Advice and mediation

The agent or agency can contribute and mediate so as to create a full awareness of options available in approaching, developing and realising the full potential of a commission.

Not all public art projects are good, but good models exist. The one nearest may or may not be the best, it is advisable to look at other national and international models, many which are documented on the internet. Advisers allow original perceptions to be challenged and/or affirmed and can ultimately assist in improved, qualitative decisions. Art directors and curators have years of experience and training to support, encourage, affirm and guide the commissioning process. They link and interlink by applying relevant skills whether project management, liaison, mediation, facilitation, curatorial, advocacy, objectivity, evaluative dissemination, nationally and internationally etc. The mediating role is one that combines strategic oversight as well as insight into the particular artform. Such agents may be selected by the artist or the commissioner. Advisers will work to a public's brief in researching for artists to respond to overall commissioning needs and aspirations.

Outside expertise works where it is mutually beneficial in relation to parties to a commission. This is not about bringing in the experts, so much as drawing together expertise which could mean challenging existing resources to upskill. This has to be an empowering process. Locally based knowledge and resources are a part of the dynamic process.

There is lots of accessible information and advice available, both locally and nationally. Local Authority arts officers and public art coordinators have accumulated a broad range of experience in the field of commissioning and also have knowledge of national arts and artists' representative services and locally based creative resources. Artistic directors and curators have expertise in particular artforms, practices and procedures. Networks and cooperatives exist in and across artforms, drawing on local and global knowledge. Artists also work as advisers and initiators. Information and advice on criteria by which to assess and select exists within organisations such as the Arts Council and the Executive Agency Education Audiovisual Culture (EACEA).  


  • Has professional advice been sought and followed?



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Nazareth Housing Association provides independent living houses for individuals and couples who are 65 and over and on the Sligo County Council housing list.  Nazareth Village is comprised of 48 houses in a garden setting.  The Village was financed as a public-private partnership between Nazareth Housing Association and Sligo County Council with funding from the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government.  

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