Prior to the City’s commitment to public art, citizen-led efforts to enhance Fort Worth included the Art in Public Spaces program of the 1970s and the Sculpture Symposia of 1999-2000, where people watched artists in the Botanic Gardens transform chunks of limestone into intriguing sculptures that were then sited in the Gardens and various city locations.  But it was the shocking removal in 1999 of a Fort Worth landmark – Alexander Calder’s The Eagle – that heightened awareness of public art.  After The Eagle’s “flight”, plans for a municipal percent-for-art program began to coalesce.   – Mark Thistlethwaite, PhD, Kay and Velma Kimbell Chair of Art History, Texas Christian University, and Former Chair of the Fort Worth Art Commission

1970s 

  • Urban Strategies for Tarrant County commissioned Brad Goldberg’s Continuum for the Tarrant County Plaza in Heritage Park
  • Painted Spaces, Inc., commissioned Stuart Gentling’s Zipper Mural on the south wall of the Williamson Dickie Manufacturing Company building.  The City of Fort Worth later acquired the building, the mural became part of the FWPA Community Legacy Collection

1999

  • Fort Worth National Bank sells Alexander Calder’s The Eagle, 1971, to a private investor in 1999 and removes during the night from its downtown location.  In 2003, the Seattle Museum of Art purchased the sculpture for the Olympic Sculpture Park where it now resides

1999-2000

  • The Arts Council of Fort Worth and the City’s Parks Department sponsors two Sculpture Symposia at the Botanic Gardens, in which invited artists transform large pieces of limestone into sculptures in public view. Four of the pieces are part of the FWPA Community Legacy Collection, including Cam Schoepp’s Hats, now located at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center.

2001

  • City Council establishes the Fort Worth Public Art program (FWPA) “to create an enhanced visual environment for Fort Worth residents, to commemorate the City’s rich cultural and ethnic diversity, to integrate the design work of artists into capital development of the City’s capital infrastructure improvements and to promote tourism and economic vitality in the City through the artistic design of public spaces”, as well as the Fort Worth Art Commission to act as an advisory board.  Funding was set at 2% of general bond programs and 2% of the Water and Sewer Fund for cash financing of capital projects annually

2002

2003

  • Arts Council hires its first Director of Public Art
  • City Council adopts the original Fort Worth Public Art Master Plan (updated in 2017)
  • City Council authorizes the first Artwork Commission Contracts with Donald Lipski and Vernon Fisher for the Fort Worth Convention Center

2004

  • Voters approve the 2004 Bond Program – the first to include 2% for public art
  • Council adopts the Public Art Plan for the 2004 Bond Program, recommended by the Fort Worth Art Commission
  • FWPA holds its first training workshops for local artists “On Making Public Art”

2005

2006

2007

  • City Council includes 2% for public art in the Critical Capital Needs Program
  • FWPA develops its first Pre-Qualified List of Public Artists to facilitate artist selection for individual projects

2008

2009

2010

2011

  • Al Hayne Monument Restoration Project wins Preservation Award from Historic Fort Worth
  • FWPA celebrates its 10th Anniversary with a luncheon at the Fort Worth Convention Center with Millennium Park Director, Ed Uhlir, FAIA, as guest speaker

2012

2013

2014

  • City Council amends the Public Art Ordinance to set the public art allocation for Proposition 1 to 1% for the 2014 Bond Program

2015

2016

  • City Council amends Public Art Ordinance with regard to future Water Department allocations for public art
  • City Council authorizes a contract with Barbara Goldstein & Associates and Cusick Consulting to update the 2003 Fort Worth Public Art Master Plan
  • Americans for the Arts’ Public Art Network Year in Review recognizes Memory: Fairmount Park by Bart Shaw
  • FWPA celebrates its 15th Anniversary with a party to release a publication titled “Fort Worth Public Art: Commissioned Works 2001-2015” and a citywide community engagement effort to inform the Fort Worth Public Art Master Plan Update

2017

2018

  • City Council amends the Public Art Ordinance to set the public art allocation for Proposition 1 to 1% for the 2018 Bond Program
  • City Council adopts Public Art Plan for the 2018 Bond Program, recommended by the Fort Worth Art Commission
  • City Council adopts Fund Reprogramming Plan for the 2004, 2008 Bond, 2007 Critical Capital Programs, recommended by the Fort Worth Art Commission

2019 | New Artworks Added to the Collection

  • The Welcome Space by Sedrick Huckaby at Highland Hills Community Center
  • Burning Bright by Shawn Smith at Fire Station 42
  • Carousel by Jim Hirschfield and Sonya Ishii on the East Rosedale Roundabaout at Mitchell
  • Vase with Nine Flowers by James Surls for Montgomery Street at Lansford Lane
  • FWPD K-9 by Mick Doellinger for Bob Bolen Public Safety Complex (Legacy)
  • Red Steagall, Always Ridin’ for the Fort Worth Brand by Bruce Greene for the Cowtown Coliseum (Legacy)