About Public Art Chattanooga
Public Art Chattanooga (PAC) is dedicated to introducing a wide variety of high quality public art into the community, enhancing the civic environment and enriching the lives of visitors and residents. PAC oversees all temporary and permanent public art projects on City of Chattanooga property and maintains the city’s public art collection of over 153 works. PAC is administered by the City of Chattanooga and the Public Art Committee, partnering closely with the private sector to support public art projects throughout the City. The Mayor appointed Public Art Committee reviews and approves all public art projects—ensuring artworks on city property meet city regulations and national standards for excellence. The PAC team provides resources and technical assistance for artist selection, artwork design, installation and maintenance and also creates opportunities for civic engagement through programming, education and advocacy.
Katelyn Kirnie, Director
Ana May, Project Manager
Public Art Committee
Current committee members are:
Virginia Anne Sharber, Interim Chair
Alice Smith, Austin Center, Christa Mannarino, Dan Bowers, Dionne Jennings, Ellen Simak, Greg Bagby, Heidi Hefferlin
Isaac Duncan, Josiah Golson, Margy Oehmig, Melony Collins, Rondell Crier, Ruth Grover
Public Art Chattanooga forms strong partnerships with other public, private and non-profit entities. These partnerships enable us to share resources and expertise in order to place public art of excellence throughout our city. Some of these partners include:
The Benwood Foundation
Hunter Museum of American Art
The Lyndhurst Foundation
MidSouth Sculpture Alliance (MSA)
History of Public Art Chattanooga
Public art enriches the places and spaces where we live, work, and play. It visually enhances our landscapes. Public art stirs interactions between community members and their environment. It adds artistic and creative dimensions to civic spaces.
In Chattanooga, public art contributes to a vibrant quality of life and a strong creative economy. It generates value by supporting artists and related businesses. It encourages outdoor activity and supports tourism. Also important, public art often promotes dialogue between strangers, prompts children to pose thoughtful questions, and provides moments for one to simply stop and contemplate.
Planning for Chattanooga's public art program began in 2001 through a series of public forums in which over 500 citizens participated. The forums led to the adoption of Chattanooga' s Public Art Plan, a plan that reflects a community vision for public art.
The first major public art project was launched as part of the 21st Century Waterfront Project, a $120 million project that included the redevelopment of 129 acres along the Tennessee River. An unprecedented 1% of the waterfront budget ($1.2 million) was allocated to purchase public art, and resulted in 3 major public art projects, the Light Masts on the Chattanooga Pier, the Native American art installation at the Passage, and the First Street Sculpture Garden. A citizen committee appointed by the mayor was formed to oversee the project. Partner organizations included Allied Arts of Greater Chattanooga, the City of Chattanooga, the Hunter Museum of American Art, and the River City Company.