PROGRAMMATIC OVERVIEW

The City of Napa supports the placement of public art in the community through a variety of different programs created to contribute to a more livable and visually stimulating environment. Public art first appeared in Napa in the 1970s, when the Napa Community Redevelopment Agency commissioned five sculptures that were placed in the downtown to enhance its image and encourage people to walk and shop in the area. 

Below: "Cat Washing" by Norma J. Anderson (left), and "Great Eye" by Peter Boiger. (right).

A number of murals were also painted or installed on buildings primarily in the downtown.  Most of these murals were funded and facilitated by the Napa Chamber of Commerce in the 1980s and 1990s.


Below: "Famous Napa Valley Residents and Buildings, c 1907" by Mikulas Kravjansky.

Around the same time, private businesses and property owners began installing public art on their own properties. In 2010, the Napa City Council enacted a Public Art Ordinance (please see Chapter 15.108 Public Art in the Napa Municipal Code), which established the City's Public Art Steering Committee.  The Public Art Steering Committee then initiated a comprehensive approach to programming public art in the community.  The “Public Art Steering Committee” (PASC) is the City’s official committee that makes recommendations on what projects will be undertaken using the public art fund. For more information on the PASC, its meetings, or membership, please click here.

PUBLIC ART MASTER PLAN 

The Public Art Master Plan outlines the vision, goals, and core values of the City’s public art program. The plan also provides important administrative guidelines for determining how public art is selected and where it is placed. For more information on the Public Art Master Plan, please click here

Below: A PASC public art project, "Downtown Art Benches," by Eric Powell.

PUBLIC ART REGULATIONS FOR DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS

The City’s Public Art Ordinance is intended to integrate public art into new non-residential private and public development projects throughout Napa. The ordinance requires developers to contribute to the public art program in one of two ways;

  1. by installing on-site public art of equal in value to 1% of the construction costs of the development project. With this option, the public art is required to be integrated into the development plan whenever the plans are first drawn, or
  2. by making an ‘in-lieu’ contribution to the City’s Public Art Fund, which equals 1% of the construction cost of the project, for projects with a value of $250,000 or more. These funds are placed into the City’s “Public Art Fund,” which is used to select and install public art throughout the city.

PRIVATELY INITIATED PUBLIC ART

For those wishing to create or display art for their existing property (i.e. a mural, sculpture, etc.), the City of Napa requires a permit. This permit process involves following the regulations outlined in Chapter 17 of the Napa Municipal Code, which details important design criteria for anyone wishing to display or create public art. Chapter 17’s regulations also cross-reference the “Criteria for Selecting Public Art” section in the Public Art Master Plan.

Below: An example of a privately initiated mural in Napa, 
"Tuesday Morning in 1720" 
by Morgan Bricca.

NAPA ARTwalk

The Napa ARTwalk is the City’s rotating sculpture program, which began in 2009. This program is funded by the City’s General Fund and private donors and exhibits temporary public art throughout Downtown Napa. The work included in each 2-year program is selected by a jury of professionals.

Artists from CA, OR, WA, AZ, CO and NV are invited to apply. Since the art is only temporarily placed, the program does not fall within the purview of the City’s Public Art Master Plan. However, the Napa ARTwalk program demonstrates how temporary public art can also enhance a city and contribute to the overall public art program relevance. For more information on this program, please visit www.napaartwalk.org.