Chapter 2.42


2.42.010    Acquisition of public art.

2.42.020    Display and siting works of art.

2.42.030    Documentation and conservation of works of art.

2.42.040    Deaccessioning works of art.

2.42.050    Administrative procedures.

2.42.010 Acquisition of public art.

A. Objective. To establish policies and guidelines for adding works of art to the city’s collection of public art.

B. Definitions.

1. “Acquisitions” means the procurement of works of art through open competition, limited competition, invitation, donation, loan, direct purchase or any other means.

2. “Works of art” means all forms of original, visual and tactile art.

3. “City” means the city of Walla Walla, Washington.

C. Policies.

1. The city shall acquire and display public art work for the benefit and enjoyment of its citizens.

2. Public art differs from art intended for private enjoyment, in that it must speak, in a significant way, to a larger portion of the population. Public art is a gesture to the public and, as such, should provide a generous benefit. Public art should bring meaning to public spaces and make them more enjoyable.

3. Public art is founded in the freedoms of thought and creative expression. It should reflect the diversity and richness of the community. Public art need not be bland or safe. It should spark interaction and stimulate discussion among community members.

4. The city shall acquire art that is of the highest quality and that is consistent with the policies adopted by the city.

5. The acquisition process shall encourage the creation of many types of art works.

6. Selection procedures shall encourage open public discussion to ensure that all concerned parties are involved in the process, including the city through the city council and receiving department, the general public, the business community and the arts community.

7. Whenever appropriate, selection procedures shall encourage collaboration between artists and design professionals including architects, landscape architects, project managers and engineers.

8. Selection procedures shall establish specific criteria for the acceptance of gifts or the long term loan of art to the city. Generally, gifts shall be accepted without restrictions as to future use or disposition.

9. Acquisition of an art work implies that it will become of value to part of the city collection, that it will be thoughtfully sited or displayed and that it will be properly maintained.

10. The city shall establish and maintain complete records that include documents transferring title, artists contracts, reports, invoices and other pertinent material.

11. Works of art shall be acquired without legal restrictions about use and disposition, except with respect to copyrights or other specifically defined rights as part of the contract negotiated with the artist.

12. The liability associated with ownership of public works of art shall be covered under the city’s applicable insurance programs.

13. In addition, acquired works of art shall:

a. Be appropriate in size, scale, material, form and style for the social and physical environment in which it is to be placed;

b. Be durable;

c. Have high resistance to vandalism;

d. Be maintainable at a reasonable cost;

e. Minimize public liability. (Ord. 95-18 § 1(part), 1995).

2.42.020 Display and siting works of art.

A. Objective. To establish a plan for the thoughtful display or siting of public works of art.

B. Definitions.

1. “Display” means the temporary showing of a work of art.

2. “Siting” means the permanent installation of a work of art.

C. Policies.

1. The city shall develop an art work site plan that identifies locations within the city for the placement of public art.

2. The plan shall address permanent locations, as well as the planned movement of appropriate works of art to various locations in the city.

3. The plan should be reviewed and updated at least every three years. (Ord. 95-18 § 1(part), 1995).

2.42.030 Documentation and conservation of works of art.

A. Objectives.

1. To ensure the care of public works of art for systemic record keeping.

2. To ensure regular examination, preservation and restoration of public works of art.

B. Definitions.

1. “Conservation” means a broad concept of care encompassing three activities: examination, preservation and restoration.

2. “Preservation” means actions taken to retard or prevent deterioration or damage in works of art, and to maintain them in as unchanging a state as possible.

3. “Restoration” means the treatment of a deteriorated or damaged work of art to approximate as nearly as possible its original form, design, color and function with minimal further sacrifice of aesthetic integrity.

C. Policies.

1. The city shall systematically document all existing and new works of art in the city’s collection.

2. The city shall examine all works of art on a regular basis.

3. The city shall conserve its works of art in a planned and orderly manner through actions which will preserve the condition of the art work and, if required, attempt to restore art work to its near-original condition. (Ord. 95-18 § 1(part), 1995).

2.42.040 Deaccessioning works of art.

A. Objective. To establish policies for reviewing the status of public art work.

B. Definitions.

1. “Deaccessioning” means the procedure for the withdrawal of an art work from the city’s public art collection and the determination of its future disposition.

2. “Disposal” means actions that result in the cessation of ownership and possession of an art work.

3. “Temporary work of art” means art work with an intended or anticipated life span, or on short- term loan, of less than five years.

C. Policies.

1. The city shall seek to ensure the ongoing presence and integrity of all works of art at the sites where they are located.

2. In conjunction with the review and update of the art work site plan, the status of all works of art acquired within the previous six years shall be reviewed for possible deaccessioning. This review shall be taken cautiously in order to avoid the potential influence of periodic fluctuations in tastes or immediate pressures of public controversy.

3. For temporary works of art on display, the removal or relocation shall generally not be considered before the work has been in place for sixty percent of its anticipated life span or agreed upon loan term.

4. Consideration for deaccession or disposal shall be subject to careful review procedures that shall include review by the arts commission and the public with a recommendation to the city council. Criteria for reviewing public art shall address the quality of the work itself, and how it relates to the city’s goals and policies for public art.

5. A work of art may be considered for deaccessioning or disposal for one or more of the following reasons:

a. The condition or security of the work of art cannot be reasonably assured;

b. The work endangers public safety;

c. The work is damaged and repair is not practicable or feasible;

d. The work requires excessive maintenance;

e. A suitable site for display of the work is no longer available. This could include a significant change in the use, character or design of an existing site which affects the integrity of the work;

f. The work is not or is rarely displayed;

g. The work has received significant adverse public opinion continuously for five or more years;

h. The work may be significantly incompatible or inferior in the context of the city’s public art collection;

i. Upon historical and contextual review, the artwork is deemed to not be consistent with the arts commission’s mission to support diversity, equity, and inclusion in its collection;

j. The quality or the authenticity of the work is called into question;

k. The department which displays the work requests that its status be reviewed;

l. Removal is requested by the artist. (Ord. 2021-01 § 1, 2021; Ord. 95-18 § 1(part), 1995).

2.42.050 Administrative procedures.

The city manager is authorized and directed to develop and implement administrative procedures required or necessary to support the policies set forth in this chapter in consultation with the arts commission. (Ord. 2018-27 § 6, 2018: Ord. 95-18 § 1(part), 1995).