About public art

Public art is an expression of Adelaide’s cultural richness and creativity. It reflects how we express who we are as individuals and as part of a wider community.

Public art is for everyone, encouraging people to engage with a place. It adds vibrancy, reflects the city’s unique identity, its people and their stories. Art can be experiences, it can stimulate expression, surprise with the unexpected, and invite people to stop, explore and return.

Public Art Action Plan

The three-year Public Art Action Plan celebrates Adelaide’s status as a leading global Creative City. The Plan builds on Adelaide's rich collection of sculptures, installation and commemorative monuments, celebrates the public art traditions and living culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and recognises the artistic traditions from around the globe. The Plan is ambitious to enrich both our community and influence creative expressions to enable bold, future-focused and ambitious public art.

The goals for the Public Art Action Plan are:

  1. Adelaide is a must visit destination, renowned for its playful, thought provoking, unexpected and world-class art experiences
  2. Adelaide’s public art celebrates its rich and vibrant Aboriginal and culturally diverse identities
  3. Adelaide is a world leading city of art that tells the story of the past and connects the future, reflecting the growth and evolution of the city
  4. Adelaide builds capacity, works collaboratively, forms partnerships and advocates for art that invigorates the built environment and urban landscape.

Read the Adelaide: City of Art Public Art Action Plan 2019 – 2022.

In the development of Adelaide: City of Art Public Art Action Plan 2019 – 2022, a discussion paper was created in partnership with the University of South Australia.

Read the Public Art Discussion Paper.

Public art in the city

For your enjoyment we've created a dynamic webpage of Art in Adelaide featuring public artworks around the city, including commemorative monuments, sculptures and installations.

Please note, due to construction works in the Adelaide Riverbank precinct, some works have been temporarily removed or relocated to protect them. 

To keep up-to-date with the latest opportunities, exhibitions and news in the city, sign up to our monthly Art in the City e-newsletter.

Sign up to Art in the City e-newsletter

Case Study - Public Art in the Gawler Place Upgrade

Flow has been created by local artists Laura Willis and Will Cheesman, working with Exhibition Studios as the fabricator. This artwork is integrated into the arbour structure at the northern end of the street, and was inspired to lead people along the arbour, connecting the river to tree via the stars. Drawing the viewer’s attention up to the day and night sky, the imagery painted, etched and applied to the artwork evokes nature and the seasons whilst commenting on people’s daily commute. Shadows play and move with the passing sun. At night stars shine. Follow provides a pathway for peoples imagination, swim up the river or climb the tree.

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Image: Laura Wills and Will Cheesman with Exhibition Studios, Flow, 2019, stainless steel

Ripples the integrated furniture suite in Gawler Place has been designed by local emerging artist Stephen Roy working with metal fabricator Tom Golin. This is a series of artworks integrated as furniture items along the street, including 5 seats and 17 traffic delineators, some of which also function as bike racks. These artworks explore the inherent kinetic energy in flowing water and were inspired by how objects such as native trees, stones and grasses act on and are acted upon by the dramatic ebb and flow of water throughout the Adelaide Plains…. Ripples looks specifically how these markers can be used as guides to direct the kinetic flow through the Gawler Place precinct, allowing users to be carried by a current, past or present.

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Image: Stephen Roy with Tom Golin, Ripples, 2019, bronze, river gum and stainless steel