law, a contract to create, restore or conserve a work of art may entered into directly, so long as the assistant secretary has consulted with representatives of the parties listed above. Should the project call for the acquisition of existing works of art, the assistant secretary must still consult with the parties listed in R.S. 25:900.1(E) and then normal procurement rules apply.

Though not required by law, the Division has found that in many instances, it serves the best interest of the state and the goals of the Louisiana Percent for Art program to issue a general or limited call to artists (e.g., a request for qualifications, a call for nominations or other competitive selection process) to help select an artist to create, conserve or restore a work of art. The Division will often convene a project-specific panel to discuss and recommend to the assistant secretary possible styles, materials, locations and themes for each project, as well as review artists' proposals submitted in response to a call, for artistic merit as well as suitability to the project.

On a case-by-case basis, depending on the size, scope, timetable, any particular limitations, specifications, or restrictions applicable to the project—along with any other relevant factors, and in accordance with best practices in the public art community, the Division staff will recommend to the assistant secretary for approval, a selection process for each project. To ensure fair and reasonable notice of selection opportunities when a competitive process is used, projects will be announced on the Division website along with a description of the project requirements, evaluation criteria and other details of the approved selection process.

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Who manages the Louisiana Percent for Art program? ↓ See answer.

The program is jointly administered by the Division of the Arts and the Office of Facility Planning and Control. The Division oversees the art selection process, which is funded through the Office of Facility Planning and Control through existing capital outlay funds.

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What statutes established and revised Percent for Art in Louisiana? ↓ See answer.

(1) Act 1999, No. 1280 by then-Representatives Diane Winston, Francis C. Thompson, and Pinkie C. Wilkerson and Senator Jay Dardenne, enacted R.S. 25:900.1, which was later amended and reenacted by Acts 2003, No. 972, §1, eff. July 1, 2003 and Acts 2006, No. 91, §1, eff. May 25, 2006.

(2) 2 R.S. 25:900.1(B)(4)

(3) La. R.S. 39:1495

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How many public art programs exist nationally? ↓ See answer.

Louisiana is one of 28 states with Percent for Art legislation guiding the inclusion of works of art in new public construction. There are also more than 130 active public art programs managed by counties, cities, boroughs, transportation authorities, redevelopment authorities and private nonprofit agencies.

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For questions or comments please call or email:

Scott Finch, 225-342-8176, sfinch@crt.la.gov

April Baham, 225-342-6083, abaham@crt.la.gov
©2024 Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism