Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What is the Public Art Trust (PAT)?
Launched in 2014, the Public Art Trust (PAT) is an initiative to commission impactful and meaningful public art in public spaces. The PAT will also partner private donors and corporates who are keen to create new public art by providing tax incentives and dollar-for-dollar matching for the display of new public art. On top of creating new opportunities for artists, the PAT will seek to drive education and outreach, and champion best practices for the commissioning of public art. As a National Arts Council (NAC) initiative, the PAT will prioritise opportunities for Singaporean artists, while creating platforms for collaboration with leading international artists.
2. Why Public Art?
Public art are creative works conceived for display in public spaces, and created specifically for public enjoyment. Good public art has the ability to create vibrancy in our shared spaces, challenge our everyday perception of our urban environment and the way we engage with it.
New public art commissions can significantly benefit artists through commissioning opportunities and offer learning experiences through the collaborative nature of public art, in working with urban planners, designers, architects and civil engineers. Apart from its potential to transform public spaces, public art offers an opportunity for the NAC to bring art to the community, offering easy access to the diverse cultural character of our city-state.
The PAT seeks to adopt a broad and inclusive view of what can constitute a public artwork, with a willingness to consider less conventional approaches and media.
3. How will the artist and artwork be selected?
New public art may be commissioned by the PAT or co-commissioned with an external commissioning partner. Artworks may be selected through an open call, a closed call, commissioned directly by the PAT, directly purchased or through a proposal submitted by an external commissioner under the co-commissioning scheme.
The Advisory & Commissioning Panel (ACP) will make their selection based on a thorough assessment of the artistic and aesthetic merits of the artwork, feasibility of the proposal, its potential to engage the public, its sensitivity to the chosen site of display, and the artist’s track record.
Criteria for artist selection:
· Singaporean, Permanent Resident or International artists;
· Strong track record;
· No outstanding liabilities with NAC (For Singapore/PR artists).
· Singaporean or Permanent Resident artists only;
· Good track record;
· No outstanding liabilities with NAC.
4. What is the commissioning process?
Please refer to the PAT commissioning process here.
5. Who are the members of the Advisory & Commissioning Panel (ACP)?
The PAT Advisory & Commissioning Panel (ACP):
- Mr Ahmad Bin Mashadi, Head/Senior Associate Director, NUS Museum (Co-Chair)
- Mr Paul Tan, Deputy CEO, National Arts Council (Co-Chair)
- Mrs Mae Anderson, Chairman, Art Outreach Singapore
- Mr Andrew David Fassam, Senior Director, Urban Planning (Conservation and Urban Design Group), Urban Redevelopment Authority
- Ms Swee Mun Lee, Senior Assistant Director, Conservation Services, National Heritage Board
- Dr Susie Lingham, Director, Singapore Art Museum
- Mr Vincent Leow, Artist
- Ms June Yap, Independent Curator
- Ms Janice Koh, Stage and television actress, and former Nominated Member of Parliament
- Mr Yann Follain, Co-founder, WY-TO Pte. Ltd.
6. Who will the PAT commissioned artworks belong to?
All public artworks commissioned by or co-commissioned with the PAT will reside in the collection of the Trust. The PAT will be responsible for maintenance and restoration (in the event the work is damaged) for the contractual duration of its display.
7. Who owns copyright of the public artworks?
The Intellectual Property or copyright of all artworks including its preliminary materials such as drawings, sketches, and renderings will remain in the ownership of the artist or their estate.
8. How does the PAT choose the site for an artwork?
The PAT maintains a database of available public sites for the commissioning of public artworks. These sites are typically open areas, outdoor plazas, lawns and even large walls or voluminous floor to ceiling spaces. As a public agency, the NAC will work with relevant agencies and stakeholders to seek out new spaces.
The decision of where new public art works are commissioned will be made by the ACP. In the case of a PAT commission, the ACP will decide on a list of sites and may opt to launch an open call for proposals or select an artist directly.
