Public Art Now is a new conference coming to TU Dublin’s city campus, Grangegorman, from 29-31 October 2020. The conference will explore the changing landscape of Public Art now and in the coming decades. 

Public Art comprises a varied set of art practices. It provides opportunities for collective participation and self-expression, historical reflection and community dialogue. It contributes to our social, spatial and political topologies by proposing new social models, enhancing physical infrastructure and engaging with design.

As we enter the third decade of the 21st century, human–and non-human animals, face unprecedented environmental and social challenges. The present geological epoch of the Anthropocene, unchecked globalisation and resurgent nationalistic forces, provide new contexts through which to consider Public Arts role in society. Within this context, the Public Art Now Conference will explore alternative ways to articulate the diversity of arts practice and the complexity of our social, physical and natural environments.

TU Dublin’s city campus in Grangegorman is Ireland’s largest single investment in higher education in the last 50 years, which will house a community of 23,00 students on a campus only 1km from Dublin city centre. The campus, in part situated on the grounds of the former St Brendan’s hospital, is central to the development of a vibrant new city quarter that is sensitive to the context of Grangegorman, its surrounding neighbourhoods and existing community. This location informs considerations of Public Art, which often acts as a barometer for thinking critically about the relationships between Public Art practice, policy and its publics. As such, the Public Art Now conference is structured by three key themes:

  • Public Art: Processes and Politics
  • Public Art in the Anthropocene
  • Ecologies of Space and Place

They invite participants to think ambitiously about the contexts, roles and prospects for Public Art, now and in the coming decades.

Call for proposals 

Proposals are encouraged from all those with an interest in public art including artists, academics, art administrators and managers, art institutions and students.

Public Art Now want every participant to feel welcome, included and safe at the conference. It is their ambition to create an inclusive, respectful conference environment. As part of this ambition, they particularly invite proposals that reflect diverse backgrounds, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and ability.

For all submissions you will need to provide a title and abstract (300 words maximum), your name and institutional affiliation (if any).

  • Sessions will be 90 minutes long.
  • Composed panels, workshops or other formats should be kept to one hour or less to facilitate time for discussion and should include details of other participants and abstract of papers.
  • Artists proposing workshops will be paid in accordance with the guidelines for artists and workshops suggested by Visual Artists Ireland.
  • There is no fee for presenting papers. Individual paper proposals should be kept to 20 minutes.

Please email your proposals using the proposal form directly to the conference organisers at

Deadline for applications: Monday 20 March 2020

Public Art Now is committed to making the conference an inclusive experience for parents and guardians. They are looking into providing local childcare and crèche options for participants and attendees. If this service might be of interest to you please indicate on the submission or registration form.

Queries should be emailed to


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