Public Art

Public Art

The City of St. John’s public art policy includes art procurement, commissions of public art, receiving donations of art, and conservation procedures.

The City of St. John's has had an annual Art Procurement Program with a budget of $20,000 for the purposes of acquiring art for the civic art collection. The Art Procurement Program has been temporarily suspended in Budget 2016-2018, however, a new one time allocation of $300,000 towards the purchase of local art for the new St. John’s Convention Centre has been included. Beyond the obvious benefit of being purchased, there is an added benefit to the artist of being included in a public art collection.

For instances where the City commissions a new piece of art work, the following process is used:

  • Maximum funding requirements for the cost of the artwork and the competition will be determined before the competition is called. This figure will be circulated with the competition call.
  • Terms of reference will be developed by City staff, a representative of the Arts Advisory Committee and if required, other appropriate people such as an architect.
  • An open invitation will be sent to interested artists, art organizations and the local media well in advance of the competition closing date.
  • The City Clerk’s Department will appoint a jury consisting of local artists and art community members knowledgeable about art and generally accepted and recognized as peers within the media as called for in the commission, a sponsor and architect where appropriate, and City representatives. The jury will act with an autonomous status reporting to Council.
  • The jury will hold an information session for artists.
  • If appropriate and warranted, short-listed artists may be requested to submit a maquette or other visual representation. A fee, separate from the commission fee, will be paid for all maquettes. This will be taken into account when developing the terms of reference and determining the budget for the project.
  • An opportunity may be provided for the public to view short listed submissions.
  • The jury will make the final decision regarding the awarding of the commission.

Examples of public art commissioned by the City of St. John's are:
The Rower           Morgan MacDonald        Quidi Vidi Lake  in partnership with Elinor Radcliffe
A Time                  Morgan MacDonald        George St.          in partnership with Canadian Heritage
Terry Fox              Luebon Boykov                1 Water St.         on behalf of Parks Canada


City of St. John’s Call for Muralist:

The City of St. John's is seeking proposals from established visual artists for a mural to be painted on the George Street East stairwell, which runs between Duckworth Street and East George Street in downtown St. John’s.

The deadline for receipt of proposals is Tuesday, July 12 at 2 p.m.

Submissions are to be made online through the City of St. John's bids and tenders website.

For more information:

call 709-576-6136



The City of St. John’s has commissioned murals in several neighbourhoods. The murals celebrate our cultural heritage and our oldest neighbourhoods. Current mural sites include:
Mural on Duckworth Street West

Duckworth Street West

Mural on Duckworth Street near Prescott

Duckworth Street near intersection with Prescott Street

Outer battery mural

Outer Battery