Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs
Contact: David Schmitz
Community Resources Specialist

Art in State Buildings

The Iowa Legislature enacted the Art in State Buildings program in 1979 to ensure that fine arts play an important and integral role in state construction projects. Iowa's legislation (Iowa Code 304A, sections 8-14) requires that one-half of one percent of the total cost of state construction projects be used for the inclusion of fine arts in state building projects. The program provides building designers and planners, artists, state agencies, state employees, arts professionals, and the citizens of Iowa the opportunity to collaborate in planning and implementing public art projects for a specific public site or place for the public and employees to experience.

Program Administration
The Iowa Arts Council administers the Art in State Buildings program. Existing Board of Regents committees administer and implement their own projects.

Advisory Committees
Art in State Buildings Program Advisory Committee provides advice and counsel to the Iowa Arts Council on the overall operation of the program.

Project Advisory Committees are formed jointly by the Iowa Arts Council and the state agency, board, or commission. The committee adopts a philosophy for the project, plans and conducts public art projects appropriate for the space, building and budget. Committees also determine the method of selecting artists, artwork and designs, and integration of pubic art in the building. All committee recommendations are approved by the state agency. The Board of Regents projects use existing committees to plan and implement Art in State Building projects at regent institutions.

Who is Affected by the Legislation?
The Art in State Buildings program applies only to state building construction and remodeling projects, regardless of the method of financing. Contracting officers of state agencies, commissions, departments, and boards are required by Iowa Code 304A, section 9 to contact the Iowa Arts Council at the time of engaging or directing an architect to prepare plans and specifications for a building to determine if the project is governed by Art in State Buildings legislation.

Project Planning
Each project advisory committee determines the method of selecting and reviewing artists, artwork and design proposals for Art in State Building Projects. In accordance with Iowa Code 304A, section 13, the Iowa Arts Council encourages project advisory committees to use a competitive process in the selection process and, whenever possible, give preference to the selection of works produced, created, or otherwise made by living or deceased Iowa artists.

Contact Information

Iowa Arts Council:
Art in State Building Program, David Schmitz

Iowa State University:
Art on Campus, Lynette Pohlman

University of Iowa:
Art on Campus, Dr. Sean O'Harrow

University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics:
Project Art, Adrienne Drapkin

University of Northern Iowa:
Art & Architecture, Steve Carignan


Art in State Buildings Program Manual
Regents’ universities and State agencies impacted by the Art in State Buildings requirement should consult this manual for current program guidelines.

Design Contract Notification Form
The contracting agency /principal user of a project subject to the Art in State Buildings requirement must complete and submit this form upon awarding a design contract.