The art collection of the City of Seinäjoki includes more than 40 permanent public artworks of which the oldest ones date back to the 1960s. New procurements are made based on the Public Art Policy Programme adopted in 2022. Public art refers to any art displayed in urban spaces or, for example, in municipal offices and schools. The array of public art is diverse: permanent and temporary, art integrated into architecture and stand-alone pieces of art, events and participatory projects. Kunsthalle Seinäjoki oversees the coordination of public art in the City of Seinäjoki.

Promoting public art

Since 2018, the promotion and coordination of public art in Seinäjoki has been the responsibility of a Public Art Working Group. The multidisciplinary working group was appointed by the mayor of Seinäjoki and is chaired by the exhibition coordinator of Kunsthalle Seinäjoki. The aim of public art promotion is to develop the funding models and to instil good practices. The area around the railways station has been chosen as the pilot site for public art in the urban strategy of Seinäjoki. At Kunsthalle Seinäjoki, public art promotion is the responsibility of the public art coordinator.  

The City of Seinäjoki’s Board approved the policy programme for public art in 2022. The policy programme includes the funding models and procurement procedures for public art.

In 2021, the City of Seinäjoki Board decided to pilot a floor-area-based art fee for private developers in the area around the railway station. A similar public art funding model has been in use in several cities for various comprehensive development projects.

The art budget concerns the city’s own development projects. The model is based on the widely used “Percent for Art” principle, according to which about 1% of the budget for a development project is spent on art. In Seinäjoki, the art budget set up for art procurement in accordance with the “Percent for Art” principle consists of the annual percentage share of the budget for development and civil engineering projects. The city has strived to activate compliance with the “Percent for Art” principle for decades. The arts budget consolidates compliance with the principle and ensures that art is integrated into development projects at a sufficiently early stage.

Multidisciplinary working groups, dialogue between city divisions and units and artistic expertise are at the heart of public art procurement procedures.

The aim of the policy programme is for art to become a standard practice in construction. The programme’s aim is to build good, high-quality and humane urban environments.