University Administrative Policies


UNM_Policy_Office-L communicates important policy announcements (such as policy approvals, revisions, or campus review-and-comment periods).

UNM Policy Office

MSC05 3357
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Physical Location:
Scholes Hall
114 A and B

Phone: (505) 277-2069

Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual - Policy 6420: UNM Public Art Collection

Date Originally Issued: 02-20-2019

Authorized by: RPM 8.5 (“Museums and Collections”)

Process Owner: Dean, College of Fine Arts

1. General

The UNM Public Art Collection is a curated collection that enhances the quality of life of the campus community and visitors, while advancing the University’s academic mission. The public art consists of sculptures, paintings, prints, photographs, multimedia works, landscape art, and other works displayed in public spaces throughout UNM’s campuses, both indoors and outdoors. On the Albuquerque campus, public art is displayed in the Student Union Building, Scholes Hall, Continuing Education, Center for the Arts, Dane Smith Hall, UNM Hospitals, UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center, and academic and research facilities of the Health Sciences Center (HSC), among other locations. Works in the UNM Public Art Collection are displayed in a manner that optimizes their visibility, importance, and protection, and may be installed permanently or in temporary exhibits.

The HSC Art Collection is a component of the HSC Art Program and an integral part of the UNM Public Art Collection. The Director of the HSC Art Program oversees and administers the collection, in consultation with two HSC advisory committees: the HSC Gift Acceptance Committee and the HSC Arts Advisory Committee.

The Dean of the College of Fine Arts (CFA Dean) administers the UNM Public Art Collection with the advice and counsel of the Public Art Committee (PAC). To manage the UNM Public Art Collection on a day-to-day basis, the CFA Dean will appoint a UNM Public Art Collections Manager. As appropriate, the CFA Dean appoints other staff to assist the UNM Public Art Collections Manager and the PAC.

2. Public Art Committee

2.1. Scope  

The PAC coordinates its work with the Physical Plant Department, the Office of Planning, Design, and Construction, the Historic Preservation Committee, and other units. The PAC’s responsibilities include:

  • Assessing public art needs and identifying locations for installations.
  • Reviewing new proposals and requests for public art.
  • Recommending acquisition of major works ($10,000 or more in value) of gifted or loaned public art.
  • Facilitating enhancements to the UNM Public Art Collection.
  • Recommending deaccessioning of public art.
  • Developing procedures and standards for administering the UNM Public Art Collection.
  • Working with the CFA Development Officer and others to seek funding for the UNM Public Art Collection’s acquisitions and related operational costs, and for the development and maintenance of a full catalog inventory of the UNM Public Art Collection.
  • Performing other duties as assigned by the CFA Dean.

The PAC provides periodic updates and reports to the University President and the Board of Regents.

2.2. Meetings

At minimum, the PAC meets quarterly. A quorum consists of five members.  A simple majority vote is required for approval of the recommendations and other matters coming before the PAC.

2.3. Membership

The PAC has eight voting members.  Those members will vote (in-person or electronic means) and thereby recommend one member to serve as chair and one as secretary.  If affirmed by the CFA Dean, the chair and secretary will be appointed for two-year terms. The chair or other designee represents the PAC on the UNM Museum Council.

The following units and individuals are authorized to appoint one representative to the PAC and, in the case of individuals, may appoint themselves or other designees:

  • Office of the President
  • HSC Chancellor’s Office
  • College of Fine Arts
  • University Architect
  • Faculty Senate
  • UNM Art Museum Director  
  • Director of the HSC Art Program
  • School of Architecture and Planning

For the first year of appointments to the PAC, four members will serve four-year terms and four members will serve two-year terms. Thereafter, the terms will all be for four–year terms.

The units and individuals listed above should appoint members, as soon as possible, to fill seats when their representatives’ terms expire or when their representatives leave before the expiration of their terms. If a vacancy is filled for which there is an unexpired term, the new appointee will complete the original term. PAC members may serve multiple terms.

3. Accessioning and Deaccessioning  

Works in the UNM Public Art Collection are not collected with the intention of selling them or of realizing monetary gain.

3.1. Accessioning

The UNM Public Art Collections Manager is responsible for the acquisition of minor art works (less than $10,000 in value). The recommendation of the PAC is required for the acquisition of major art works ($10,000 or more in value).

3.2. Deaccessioning

The UNM Public Arts Manager and the PAC make recommendations to the CFA Dean about deaccessioning works in the UNM Public Arts Collection. Based on these recommendations, the CFA Dean makes a recommendation to the Board of Regents for approval of deaccessioning requests.

4. Murals and Other Affixed Works

The UNM Public Art Collection includes existing murals and similar types of works, such as reliefs, that are affixed to University buildings and other structures in the University’s public spaces. The PAC oversees existing murals and other affixed works in the UNM Public Art Collection, and considers proposals for new murals or other affixed works.

Newly acquired murals or other affixed works in public areas of the University will be considered temporary installations and generally maintained by the University for a period of five to ten years, as specified in a contract between the University and the artist. Contracts between the University and artists must include a Visual Artists Rights Act Waiver of Rights, similar to the example in the References section of this policy.

Future installations of murals or other fixed works in public spaces must be installed in a manner that allows the works to be removed, relocated, or destroyed without causing significant damage to the building or structure.

5. New Mexico Art in Public Places Act

Many works in UNM’s Public Art Collection are acquired through the 1% for the Arts Program under the State’s Art in Public Places (AIPP) Act. Although the PAC has no responsibility for procuring or commissioning art through the 1% for the Arts Program, it acts as the University’s liaison with the State by approving requests for acquisitions or commissions under the AIPP Act. After this approval, an independent selection committee is formed to solicit and purchase the works of art, following the AIPP regulations and under the direction of the State Department of Cultural Affairs.

6. Role of UNM Units and Individuals

University units and individuals may organize temporary installations of art in public spaces. The PAC does not oversee these short-term installations. Nor does the PAC have a role in the works of art that University units install in their common areas, unless the works are on loan from the UNM Public Art Collection. Nor does the PAC have a role in the works of art that faculty and staff display in their individual offices.

University units and individuals may not relocate, accession, or deaccession works in the UNM Public Art Collection and must defer to the PAC for the management and placement of such works.

7. References

UAP 6410 (“Museums and Collections”)

Art in Public Places Act

Visual Artists Rights Act Waiver of Rights