9. Will there be any publicity activities for the commissioned artwork?
Yes, a programming and publicity plan will be developed for every commissioned public art work as we want Singapore and the world to know about these commissioned works. The artworks will be featured on the PAT website and included in future PAT outreach programmes and walking trails.
1. I am an artist, how can I apply?
Artists can submit public art proposals to the Public Art Trust (PAT) through the following avenues:
a) PAT Commission (Open to Singapore or International artists)
- Open Call – The PAT may occasionally put up an open call for artwork. Please check our website from time to time;
- Closed Call – The PAT may approach artists directly to submit a proposal;
- Direct Commission – Artists may also submit a proposal to the PAT at any time for a no obligation review by the Advisory & Commissioning Panel (ACP). The PAT will maintain a database of proposals and may commission artwork from this database at an appropriate time.
b) Co-Commission (Open to Singaporean or Permanent Resident artists only)
- Artists may work with private organisations to submit a proposal to commission a public art work on privately managed land or state land
2. I am a foreign artist, am I eligible to apply?
Yes. However, foreign artists are only eligible to submit proposals for a PAT Commission.
3. I am an artist but I do not have any formal training in fine arts or knowledge of sculptural techniques, can I still apply?
Yes. As long as your proposal fulfils all application criteria, it will be assessed by the ACP.
4. What types of public art are eligible?
The PAT seeks to adopt a broad and inclusive view of what can constitute a public artwork, with a willingness to consider less conventional approaches and mediums in addition to traditional practices. Proposals are assessed on the artist’s ability to realise an impactful and meaningful public art work in a site-specific location. In general, there must be a strong focus on the concept of the public artwork in relation to the physical attributes and significance of the site, and its community and audience.
5. How will the artist be remunerated?
Artists will be remunerated with an artist fee for every commissioned public artwork. Applicants are advised to factor in their professional fees as part of the project proposal.
6. As an artist, what are my main obligations?
The artist is expected to carry out and perform their obligations in a timely and professional manner as stipulated in a mutually agreed contractual agreement.
7. If my proposal is not selected, can I apply again?
Yes. There are no limits on the number of proposals artists can submit and artists can reapply with new proposals as and when the opportunity arises.
8. How will the artist be credited for the commissioned public art work?
The artist will be credited on visible platforms for their work such as the official plaques as well as in subsequent marketing and publicity material related to the artwork.
For Private Organisations & Donors
1. How can organisations donate to the Public Art Trust?
There are a few ways to donate to or work with the Public Art Trust (PAT) depending on your organisation's objectives:
a) Donate to the PAT
Organisations/donors can make cash donations directly to the Trust. Donations will be utilised for commissioning new work, maintenance, programming and operational expenses of the PAT. Your donations will also be matched dollar-for-dollar through the Cultural Matching Fund and donors will be eligible for Double Tax Deduction.
For general donations above S$100,000, the PAT may seek the concurrence of the organisation/donor to potentially match the donation to a commission identified by the PAT. A proposal of the selected commission will be provided to the organisations/donors for their review.
To make a cash donation, please make your cheque payable to ‘NATIONAL ARTS COUNCIL – PAT’ and send to:
Public Art Trust Secretariat
National Arts Council
90 Goodman Road,
Goodman Arts Centre Blk A #01-01
b) Co-commission a PAT art work
The PAT also looks to partner organisations/donors that are keen to help fund public art works that have been identified and commissioned by the Trust. In addition, organisations/donors can also partner the PAT as a Co-commissioner. Co-commissioners may submit a proposal to commission a Singapore or Permanent Resident artist to create public art work on privately managed land or state land.
A complete proposal must be submitted to the PAT for assessment by the Trust’s Advisory & Commissioning Panel (ACP). If approved, the external commission will be eligible for dollar for dollar matching through the Cultural Matching Fund. Should you like to discuss the various opportunities of giving and partnership, please contact the PAT secretariat here.
