The university is committed to facilitating artistic expression by its students, staff and faculty in a manner that considers the interests and safety of both the artist and the audience. Temporary art exhibits are not meant to provide a platform for marketing/advertising/promoting commercial products, companies or events, nor are they intended to create a limited public forum or an exhibit designed to be modified or altered in any way by the artist or members of the public after approval of the temporary art exhibit
Facilities Planning and Management (FP&M) staff are responsible for maintaining a safe and attractive campus. The following approval process describes where and how temporary outdoor art exhibits are to be accommodated.
Temporary outdoor art exhibits include, but are not limited to sculptures, murals, installation and performance art. Outdoor spaces covered by this policy include: lawns, woodland edge areas, paved plazas, courtyards, publicly accessible roof decks, covered walkways, exterior building walls, and exterior balconies.
Unauthorized installation of a temporary outdoor art exhibit will result in immediate removal and disposal of the exhibit. Costs for the removal will be assessed to the artist or university department associated with the exhibit.
This guideline is in conjunction with other UW-Madison Facility Use Policies and Guidelines
Temporary outdoor art exhibits must be sponsored by a university department. The applicant and departmental sponsors must complete and submit a “Temporary Outdoor Art Exhibit Request” (hereafter “exhibit request”) to receive authorization for use of campus grounds. All exhibit requests must be submitted at least ten (10) working days prior to the desired start date for the exhibit. The applicant and sponsors are encouraged to make requests as early as possible as they develop their outdoor exhibit concept. Completed exhibit requests can be submitted by inter-departmental mail to:
Or electronically to:
The exhibit request will be evaluated by the Campus Event Services Office (CESO)/Campus Event Alert process. Final review and approval will be granted by the Associate Vice Chancellor at Facilities Planning and Management, and the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration.
Exhibit time frame: In general, exhibits can be in place for up to 14 consecutive days. Longer display times may be requested. Exhibits located on grass lawns or other landscape spaces may be limited to time and place restrictions to accommodate landscape care (e.g., irrigation and mowing.)
Sponsorship: Art exhibits must be sponsored by a university department. The sponsoring department assumes responsibility for costs that may be associated with the temporary art exhibit.
Exhibit removal: If FP&M staff are called upon to remove or clean up materials from an art exhibit, a charge for services will be forwarded to the sponsoring university department. The exhibit site must be returned to its original condition following the removal of the temporary art installation. The university is not responsible for damage or loss to artwork on public display.
Appropriateness, safety and accessibility:
Art exhibit proposals will be reviewed by university staff to assure that an installation is appropriate for the proposed space and that it does not endanger the public. Artists may be required to modify their planned art exhibit if it is deemed inappropriate for the proposed space or to pose an unsafe situation. When designing an exhibit, appropriate consideration and accommodation must be provided for people with disabilities.
In general, the following locations are acceptable and preferred for art exhibits. Other campus areas will be considered, with justification for why an alternative space is essential to the project. A map showing the preferred locations is available at the bottom of this policy. Refer to the attached map for acceptable areas for temporary art exhibits.
These areas are NOT available for art installations
Artists must furnish and remove all materials used in an art exhibit, including all tools and equipment used during installation. Ordinarily FP&M staff are not available to assist with art installations. If installation requires assistance from FP&M staff, a fee may be charged.
Art exhibits must be accompanied by a weather-proof label securely affixed to the artwork or on a sign post adjacent to the artwork. The label should include (at a minimum) the following information: name(s) of the exhibitor(s), title of artwork, name of the sponsoring university department and a contact email address, and the removal date for the exhibit.
Art exhibits should be secured in a manner that prevents the artwork from tipping over or blowing away. Materials used to secure an object should not cause any permanent damage to a mounting surface. For example, consider if adhesive or duct tape will leave a residue on a mounting surface, or if rope or guywire might cause abrasion to a metal surface. Ropes or guy-wires should be easily seen, so as to prevent collision/trip hazards. Art installations may not be affixed to sign posts, lamp posts or bus shelters in a manner that interferes with the operation of these fixtures.
Trees and lawns:
Art installations may not be attached to trees with nails, staples, screws or any device that damages the tree. Grass sod may not be removed or damaged in any way. If stakes are required to secure an art exhibit, plastic or wood stakes are preferred. Metal stakes may be acceptable under specific circumstances. Stakes may only be used on bare ground or grass areas—not on paved areas. Before stakes can be inserted in the ground, approvals must be obtained that verify that no underground utilities are present.
Electrical connections for an art installation may be possible, but not at all sites. If lights and/or sound are part of the installation, note this on the “Temporary Outdoor Art Exhibit Request Form.” Exhibits involving amplified sound must be compliant with the requirements for the use of “Sound Amplifying Equipment.”
Submit exhibit request
All temporary outdoor art exhibit requests must be submitted at least ten (10) working days prior to the desired start date for the exhibit.
Completed exhibit requests can be submitted by Inter-departmental mail to:
Or electronically to: email@example.com
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