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Art in Public Places

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Traditionally, "public art" invokes the images of historic bronze statues of a soldier on horseback, or a large decorative fountain in a park or plaza setting. Today, public art can take a wide range of forms, sizes, and scales - and can be temporary or permanent. Whatever the form, public art instills meaning - a greater sense of identity and understanding of where we live, work, and visit - creating memorable experiences for all residents and visitors to Manhattan Beach.

Artists who are being considered for the development of an art work to be placed in the City are selected by a peer panel of artists, arts professionals and community members. From this process, one or more may be recommended by the Cultural Arts Commission to the City Council for their approval. These projects are then placed in a variety of public sites throughout the City.

Art in Public Places projects are supported by the Public Art Trust Fund established through a dedicated 1% development fee and does not impact the general fund.

Explore the public art located throughout the City using the Public Art Story Map. The Public Art Story Map shows the exact location of each artwork along with a short description about each piece.


9/11 Memorial Project

Memorial in remembrance of September 11, 2011 using two steel beams that the City's Fire Department received from the World Trade Center site.

Red Circle by C.J. Rench

Artwork commissioned throughout the City using the Public Art Trust Fund.

Light Gate

Centennial Art Project is to create an exceptional visual experience for locals and visitors, while celebrating the City’s past and inspire future generations.

Murals Cover Image - Golden Butterflies by Joanna Garel

Part of the City’s efforts to bring more public art to the community.

Dragon Tales

Temporary biennial exhibition of sculptures throughout the City.

Strand Alcove Bench

Bench alcoves along the Strand with aesthetically pleasing bench sculptures and restful places to enjoy the beach.

Utility Box Beautification Project

Public art program designed to transform common traffic control utility boxes into distinctive works of art.

City Hall Lobby

Request for artist submissions to be considered for the City Hall Lobby Public Art Project.


Chapter 10.90 Development Fees

The Public Art Trust Fund (also known as Percent for the Arts) Ordinance became effective December 18, 2002. It set aside a 1% development fee on residential developments of four or more units, and every commercial and industrial building project with building valuation exceeding $500,000. This fee or allocation shall also be imposed upon any remodeling project of existing commercial or industrial buildings and any residential building or complex of four or more units whether exterior or interior, when the remodeling has a building valuation exceeding $250,000. The applicant shall pay the 1% fee directly to the Public Arts Trust Fund at the time the building permit is issued.