2. What are the benefits of donating to the Public Art Trust?
a) Donate to the PAT
- Tax deductible receipts
b) Co-commission a PAT art work / Donation matched to an artwork (S$100,000 and above)
- Tax deductible receipts
- Acknowledgement on on-site plaque
- Commemorative maquette of art-work
- Friends/Patron of the Arts nomination by the PAT
3. How does the Cultural Matching Fund work?
Set up by the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY), the Cultural Matching Fund (CMF) will provide dollar-for-dollar (1:1) matching grants for private cash donations to arts and heritage charities and Institutions of a Public Character (”IPC”). With the CMF, cash donations that the PAT receives will double in value as a result of the matching grants, if approved. The CMF aims to encourage giving to our arts and heritage sector, and hence create a more sustainable arts and heritage scene; one in which more people in Singapore have a stake.
For more information, please download the CMF Information Booklet here
4. Is the organisation able to select the public art work to donate to or commission?
As part of PAT’s role to proactively develop new public art, the PAT will solicit proposals for commissions from Singapore and/or International artists through Open/Closed Calls and maintain a database of potential commissions. Where appropriate, the PAT will match these commissions to potential donors.
Alternatively, organisations may consider submitting a proposal of their desired artist and public art work as a co-commission to the PAT for consideration.
5. What is the process for submitting a public art proposal for a co-commission?
An organisation may submit a proposal to commission a public art work on privately managed land or state land. Only proposals commissioning a Singapore or Permanent Resident artist will be considered. The proposal will require:
- A clearly written proposal describing the art work(s), its relevance to the selected site(s) and how it intends to engage the public;
- Clear visuals of art work placement;
- An indicative methodology for production, fabrication and installation;
- Drawings, plans, 3D rendering, maquette (optional) of proposed work in situ;
- Considerations for art work conservation and long-term maintenance plan;
- Proposed budget and project timeline
A complete proposal must be submitted to the PAT for assessment by the ACP. Shortlisted proposals may be invited for an assessment interview with the ACP panel. If approved, the PAT will submit 50% of the production cost for matching through the Cultural Matching Fund. Upon matching, the funds will be disbursed to the co-commissioner for them to manage and realise the commission.
Please refer to the PAT commissioning process here.
6. Is there any time frame to submit the proposal for a co-commission?
Proposals for co-commissions can be submitted to the PAT throughout the year. However, there will be two periods of assessment for proposals every year. This is to facilitate the matching of donations by the Cultural Matching Fund (CMF).
|Cycle 1||Cycle 2|
|Submission deadline||1 June||1 December|
|Notified by||1 August||1 February|
7. How long does it take to assess a co-commission proposal and what is the process?
The whole process – from submission of the co-commissioning proposal to the first disbursement of funds (if successful) – will typically take 5-6 months. Organisations/donors will be informed of the results of their application within 2 months of submission. If successful, the organisation/donor (co-commissioner) will need to submit 50% of the commissioning costs to the PAT for matching by the Cultural Matching Fund (CMF).
8. Who will bear the responsibility and cost for maintenance of the art work once it is installed?
The PAT will bear the cost for maintenance and ensure that all art works belonging to the PAT are kept in good condition. The PAT secretariat will work closely with the artist to develop a suitable maintenance plan and execute due diligence by either engaging a third-party contractor to conduct regular maintenance or developing an agreement with the land-owner to integrate a maintenance plan within their facilities management scope.
For art works that are co-commissioned with an external organisation/donor, the PAT will seek the assistance of the co-commissioner to ensure that maintenance is conducted according to a set schedule (Co-commissioner may opt to appoint a third party contractor approved by the artist and PAT).
9. What happens to the artwork after it reaches the end of its display life?
When an artwork reaches the end of its display life, the PAT will assess its condition and consider the following options by order of priority (a to f):
a. Extend display in agreement with site owner and artist;
b. Donate to National Collection;
c. Sale to co-commissioner;
d. Sale to artist;
e. Sale in open commercial market;
f. Deaccession with agreement from site owner and artist.
All proceeds from the decommissioning process (c to f) will be returned to the PAT.