Public art advisory group
(This group set up to support a commission is alternatively called the public art working group, the public art steering group, the public art committee)
The appointment of a public art advisory group offers another level of support, guidance and responsibility to oversee the commissioning process. They operate at the 'big picture' level and they have an advisory capacity, providing input and give feedback on policy. They are not hands-on. In general, the group, appointed by the commissioning body, represents the concerns of the commissioner (who sits on the group). Public art advisory groups have been appointed mostly by Local Authorities and government bodies who have invested in public art through a programmatic approach to commissioning under the Per Cent for Art Scheme. In some once-off commissions, such as the procurement of public art for a new school, public art advisory groups have been appointed to both oversee and manage the commission.
Advisory groups usually consist of artists and artistic advisors alongside representatives from the commissioning body and professionals involved in the delivery of capital projects. A typical public art advisory group might include two to three artists and/or curators from specific disciplines, an arts officer or a public arts manager, architect, librarian and senior management. Councillors are sometimes included, but this is not a requirement.
Public art groups are sometimes criticised because of their lack of artistic representation. The under representation of the artist on steering committees can hinder their capacity to engage with or represent current artistic practice.
Once a project or programme of commissions has commenced the project managers/ administrators (or in some cases artists) work to support the group keeping them well briefed on all general directions, the progress of the artists work and any changes, budgets and troubleshooting.
Greystones Educate Together National School appointed a voluntary committee with relevant expertise to oversee the per cent for art commissioning process. An external curator, Máire Davey, was appointed specifically for her expertise in working in a highly collaborative way as meaningful involvement from the students and school was viewed as central to the process. The procurement route chosen was limited invited competition.