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Public Art

Do you like the Luke Kelly statue and motorway sculptures? This kind of art is getting a funding boost

Percent for Art scheme aims to make art accessible to the general public.

ARTS FUNDING THAT produced the likes of the Luke Kelly statue on Sheriff Street and the giant ball sculpture on the M7 motorway is getting a boost. 

Following a review of the Percent for Art scheme, which allocates up to 1% of public capital projects to the commissioning of new works of art, it has been decided to increase the scheme’s bands and limits.

Examples of well-known pieces funded through the scheme include the Perpetual Motion by Remco de Fouw and Rachel Joynt at the Naas junction.

A large wooden sculpture, unveiled in the National Gallery of Ireland, called Magnus Modus by Joseph Walsh was also paid for through the fund, as was the famous the Luke Kelly statue by Vera Klute in Sheriff Street in Dublin. 

The statue was recently vandalised but was later repaired. 

0517 Luke Kelly_90563230 President Michael D Higgins with his wife Sabina and former Lord Mayor Nial Ring at the launch of Vera Klute’s sculpture. Sam Boal / Sam Boal / /

Through changes to the scheme’s bands and limits, increased funding will now be made available to artists. 

The new bands will mean that capital projects that come under €5 million, 1% of the cost of the project – to a maximum of €50,000 – will be permitted to be spent on artworks. 

A maximum of €125,000 will be permitted to be spent on projects of between €5 million and €20 million, while a maximum of €350,000 can be spent on projects costing between €20 million and €50 million. 

perpetual_motion_600 Perpetual Motion by Remco de Fouw and Rachel Joynt at the Naas junction on the M7 motorway

In the case of any planned projects that are expected to cost more than €50 million, a maximum amount of €500,000 can be spent on artworks.

The idea of the Percent for Art scheme is to make art more accessible to the general public and in public spaces. 

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan said the government recognises the “crucial role that the arts and culture play in our nation”. 

“That’s why we’ve committed to double funding of the Arts by 2025 and make €1.2 billion available for capital investment in our culture, heritage and Gaeltacht through Project Ireland 2040,” she said. 

MDP_Sculpture_Court_H1_combo Photo © NGI (1) Magnus Modus by Joseph Walsh at the refurbished wings of the National Gallery of Ireland Percent for Art scheme Percent for Art scheme

“This update will help support artists and represents an enhanced opportunity to beautify our public spaces and imbue our capital builds with a sense of public cultural pride,” said Madigan.

A new inter-agency group to share best practice on projects is also to be set up, with the Arts Council also getting an enhanced role in advising the scheme.  

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