Art in Public Places

AIPP Program Description

Inside/Out public art light installation by Ivan Toth Depena at Wise Pies Arena aka The Pit in Albuquerque, NM. Photo by Jennifer Sensiba

The Art in Public Places (AIPP) program enriches New Mexico’s communities through innovative and diverse public art.

Since its inception nearly 25 years ago, the program has placed more than 2,500 works of art in all of New Mexico’s 33 counties.  Our goal is to reflect the diversity of the arts in New Mexico, the Southwest, and the nation while building a dynamic public art collection for the State of New Mexico.

Through a fair and open public process, committees made up of local and regional representatives work with New Mexico Arts staff to select artwork for their communities.  The Art in Public Places program then commissions large-scale projects that are designed for integration directly into the architecture of a building, or the program purchases existing original artwork to be placed in public buildings permanently or on loan.

The following information will provide a brief overview of the One Percent (1%) for Art legislation and the process employed to select works of art for communities throughout New Mexico. An AIPP Project Coordinator will be assigned to every project and will facilitate the art selection process.


In 1986, the New Mexico State Legislature passed and the Governor signed into law the Art in Public Places Act (Sections 13-4A-1 through 13-4A-11 NMSA 1978, as amended). This legislation declares it to be "a policy of the State that a portion of appropriations for capital expenditures be set aside for the acquisition or commissioning of works of art to be used in, upon or around public buildings" (Section 13-4A-2, NMSA 1978). The resulting Art in Public Places (AIPP) Program is often referred to as the One Percent (1%) for Art Program because of the requirement in the law that: 

For each appropriation exceeding one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000), agencies shall allocate as a nondeductible item an amount of money equal to one percent or two hundred thousand dollars ($200,000), whichever is less, of all eligible capital projects. These funds are to be expended for the acquisition and installation of works of art to be placed “in, upon or around” the new building or the building in which the major renovation is to occur. (Section 13-4A-4, NMSA 1978)

Art in Public Places funds can be expended for the following purposes:

The works of art acquired pursuant to the Art in Public Places Act may be an integral part of the building, attached to the building, detached within or outside the structure or placed on public lands, part of a temporary exhibition or loaned or exhibited by the agency in other public facilities. (Section 13-4A-6 NMSA 1978)

General Procedures

The New Mexico Arts, a Division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, is designated in the Art in Public Places Act as the agency to administer the AIPP program. This entails establishing policies and procedures for the selection and acquisition of artworks.

The following procedures have been developed and provide a general framework for selecting artists and artworks acquired for the state’s public art collection. The intent of these procedures is to assure a fair and open public process for the selection of artwork and at the same time, to administer public art projects efficiently and successfully.

For sites with 1% budgets of $40,000 or below, the AIPP program acquires artwork through one of two biennial direct purchase initiatives; the New Mexico Only Purchase Initiative which is administered on odd-numbered fiscal years and the Acclaimed Artists Series, administered on even-numbered fiscal years. In these initiatives, artists submit original artworks that are available for purchase. A Regional Buying Committee (RBC) along with artists and arts professionals select artwork for each site. Sites with 1% budgets of $40,000 or below must purchase existing artwork through one of these initiatives.

Commissioned artworks require a 1% budget of over $40,000. These projects may entail site-specific artwork that is integrated directly into the architecture of the building. A Local Selection Committee (LSC) comprised of representatives from the owner and user agencies, architect, arts professional, artist and members of the local community selects all commissioned artwork.

Click here for AIPP Documents and Forms

Technical Assistance

For information about the AIPP program or to be added to the mailing list for ARTSpeak, the quarterly newsletter of New Mexico Arts, please contact New Mexico Arts staff by phone at 505-827-6490 or toll-free within New Mexico at 800-879-4278. Our offices are located in beautiful downtown Santa Fe in the Bataan Memorial Bldg, 407 Galisteo Street, Suite 270 Santa Fe, NM, 87501. Our mailing address is the street address.