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The development of public art in Gateshead Quays, emphasises both the social space in between large-scale developments and its integration within the two major cultural facilities on the quayside: BALTIC and the Sage, Gateshead.  BALTIC: Centre for Contemporary Art has its own visual arts programme, but also involved artist Julian Opie in the building’s internal design.  The Sage Gateshead, the music centre designed by Foster & Partners, had a budget identified for a public artwork that was integral to the design of the building. Glass artist Kate Maestri worked closely with the architects and designed ‘Ribbon of Colour’ a 200m curved glass balustrade that runs though the building and extends into the public squares at either end of the building.

The new plan for public art in Gateshead will form part of the Council’s

Cultural Strategy. The public realm strategy summarises the public art issues and opportunities, which relate specifically to the Quays and Town Centre and makes recommendations and considers funding options for projects.  These can include public art in many ways ranging from artists working on a design team, to the commissioning of integrated artworks for buildings and streetscape to temporary interventions in open spaces.

Q7)What is the involvement of The Arts Council in a local authority-initiated project?

Public art is an Arts Council lottery requirement for lottery-funded projects and The Arts Council supports this through its Visual Arts Department and Commissions Advisor.  Additional seed funding may be sought from The Arts Council, North East, Commissions North.

Q8)Which aspects of the process is the artist involved with?

Public art is an integral and exciting part of the various elements making up the public realm.  Artists are involved in the development, design and commissioning stages; commissions involve consultation exercises and where possible, an education programme.  

Q9)What involvement does the private sector have?

Private developments also contribute towards the achievement of the public realm strategy and public art.  Public art requirements are built into the planning development control procedures and unitary development plan guidelines.  The private sector can also contribute financially in the form of grants and sponsorship, trusts, foundations and legacies.




Public Art and The Angel of the North

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