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. 

A number of murals were also painted or installed on buildings primarily in the downtown.  Most of these murals were funded and installed by community organizations such as the Napa Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, private businesses and property owners began installing public art on their own properties.  Many of these artworks are separate from the City's Public Art Collection.

While Napa has a variety of artwork visible in the public realm, the City’s Public Art Collection consists of early artworks commissioned by the former Redevelopment Agency along with newer artworks that have been created and installed since the development of the City’s Public Art Ordinance and Public Art Master Plan.  To view and download a copy of the City's Public Art Registry, which includes all city-owned art, and art installed as part of the Public Art Ordinance, please click here To access a map of this collection, please click here.

PUBLIC ART ORDINANCE

In 2010, the Napa City Council enacted a Public Art Ordinance (please see Chapter 15.108 Public Art in the Napa Municipal Code).  The Public Art Ordinance is intended to integrate public art into new non-residential private and public development projects throughout Napa. If applicable to the proposed development project, 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.

The 1% public art requirement is administered by the Planning Department.  For more information on this requirement, contact planning staff at (707) 257-9530.

PUBLIC ART STEERING COMMITTEE

The Public Art Ordinance also established the City's Public Art Steering Committee.  The Public Art Steering Committee is responsible for making recommendations to the City Manager and City Council on city-owned public art projects that can 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

PRIVATELY INITIATED PUBLIC ART

In addition to the City's public art program, many private property owners have initiated public art installations.  For example, the Napa Valley Vine Trail organization has installed several murals along their "Rail Arts District" which is part of the Napa Cross Commuter Path.

For those wishing to install art on private property (i.e. a mural, sculpture, etc.), the City of Napa has a design review permit that must first be obtained from the Planning Department.  Regulations pertaining to the the design review process can be found in Chapter 17 of the Napa Municipal Code. Chapter 17’s regulations also cross-reference the “Criteria for Selecting Public Art” section in the Public Art Master Plan.

NAPA ART WALK

The Napa Art Walk 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 Art Walk 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.