​Purpose of Public Art

Public art is art in any media that has been planned and executed with the intention of being staged in the physical public domain of the University, usually accessible to all. Art enhances the quality of life for all people and should be part of the daily life of the students, faculty and staff at California State University, Stanislaus as well as residents in the surrounding region. Exterior and interior public art should expand the academic mission of the University by contributing art works of distinction that are aesthetically interesting and/or thought provoking, accompanied by an interpretive program that makes the works accessible to people of all interest levels. All exterior and interior public art placed on campus should respect the diverse beliefs and values of the University community.


The University Committee for Public Art (UCPA) seeks to enrich the cultural, intellectual and scholarly life of students, faculty, staff and visitors through exterior and interior public art by enhancing and complementing the physical and aesthetic environment of the campus, preserving and celebrating its history and heritage, and inspiring contemplation, reflection and dialogue.


The UCPA will advance the aesthetic and physical environment by creating an integrated and varied use of exterior and interior public spaces that reflects the University’s teaching, research and service mission and acknowledges its heritage.

Guiding Principles

Stanislaus State welcomes and encourages proposals of commissioned and noncommissioned art for exterior and interior installations of artwork on the campus.

The following principles shall guide the University’s acceptance, commission, development, acquisition, installation and conservation of campus public art.

Installations of exterior and interior public art are outward manifestations that reflect the values of the University and its role within the community. Proposed installations must be properly reviewed to ensure they are appropriate for the campus, comply with University policies and are placed in suitable locations. In advance of the review process, no promises should be made to applicants, or funds expended, with the expectation that an art proposal will be approved.

Prospective applicants (such as donors, artists and campus departments) interested in sponsoring or initiating exterior and interior public art proposals are strongly encouraged to have an early, informal consultation with the Office of Development in the Division of University Advancement. Early review can help clarify campus policies and expectations, costs of installation, siting issues and the way in which a formal proposal should be prepared.

Sufficient time should be set aside by the applicant to accommodate the review schedule. Once a completed, all-inclusive proposal is received it must be reviewed and approved by the UCPA. Due dates for proposal applications will be posted at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters. The UCPA will attempt to present the results of its decision to the applicant by the end of the semester, though the timeline for the review and approval of a proposal may be dependent on the complexity of the proposal. The committee is composed of various University staff, students and community members.

Once approved by the committee, a recommendation is forwarded to the University president. The president then reviews the proposal and committee recommendation and makes the final decision on the proposed project. Proposed plaques accompanying art installations must also be reviewed and approved by the UCPA and the president. 

The complete guidelines on this website explain the details of the Stanislaus State procedures regarding exterior and interior public art proposals. Please keep them on hand, review them when any art proposal is being considered, and share them with prospective applicants and friends of the University as appropriate.

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Updated: June 07, 2023