In 1979, the State of New Hampshire strengthened its commitment to community access to the arts by creating the Percent for Art program (RSA 19-A:9 and RSA 19-A:10). Percent for Art authorizes one half of one percent of the capital budget appropriation for new or significantly renovated State buildings be set aside for the acquisition or commissioning of artwork.
Since then, more than 360 artworks have been installed in public buildings statewide - courthouses, state offices, health centers and more - aesthetically improving the buildings and providing access to art for employees and the general public. Artworks include murals, installations, sculpture and paintings by New Hampshire artists and artists from the Northeast.
The New Hampshire State Council on the Arts oversees the art selection process by convening a site selection committee. Site advisors include representatives from the agency or agencies housed in the building; the project architect if available; a representative from the Bureau of Public Works: Design & Construction; users of the building; and sometimes a State Legislator from the district where the building is located. Art advisors include one to three individuals representing professional artists, craftspeople, art educators, or gallery directors. The meetings are facilitated by Arts Council staff members.
Once the committee identifies primary locations where the public will have greatest access to the artwork and themes they want the artwork to address, the Arts Council issues Request for Proposals (RFPs) to which artists can respond. The committee reviews artist proposals and makes recommendations for the selection of artwork.
Stewardship of the State Arts Collection is the responsibility of the Department of Cultural Resources and the State Arts Council and meets professional standards of collection management. Repairs to artwork in the State Arts Council’s collections are funded through the State Arts Fund and through Department of Cultural Resources allocated Conservation Funds.
Click here to learn more about the Percent for Art program.
Columbus Day Hike, Gordon Carlisle – Laconia Court House
We Are New Hampshire, Cynthia Fisher – Laconia Court House
Tree Time, Joy Steinberg - Merrimack Court House
Transitions, Meg Black – Anna Philbrook Center, Concord