Helena Public Art Committee (HPAC) History and Projects

"All of the Above, None of the Above" - by Chip Clawson, located in Pioneer Park, downtown Helena.
"All of the Above, None of the Above" - by Chip Clawson, located in Pioneer Park, downtown Helena.

History of the Helena Public Art Committee (HPAC)

The City of Helena Public Art Committee was created by resolution of the Helena City Commission on November 16, 1998 - Resolution #11316. The City of Helena Public Art Committee, as an advisory committee to the City Commission, is responsible for any visual work of art displayed on an on-going basis in one of the following places:

  • on the interior or exterior of any city-owned facility;
  • on any city-owned property; and
  • on non-city property if the work of art is installed or financed, either wholly or in part, with city funds, city received donations, or grants procured by the city.

A "work of art" is defined by the Helena Public Art Committee as any original and unique creation in visual media that is accepted by the City of Helena Public Art Committee. 



The HPAC has developed criteria and application forms to submit public art proposals for the City of Helena. 

The process includes submitting an initial inquiry form for a preapplication meeting with the HPAC.  A pre-application conference is a meeting scheduled by the City of Helena Public Art Committee (HPAC), at no cost, to assist you in initiating the process for public art proposals. The purpose of the pre-application conference is to inform you of the steps required to initiate and complete the process in accordance with HPAC criteria.

Following the preapplication meeting, an application form can be submitted for a public art proposal. 

HPAC Activities

The Helena Public Art Committee divides its responsibilities into several main areas: 

  • the acquisition and placement of publicly owned or financed public art;
  • securing additional funding for art acquisition, and maintenance of existing works;
  • documenting the location and history of all public art pieces in the Helena area; and
  • hosting public events, such as Chalk Up Helena! to promote public art.


2015 HPAC Projects

The Helena Public Art Committee has the following projects in 2015:

Public Art Survey – HPAC is running a survey [link to survey] about the present and future of public art in Helena.  This survey will help us determine where to focus our limited resources.  It will also help us determine whether an Economic Impact Study on the Arts in Helena is a feasible project.  The survey concludes on August 31, 2015.

Parking Meters – The City of Helena has installed painted parking meters for HPAC, Paws Park, Holter Museum of Art, Prickly Pear Land Trust, the Helena Symphony plus Grand Street Theater at their various locations in Helena.  These retired, artfully decorated meters serve as interest points and sources of funding; they accept donations to the organization designated on each meter.  Look for these fun and interesting additions to public art!

Saturday, July 18th - CHALK UP HELENA!Chalk Up Helena! a family-friendly sidewalk chalk art event, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. on the Downtown Walking Mall near Lasso the Moon.

HPAC Members

The Helena Public Art Committee members are chosen based on their experience and their ability to represent one or more of the following areas for up to two 3-year terms: 

Visual and performing arts, arts administration, architecture, business, marketing or fundraising, the citizens of Helena, and the City Commission. 

  • John Moore, Chair  
  • Susan Raucy Steffens, Vice Chair
  • City Commissioner Ed Noonan
  • Chris Riccardo
  • Becky Lawson
  • Abigail St. Lawrence
  • Chip Clawson
  • Mitch Carroll
  • John Rundquist

Contact Information

Helena Public Art Committee
M-W, 1-5; Th, 1-4
Room 320, City-County Building
316 N. Park Avenue
Helena MT 59623
Mary Vandenbosch (406) 447-8493
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