News and Events
The goal of the Pasadena Public Art Program is to build a publicly available collection of contemporary art that celebrates the human spirit and condition. The Public Art Program seeks to assemble a cohesive collection that encourages public dialogue, understanding and enjoyment of public art. Public art serves as the perfect medium for illustrating the broad range of cultural expression practiced in the Pasadena community.
Public Art Requirement
Public Art Requirement
The City’s Public Art program focuses on two areas: new private development and City construction projects. The Public Art Requirement may be satisfied by the creation of site specific public art or by payment in-lieu of artwork. For further information, please contact Cultural Affairs staff at (626)744-7062.
Pasadena’s Public Art Collection
The City of Pasadena Public Art Collection is now available on-line nationwide through the Public Art Archive, a free, searchable database. The Archive is provided by the Western States Art Federation (WESTAF), a non-profit arts service organization which provides technology systems for arts organizations and artists.
Pasadena’s 177 artworks, many of which have been created by artists of local and national recognition, document permanent and temporary public art projects commissioned through the City’s Private Development and Civic Public Art Programs. Artworks facilitated by the Cultural Affairs Division on behalf of community partners are also included.
Please follow these instructions to access the database for artworks in Pasadena. In the Search field, type “City of Pasadena.” There are numerous search filters to refine and extend your searches by material, artwork type, placement, date, artist name, and title.
You can also select the “Map this” feature to plan your visit by viewing the artwork’s location on a Google map, getting driving or walking directions, or saving the map for later use. In addition, there is a mobile version that allows you to navigate Pasadena’s collection from any mobile device. Simply point the browser on your smart phone or mobile device to PublicArtArchive.org, and the site will automatically direct you to the mobile version, ask for permission to locate you, and then you will see a list or map of the artworks near you.
Pasadena is dynamic – vibrant with activity and full of culture. We invite you to experience the public art that is so vital to the City’s unique character. These interesting and varied walking tours feature jewels from Pasadena’s innovative Public Art collection. Each tour takes approximately 30 minutes to an hour to complete and will give you a good sampling of the City’s holdings. Walk with a friend or walk by yourself – make these tours your own.Established in the late 1980s, the Public Art Program requires that 1% of the building valuation of both new private development and municipal construction projects in the City is dedicated to public art. Public Art in Pasadena has a strong history of community collaboration for both public and private partnerships, incorporating key constituents into the planning process. Artwork is site specific and is accessible to the general public, thus improving quality of life for all residents. Pasadena’s extensive Public Art collection is eclectic, multi-cultural and reflects our values and identity. Many renowned local and national artists have created outstanding work that has garnered national acclaim for the City’s collection.As diverse as the artists that create it, Pasadena’s public art ranges from a children’s playground modeled on the Arroyo Seco and art glass mirrors that tell the story of the City’s firefighters to a much larger-than-life memorial to Pasadena heroes Mack and Jackie Robinson. The vast collection also includes functional artist-designed benches, narrative murals, interactive and kinetic sculptures, and quintessential examples of modern and contemporary art movements.
In addition to these works, important public art collections can be found at Art Center College of Design, California Institute of Technology (Caltech), and Pasadena City College.
So, take your time. Enjoy your walk, and get to know the city that surrounds you.
