Three tips from an independent curator and arts consultant with Clare County Council.
1. Public art is fundamentally a process of building and maintaining good working relationships. The art project or commission that artists develop are a by-product of those good working relationships.
2. In general public art commissioning involves three core partners ; the artist, the commissioner and the public. Clear communication is paramount in the commissioning process. When people refer to communication skills they often talk about their ability to talk and put ideas across. For me the most important aspect of communication is our ability to listen.
3. Although we have limited published policy on public art in Ireland we do have important statements in policy such as the need for 'recognition of the central role of the artist in public art'. This statement, taken from the 1996 Report on Public Art, becomes a very useful principle to use in order to anchor and guide a commissioning process in order to develop an artist centred approach to public art practice.
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.