Major Commission Funding: Public Art and Design

Major Commission funding recognises the role that outstanding public arts projects play in enhancing South Australia’s reputation as a centre of arts excellence. Funding is available to develop and commission significant new public art works of quality and artistic merit by outstanding South Australian artists for presentation in high profile, publicly accessible locations throughout the state.

Assistance can be sought for every stage of a project’s development, including further concept and design development, implementation, fabrication, installation and documentations costs.

Applicants are required to provide full commissioning and project details and supply appropriate support material to substantiate the request. See Application Advice.

A single grant of $80,000 is available.

Further advice can be provided by Arts South Australia Public Art and Design staff, and you are advised to contact them before preparing an application.


Sue Lorraine - Grants Officer
(08) 8463 5447


Applications are accepted from South Australian commissioners who may be, community groups, organisations (including those in receipt of ongoing Arts South Australia funds) and Local and State Government agencies.
The private sector is eligible for financial assistance only when in partnership with another eligible applicant, but not directly. The private sector may obtain advice on the commissioning of works of art for public places.

Refer to Essential reading before applying for eligibility requirements for all Arts South Australia programs.

It is a requirement of Major Commission funding that the commissioner provide a minimum of 50% (cash or in kind) of the total project implementation budget.
Industry best practice will need to be demonstrated in the selection of the participating artist/s. An open call is Arts South Australia’s preferred method for the selection of artists. Where a limited call or direct selection process has been used, the rationale for this mode of selection must be strongly and clearly articulated in the application.
Applications to this category must demonstrate a commitment to artistic merit and high quality projects that will to result in work that enhances the public experience of contemporary art in South Australia.


Public Art and Design applications will be assessed on the applicant’s ability to demonstrate that the proposed project meets the two key criterions of Artistic Merit and Viability and either Engagement or Development as a third criterion.

In assessing applications the following will be used as a guide by peer assessors. You do not need to address all the bullet points outlined.

If your proposed funded activity meets both the Engagement and Development criterions you are able to address them both.

Artistic merit may refer to:

• innovation, originality, quality, creativity and ambition of the project
• the context in which the project is being undertaken
• the potential contribution of the project to the development of the art form.

Viability may refer to:

• the planning and resources required to achieve the project
• the ability of the applicant to meet the logistical challenges of the proposal
• evidence of strong financial and operational management, including a realistic budget and timeline
• evidence of additional resources and support, including other sources of income and in kind contributions.
• the track record, creative achievement and skill of the artist or artists involved in the project
• demonstration of best practice.

Engagement may refer to:

• the potential to grow audiences and their critical understanding of the art form
• the development of new ways to engage with audiences and community
• the potential to provide opportunities and public art outcomes that increase access, social inclusion and cultural diversity.

Development may refer to:

• the development of artist and art form practice
• the potential to enhance the skills and/or professional reputation of South Australian artists
• the capacity to forge new pathways for artist and sector development
• the capacity to develop new networks, collaborations and partnerships
• the contribution to South Australia’s reputation as a centre of cultural leadership at a national and international level.


Applicants to the Major Commission grant category are advised to contact Arts South Australia Public Art and Design staff to discuss their project.
The Public Art and Design application form, attachments and support material will form the basis of your submission. Attachments and support material, as outlined on the application form should include:
• project description
• outline of artist selection process demonstrating industry best practice
• copy of the artist’s brief
• developed artist’s concept demonstrating high-quality, innovative and original work
• artist’s impressions, plans, drawings, engineering drawings and maquettes (where relevant) of the proposed work
• information on the suitability of the site and scale of the proposed work
• artist’s CV or biography
• a committed project implementation budget
• evidence of viable planning and timeline
• a description of the commissioning partners (if relevant)
• details of stakeholder/community engagement process (if relevant)
• letters of support
• a description of how the project will extend the reputations of the artist and of South Australia as a centre of arts excellence
Please ensure that you submit one signed hard copy of your complete application, including all support material and one digital version on USB, again, including digital copies of all relevant support material. The total combined size of your digital application and support material on USB must not exceed 6MB of data.


Contact Information:

Primary Contact:
Sue Lorraine
Grants Officer
Email Address: