Public Art Fund brings dynamic contemporary art to a broad audience in New York City by mounting ambitious free exhibitions of international scope and impact that offer the public powerful experiences with art and the urban environment.
Public Art Fund is a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization that relies on contributions from individuals, corporations, and foundations to support the development and presentation of our temporary exhibitions and outreach programs.
Public Art Fund was founded by Doris C. Freedman (1928-1981), a champion of public art who served as New York City's first Director of Cultural Affairs, President of the Municipal Art Society of New York, and was a tireless supporter of New York City's Percent for Art legislation. In 1971, she founded the Public Arts Council while at the same time serving as president of City Walls Inc. Under her leadership, both organizations developed programs to explore the potential for art to become an integral aspect of urban public spaces. In 1977, she merged the two to form the independent, non-profit Public Art Fund. Since its inception, Public Art Fund has presented more than four hundred artists' exhibitions and projects at sites throughout New York City’s five boroughs, making it possible for artists to engage diverse audiences and, along the way, redefine public art in relation to the changing nature of contemporary art.
Early Public Art Fund projects include Messages to the Public (1982-1990), an exhibition series that ran on an 800-square foot animated lightboard in Times Square and featured more than 70 artists, among them Guerrilla Girls, Keith Haring, Jenny Holzer, Richard Prince, Kiki Smith, and David Wojnarowicz. More recently, we have presented iconic exhibitions like Anish Kapoor’s Sky Mirror (2006); Olafur Eliasson’s The New York City Waterfalls (2008); Sol LeWitt: Structures, 1965-2006 (2011); Tatzu Nishi: Discovering Columbus; and have worked with dozens of emerging artists to realize new works that extend their practice into new realms.
Susan K. Freedman
Andrew R. Brownstein, Esq.
Lloyd Frank, Esq.
Matthew D. Bass
Elizabeth Fearon Pepperman
Patricia E. Harris
Linda R. Safran
Barbara Joelson Fife
Nicholas Baume Director and Chief Curator
Micah Bozeman Associate Project Manager
Megan Burns Executive Assistant
Elise Chagas Development Associate
Nora Gomez Communications and Digital Media Manager
Jesse Hamerman Director of Exhibitions
Andria Hickey Associate Curator
Kellie Honeycutt Communications Director
Laura Murray Assistant Project Manager
Rachel Nawi Development Director
Sam Rauch Project Manager
Joni Todd Finance and Human Resources Manager
Jill Kraus is Chairman of the Public Art Fund Board of Directors. She serves on the board of World Studio Foundation, which provides scholarships to minority and economically disadvantaged students in the visual arts. She also serves on the boards of the California Institute of the Arts, the New Museum, and The Museum of Modern Art, where she is Chair of the Media & Performance Committee and a member of the Executive Committee. She and her husband Peter co-chair the Friends of the Carnegie International, the oldest international art exhibition in the U.S. Mrs. Kraus is a former design director of Avon Products. Prior to Avon she was vice president of design for Swarovski Jewelry.
Susan K. Freedman has served as President of Public Art Fund since 1986. She is a recipient of the 1999 Associates of the Art Commission Annual Award and the 2005 recipient of the Municipal Art Society of New York’s Evangeline Blashfield Award. In 1994 she was selected as one of four finalists for the North American Mont Blanc de la Culture award, honoring leading supporters of the arts worldwide. Freedman currently serves as Mayor Bloomberg’s Representative on the Board of Trustees at the Museum of Modern Art as well as on the Boards of the Municipal Art Society of New York and WNYC Radio, and as Vice President of the Board for the City Parks Foundation. Most recently, Susan joined the City of New York Department of Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission and was a jury member for the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation’s World Trade Center Memorial Competition.
Nicholas Baume has been Director and Chief Curator of Public Art Fund since September 2009. Recent Public Art Fund exhibitions include solo projects by Ryan Gander, Paola Pivi, Rob Pruitt, Eva Rothschild, Thomas Schütte, Monika Sosnowska, and Oscar Tuazon; the group exhibitions Statuesque and Common Ground; a major career survey, Sol LeWitt: Structures 1965 – 2006; Ugo Rondinone's colossal Human Nature exhibition at Rockefeller Center; and the blockbuster project Tatzu Nishi: Discovering Columbus.
Prior to joining Public Art Fund, Baume served as Chief Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. He was responsible for shaping the artistic program from 2003-2009, including shows with Kai Althoff, Kader Attia, Carol Bove, Tara Donovan, Thomas Hirschhorn, Anish Kapoor, Lucy McKenzie, and Rodney McMillian; and the establishment of a permanent collection for the 2006 opening of the museum’s award-winning new building by Diller Scofidio + Renfro. A native of Australia, Baume was a Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney before moving to the United States in 1998 to become Contemporary Curator at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut. Among his exhibitions there were About Face: Andy Warhol Portraits; Sol LeWitt: Incomplete Open Cubes; and Noncomposition: Fifteen Case Studies. He also organized the first American solo museum projects by Francis Alÿs, Sam Durant, Christian Jankowski, Catherine Sullivan, and Fiona Tan as part of the Matrix series.
Commissioning new work by leading international artists and enabling visitors to see New York City in new ways are among the many reasons we hope you will choose to support Public Art Fund. You contribution directly supports our exhibitions and educational programs, making them accessible to the widest possible audience.
Public Art Fund offers internships in four departments: Communications, Curatorial, Development, and Exhibitions. Fall, spring, and summer semester internships are posted in the Careers section of our website, please check there for current internship opportunities.
Public Art Fund seeks a Development Manager.
As a non-profit, Public Art Fund fundraises in order to present each of our exhibitions. Through consulting work, we regularly collaborate with companies and organizations whose goals dovetail with our expertise. This includes working with clients to commission new artworks for both public and private spaces, coordinating production directly with artists’ studios, and managing artwork installations. Recent consulting projects include Waiting Room (2012), a new sculpture by Franz West for the William H. Bloomberg MDA Jerusalem Station in Israel and Andy Goldsworthy’s Garden of Stones (2003), a living memorial created for New York’s Museum of Jewish Heritage.
To learn more about working with Public Art Fund, please email email@example.com or call 212.223.7800 for details.
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