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Tampa Public Art - Collection Management

The following guidelines are set forth as recommendations to adopt for collection management.


Works of art in the Public Art Collection shall be maintained and preserved in the best possible condition. City departments shall not provide any maintenance of artwork, including cleaning, without the consent of TPA. TPA will arrange for all professional services. The objectives of the maintenance program shall be:

  • To inspect works of Public Art on a regular basis
  • To clean and provide other appropriate routine maintenance of the works of Public Art
  • To establish a regular procedure for effecting necessary repairs to works of Public Art, including emergency situations that endanger public safety.

Artist Responsibilities

Within the terms of the contract, the artist shall:

  • Guarantee the work of art against all defects of material and workmanship for e period of one year following installation
  • Provide the City with drawings of the installation and with detailed instructions regarding routine maintenance of the artwork
  • Provide TPA with a current address so that prior to any repair and restoration of the artwork, the City shall, to the extent practicable, first consult the artist. To the extent practicable, the artist shall be given the opportunity to accomplish such repairs at a reasonable fee.

City Responsibilities

The City shall have the following responsibilities:

  • Works of art shall be examined for the condition at least once a year. A written report shall be prepared with photographic documentation as necessary.
  • When a work of Public Art requires maintenance or repair, the City will provide for such in cooperation with the department that houses the work of art.
  • The City shall notify the artist before repair or restoration in order to provide an opportunity for comment. When appropriate, the City will offer the artist the opportunity to do the work or supervise it. The City shall reserve the right to make minor and/or emergency repairs without consulting the artist, taking into consideration instructions provided by the artist at the time of acquisition.
  • After final approval and acceptance, all works of art shall be insured by the Fine Arts Policy of TMA. The insurance value of a work of art is equal to its purchase or acquisition cost.

Procedures for Maintenance and Conservation

The TPA administrator shall provide for an annual inspection and report on each work of art in the City of Tampa's collection, including the present condition of the artwork and recommendations regarding needed maintenance and repair. Regular inspection may be made by TPA staff or by another individual or group contracted to perform this service.

The Public Art Committee shall review the condition report and shall, for those works needing attention, recommend that: no action be taken; staff negotiate maintenance and repairs with the department housing the artwork; repairs be made, in whole or in part, suggesting means of accomplishment; or that the work be relocated or removed from the collection.

Alteration, Removal, Relocation, or Deaccession

Public Artworks generally enter the public environment through a careful process informed by the best available professional judgment and advice from affected public interests. They are created by artists specifically for the public context.

In all circumstances, the City should seek to ensure the ongoing presence and integrity of the work at the site for which it is created, in accordance with the artist's and TPA's intention. The primary concern should be to assure continuing access to the work by the public.

The City Department shall not move a work of art from its site or alter the site so that the work of art is obscured, altered significantly, or jeopardized.

Public Art has a long historical tradition of controversy. A review of the status of a Public Artwork should be undertaken cautiously, in order to avoid the potential influence of fluctuations in taste and the immediate pressures of public controversy. Work should not be removed from public view simply because it is controversial or unpopular. A decision may implicate basic questions of public trust, freedom of artistic expression, censorship, contractual obligations, copyright, moral rights, and the integrity of the work. Consideration of removal should involve the same degree of careful review as a decision to acquire a work of art; informed by a professional judgment and the interests of the public, and proceed according to carefully developed policies and procedures.

When the City considers the possible relocation or removal of a Public Artwork, it must recognize its multiple responsibilities: to the artist, as represented in the original artist contract; to the community, through its legal mandate and stewardship role; and to our cultural heritage. Decisions about relocation and removal must include a deliberate and explicit review process, assistance from professionals, and thorough ongoing documentation of the process.

Because the City has the responsibility for conserving the collection, and because the disposal of artworks may have serious implications, the de acquisition of a work of Public Art should be a deliberate and seldom-used procedure. It is the policy of the City not to dispose of works simply because they are not currently in fashion and not to dispose of works whose worth might not yet be recognized.


Since the City desires to have a diverse Public Art collection of the highest quality, the process of acquiring works and disposing of them should reflect that desire. At least once every ten years each artwork in the collection should be evaluated. This evaluation has the following objectives:

  • To establish an orderly process for evaluating works of art in the City's collection acquired as a result of the TPA Program
  • To establish procedures for removal or relocation of works of art
  • To insulate the procedures from fluctuations in public opinion.


1) Conditions: A work of art may be considered for reacquisition for one or more of the following reasons: the work of art has received documented and consistent adverse public reaction from a measurably large number of individuals and/or organizations over a period of 10 or more years; deacquisition has been requested for serious cause by the Department that displays the work; the site has become inappropriate; for example, it is no longer publicly accessible, or the physical setting is to be destroyed; the work is fraudulent or not authentic; the work possesses faults of design or workmanship; the work causes excessive or unreasonable maintenance; the work is damaged irreparably, or to on extent where repair is unreasonable or impracticable; the work represents a physical threat to public safety; or deacquisition has been requested in writing by the artist, for a serious cause.

2) Process: The recommendation to dispose of a work of art shall be made by the Public Art Committee and shall require a majority vote of the full membership of the Committee. Final approval for deacquisition shall be granted by the City Council at the request of the Mayor. The TPA administrator shall prepare a report which includes: reasons for suggested deacquisition; criteria for original selection, acquisition method, and cost; informed estimate of the current value of the work; staff evaluation of the work; public and Department feedback on the work; opinion of the City Attorney; and suggested alternate courses of action and costs. The Public Art Committee shall then conduct an advertised public hearing. An artist whose work is being considered for deacquisition shall be notified and shall be invited to speak.

3) Courses of Action: The Public Art Committee may recommend any of the following courses of action as a result of the staff report and the testimony received at the public hearing. The Committee shall not be limited to these courses of action but may suggest alternatives appropriate to meet particular circumstances.

  • Relocate the work of art. This method shall be given the highest priority.
  • Remove the work from the display and put it in storage.
  • Sell or exchange the work of art through the following means: offer the artist the first opportunity to buy bock the work of art at the current appraised value or at a price to be negotiated, obtain a professional appraisal and advertise sale et auction, or seek competitive bids.
  • Dispose of using City surplus property procedures.

4) Proceeds. All proceeds from the sale of public works of art shall be deposited into the Public Art Fund to be used for the maintenance and repair of works of art in the City's Public Art collection.