Create Public Art Installations or Exhibits

Engage local residents and employ local artists to highlight the unique history and character of a neighborhood


Public art installations and exhibits seek to engage local residents and employ local artists to highlight the unique history and character of a neighborhood while enlivening a public space, advancing social and environmental cohesion in the community, and bringing beauty and pleasure to residents and visitors. Paintings, sculptures, buildings, lighting, music, events, and temporary installations can all contribute to the identity and overall revitalization of a community. Promoting public art or public events for fun, aesthetics, and identity will build the story of a neighborhood in a lasting and influential way.

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Related Tools

When paired with other tools, this strategy can make a great impact on the perception, beauty, culture, and revitalization of your neighborhood. Think about great public spaces, better streets, community identity, and the local economy. Try combining Public Art with:


Community Projects

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Neighborhood Benefits


  • Highlighted environmental assets or conditions
  • Beautified public spaces
  • Can showcase aspects of important objects and historic places


  • Bolstered community identity and solidarity
  • Revitalized spaces with bright and vibrant elements
  • Spurred neighborhood-wide revitalization efforts
  • Employed, trained, and educated community artists, residents, and youth
  • Advertised history and culture of the community


  • Improved, stabilized, and attractive neighborhood streetscapes that boost property values
  • Commissions for local artists
  • Local artists and impactful projects funded by creative public events 

Get Started

1. Reference Use this step-by-step guide: The Public Art Roadmap. It identifies 10 basic steps:

  • Form a working group
  • Define and plan the project
  • Get legal status and insurance
  • Raise money
  • Find an artist
  • Working with the artist
  • Permits and agency reviews
  • Develop a maintenance plan
  • Build the project
  • Celebrate

Also see this guide at National Endowment for the Arts.
The Public Art Toolkit spells these steps out in detail:

  • Idea Development
  • Location Analysis
  • Permissions and Permits
  • Financing and Funding
  • Artist Selection
  • Community Engagement
  • Fabrication and Installation
  • Conservation and Restoration 

2. Find a Location For permitting, see the City Public Art Ordinance 68793 and research the following:

  • Is the site publicly owned or privately owned?
  • Does the site have any special considerations, such as historical status or weak infrastructure?
  • Is the project temporary or permanent?
  • Who will maintain ownership and maintenance responsibility?
  • What are the legal concerns or city permitting procedures?

3. Connect and Fund Work with a local arts center, foundation, artist, or museum to connect your group with artists and funding sources. Some arts organizations in St. Louis are:

4. Engage Review the art with the property owner and the community to gain support. Gather feedback at a public meeting, and work with the artist to meet the needs.

5. Install Schedule installation, and if possible, include volunteers from the neighborhood to help with installation or construction tasks.

Information & Inspiration

Public art has the opportunity to engage residents, bring notice to something special or compelling about your neighborhood, enliven an underused place, preserve something, or improve the beauty or safety of a place. Public art projects often highlight the challenges of neighborhoods including vacant land, blighted buildings, and unused storefronts. Some of the following projects can serve as inspiration:

Related Categories

Project Scale

  • Park
  • Private Site
  • Public Building

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