Public Art Walking Tour #1 will take you from down Garfield Street, along Holly Street and Los Robles Avenue, and finishing on Colorado Blvd. and Euclid Ave. Explore Pasadena’s art by taking the virtual and interactive tour. Start Tour Walking Tour Brochure 1. “The Pasadena Way” 1900 Robert Irwin, Doug & Regula Campbell 207 N.… Read More
Public Walking Tour #2 will take you along the Colorado Boulevard and Green Street, finishing at Euclid Avenue and Cordova Street. Explore Pasadena’s art by taking the virtual and interactive tour. Start Tour Walking Tour Brochure 1. “L’Entreinte” 1980 Joan Wolff 150 E. Colorado Blvd. sculpture 2. “Pasadena Panorama” 2000-01 Margaret Nielsen 280 E.… Read More
Public Walking Tour #3 will take you along the Chestnut Street, down Marengo Avenue, eastward on Holly Street, and finishing at Raymond Avenue and Union Street. Explore Pasadena’s art by taking the virtual and interactive tour. Start Tour Walking Tour Brochure 1. “Fountainhead Rockscape” 2002-03 Tomas Lipps 145 E. Corson St. (on Chestnut) fountain 2.… Read More
Public Walking Tour #4 from Corson Street down Lake Avenue, past Colorado Boulevard, down to San Pasqual Street, then back to to Cordova Street. Explore Pasadena’s art by taking the virtual and interactive tour. Start Tour Walking Tour Brochure 1. “Everyday People” 2003 Pat Ward Williams 340 N. Lake Ave. Lake Avenue Metro Station windows… Read More
Public Walking Tour #5 Los Robles Avenue between Union Street and Colorado Boulevard and will take you down Union Street to Walnut Street via El Molino Avenue, to Oak Knoll Avenue, back along Colorado Boulevard and finishing on South Oakland Avenue. Explore Pasadena’s art by taking the virtual and interactive tour. Start Tour Walking Tour… Read More
Public Walking Tour #6 will take you from Green Street and Pasadena Avenue, down and up South De Lacey Avenue, and finishing on Fair Oaks and Green Street. Explore Pasadena’s art by taking the virtual and interactive tour. Start Tour Walking Tour Brochure 1. “Malevich’s Pick-Up Sticks” 2006 Peter Shire 159 W. Green St. awning… Read More
Public Walking Tour #7 starts at Dayton Street and Fair Oaks Avenue and will take you along Del Mar Blvd., to South Arroyo Parkway, and westbound along California Boulevard. Explore Pasadena’s art by taking the virtual and interactive tour. Start Tour Walking Tour Brochure 1. “Historic Fire Station Equipment” FS #31 135 S. Fair Oaks… Read More
Public Walking Tour #8 will take you eastbound along Colorado Boulevard, winding through the alleyways of Old Town, and finishing at South Orange Grove Boulevard. Explore Pasadena’s art by taking the virtual and interactive tour. Start Tour Walking Tour Brochure 1. “Forescasting” 2013 Kenton Nelson 55 E. Colorado Blvd., Exchange Alley mosaic mural 2. “Fields… Read More
The Pasadena Playhouse District Public Art Walking Tour A dragon is watching you in the Playhouse District. Perched just above your head, its scaly body undulates up and down and wraps around the streetlight pole, jaws poised to release its fiery breath. Over there a trombone player bends almost impossibly backward, straining to hit that… Read More
Rotating Public Art Exhibition Program
The Rotating Public Art Exhibit Program is intended to complement the permanency of the Private Development and Capital Improvement Public Art programs by placing artworks throughout the City for a limited time period. The program seeks to create an outdoor art gallery to enliven the urban landscape, create a dynamic visual experience for residents and visitors, create more venues for artwork in the City, increase exposure and opportunities for artists who live and work in Pasadena, educate the public about public art by stimulating discussion, provide a cultural draw for tourists and provide entrée for artists new to public art.
The Rotating Public Art Exhibition Program has two components 1) a rotating exhibition of loaned existing sculptural works and 2) changing exhibitions of public artwork commissioned for a specific site. Nine public art projects will be installed in locations throughout Pasadena. The second component of the program will offer temporary, “site-specific installation” opportunities for exhibition. Artists will create public artworks for a specific site during the span of the exhibition.
NEA Our Town
The City of Pasadena Cultural Affairs Division, along with partner Side Street Projects , is the proud recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Our Town public art project award. Pasadena’s project for the Civic Center: My Pasadena will create a continuous series of events and changing artworks from September 2015-September 2016, transforming the… Read More
Thanks to the National Endowment for the Arts Our Town $100,000 grant, Cultural Affairs and project partner Side Street Projects produced 12 amazingly diverse civic engagement projects that spurred interaction, dialog, participation and enjoyment in Pasadena. The following video documents many of the artist projects, as explained by the artists themselves. Thanks to partner Side… Read More
PLEASE CLICK BELOW TO VIEW VIDEOS OF THE Lions, Tigers, And… public art installation at Pasadena City Hall and one of the drum circle events.
The City of Pasadena Cultural Affairs Division, along with project partner Side Street Projects, is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) “Our Town” grant. One of 66 funded projects in 2014, My Pasadena, presents a series of 12 temporary public artworks in the Civic Center area from September 2015 through September… Read More