History of Art in Public Places

You may be wondering where all the beautiful art around our office is sourced from. Well… that would be thanks to the State of Hawaiʻi’s Art in Public Places Program. Established in 1967, the State of Hawaiʻi is home to a unique and prosperous program called the Art in Public Places or APP Program. This program allocates 1% of the construction budget to acquire works of art by commission or purchase. Hawaiʻi was the first state to have a percentage allocated for art law, which established a separate and dependable source of revenue to administer the APP Program.

In 1989, the State Legislature of Hawaii established the Works of Art Special Fund to broaden the scope of the Art in State Buildings Law. This ensured that works of art were available in all public places in the state. As part of the funding, 1% of the renovation expenses for state capital improvement projects were allocated. By creating a special fund, the generated funds are now dedicated to the APP Program and are not at risk of being returned to the state’s general operating fund.

This provision allowed for long-term planning and completion of significant art projects that were not previously possible. This program has been extremely beneficial in terms of supporting local artists and brightening up State Office Buildings!

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