Art in Public Space
Mag. Katrina Petter
Office of the Lower Austrian Federal Government, Department of Art and Culture
A-3109 St. Pölten, Landhausplatz 1
Martina Bochusch, administration
Mag. Juliane Feldhoffer, publications, press, project support
Dipl.-Ing. Aylin Pittner, architecture, maintenance, and archive
Mag. Johanna Reiner, mediation
Artworks permanently installed in public space cannot be kept in storage because their meaning and significance is directly tied to the site for which they were created. This is why the collection as such represents some sort of open-air museum – a museum with exhibits all over Lower Austria.
“Kunst im öffentlichen Raum Niederösterreich” (Public Art Lower Austria) is a funding agency within the Lower Austrian Federal Government’s Department of Art and Culture. It supports municipalities, associations, and institutions in the development, realisation and presentation of art projects in outdoor settings.
As a point of contact between artists, municipalities, architects and a number of other participants, “Public Art” supports the development process and bears co-responsibility for the maintenance of permanently installed works. It also assists with art mediation.
The department has realised some 600 different projects in public space since the early 1990s, ranging from standalone sculptures and art for architecture to urban furniture, temporary contextualisations and communicative interventions, but also public square designs, concepts for memorials, and art projects conceived in collaboration with the general public.
Public outreach and mediation are an important part of supporting on-site project realisation: elements of this include a detailed website (which also serves as an archive), a series of publications documenting all projects, and a wide range of information brochures. Further outreach comes by way of public “outings” to view outdoor art, a feature of the department’s mediation since 2005. These saw a reboot with the new INVENTOUR format implemented in 2019.
The “Public Art” department regularly publishes information about its collections, as well as on artists and various exhibition projects.
Publication series “Öffentliche Kunst” [Public Art], vols. 1–12, 1990–2016