Local Authorities are the biggest commissioners of public art in Ireland and have taken various approaches to the utilisation of the Per Cent for Art Scheme. It represents one of the most important areas of work partly as a consequence of the significant budgets available but also because it relates to the creation of new artwork.

Donegal County Council have a Public Art Programme that continues to support and encourage original, artistically ambitious and high quality public art, which aspires to international standards of innovation, imagination, excellence, contemporary arts practice and value for money, across all art form disciplines that will impact, charge, animate and connect with the public or local community.

Donegal County Council have been known for their varied and flexible approach to commissioning, which, have been both temporary and permanent. Commissions have been drawn from a range of arts disciplines including visual arts, the performing arts, community arts and literature. New, original artwork, created specifically for the local context has always been encouraged. Indeed some of the commissions have involved active community participation in the making of the artwork. This website is a comprehensive documentation of all our commissions to date and has details of our work in progress.

Donegal County Council’s Public Art Programme has been active for over two decades and to date almost seventy commissions have been awarded and delivered in the capital construction of Roads, Housing, Water, Environment & Emergency Services, Libraries and Fire Stations. 1991 saw Donegal County Council’s first public art commission, The Death of Saimer in Ballyshannon by the late Fred Conlon, utilising the Per Cent for Art Scheme.

In 1995 Donegal County Council established a Public Art Working Group, one of the first of its kind in Ireland, which continues to have overall responsibility for the Public Art Programme. In 1998 Donegal County Council adopted a Public Art Policy for the county. In 1999 Donegal County Council championed a programmed and curated approach to public art commissioning, in late 2004 welcomed the appointment of our Public Art Manager, Ms. Terre Duffy, to manage Donegal County Council’s Public Art Programme, to revise policy and develop and deliver a Public Art Strategy for the county and in 2008 developed the Public Art Agency.

Donegal County Council recognise that a generic or formulaic approach to commissioning does not serve every project, therefore a varied and flexible approach to commissioning is always encouraged and is presented in our public art plans.

Click to download Making Shapes 2

Click to download Making Shapes 1 English version

Click to download Making Shapes 1 Irish version