The Institute of Art in Public Space was founded on 1 August 2006 by the then head of the Styrian Cultural Affairs Department on the basis of the Styrian law regulating art and the promotion of art (enacted in 2005). Headed by Werner Fenz, the Institute was associated with the Universalmuseum Joanneum GmbH.

The scientific team at the time (consisting of Werner Fenz, Evelyn Kraus and Birgit Kulterer) concluded its work at the Institute in July 2011 due to budgetary cutbacks and structural changes.

Since July 2011 Elisabeth Fiedler has headed the Institute of Art in Public Space within the Art in the Exterior Department at the Universalmuseum Joanneum.

About Art in Public Space Styria

Art in public space fathoms new opportunities for action. It examines situations, history, semantics and possibilities of the public to create nuanced perspectives that address sensitive issues and to discuss the variability, fragility and sensibility of the relationship between space, society, communication and life.

The Institute for Art in Public Space Styria considers itself an initiator, developer and enabler of reflexive positions within our society.

Initialisation and the best possible support of art projects that are realised outside closed spaces and museums in real-world as well as in digital or virtual spaces form the pillars of the Institute for Art in Public Space. Permanent and temporary works by regional, national and international artists of proven quality are developed and implemented all over Styria.


Questions such as

What is public space? To whom does it belong? Who uses it? How do we approach and deal with it? Which political, social, economic and ecological issues does it raise, in addition to other topics of interest for our society?

are publicly debated in this regard. Thematically oriented art projects in urban and rural environments illustrate these issues and make them accessible. A wide range of disciplines such as the visual and performing arts, literature, music and architecture, as well as interdisciplinary forms of contemporary art are taken into consideration.


The institute offers the following options for engagement:

Artists: diverse, also interdisciplinary, project proposals by single artists and artist collectives as well as initiatives.

Municipalities: project development by municipalities and cities, counselled and supported by the institute.

The institute: program development and realisation of projects in consideration of relevant issues, and execution of competitions.

A project is realised after positive assessment by the Institute for Art in Public Space Styria and possibly an additional jury, and issuance of official permits.

Museums For Future

The Institute for Art in Public Space Styria supports the Declaration of Museums For Future. Through targeted actions in mediation and media communication as well as curatorial activities, we want to contribute to raising awareness about rapid development and the drastic consequences of climate change.

Within our department, we are increasingly focusing on climate-friendly activities and materials. In order for planet Earth to remain a habitable place for us humans and other living creatures, immediate action is required. We are aware of our shared responsibility to spread this message within the framework of Museums for Future.

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