grant criteria   
Grant Criteria

The Grants for Public Art Program has been temporarily suspended.

Given the lack of funding for cutting edge art and artists, art production is often geared towards what sells and not what provokes thought. The Grants for Public Art Projects intend to challenge the current market-dominated system of art production and to move art out of the market and into the "public realm."

For the most part, people who go to galleries or museums or even alternative spaces are people who are "in the know" in the art and academic worlds. The Gunk Foundation is interested in supporting projects that make it out of the museum, gallery, and alternative spaces and into the spaces of daily life. For example, work that is shown in the spaces of public transportation, city streets, or work places and is seen by people "outside" of the art and academic worlds. We are also interested in work that catches one by surprise—the audience may not plan to be an audience (like planning to go see a performance) but is one inadvertently (the performance happens on the street on their way to work). We are looking for non-traditional, thought-provoking public work that is site specific: i.e the context in which it is seen is essential to its meaning. It is our belief that work that is site specific and that cuts into the space of everyday life will have the most profound effect on politicizing the public realm.

Types of Projects Funded
Grants are provided for "works" of art (not, for example, art festivals, group exhibitions or general operating support for public art organizations). Because of our limited funds and the need to stay focused, the committee has decided not to fund art education, art therapy, mural projects, community gardens, restoration projects, architectural design projects, traditional commemorative sculpture/painting, traditional theater projects or documentary film. In addition, it has also decided not to fund video, film, or music unless it has been specifically earmarked for a non-traditional public space (i.e. not public TV or radio). If you have questions concerning whether your project fits into our guidelines, please call or e-mail us to discuss your project: or (845) 255-8252. Please look at our philosophy to understand what we feel are the three crucial elements of Public Art - content, communication, and context. Please also look in the grant archive at the some of the previous works funded to get a better idea of the type of work we are pursuing.

Who Can Apply
Any one can apply - individuals, groups, or organizations—and there is no need for a fiscal sponsor. International projects and artists are encouraged.

Selection Criteria

Merit Of The Work:
The most important criteria for the selection of projects is the merit of the work proposed.

A) Does the work satisfy the Foundation's definition of "Public" art? i.e. is the project site outside of the gallery, museum, alternative spaces, and sculpture gardens and in the space of daily life? Does the audience have to know about the piece, or can they stumble upon it during their daily activities? Is the content/meaning of the piece accessible to a public audience (i.e. Is the meaning too vague? Will people who aren't "in the arts" get it)?
B) Is the work primarily aesthetic or does it also broach historical, social, environmental, political and/or cultural issues? Projects that receive grants must use aesthetic communication to encourage people to think about the space that they are traveling through on a critical level. In general, the committee is looking for non-traditional public art pieces...
C) Is the work relevant to the cultural/social situation in which it is seen? Does the site of the work enhance its meaning?
D) Does the project reach a diverse audience? Is the audience a non-traditional art audience?

Competence of the Project Participants:
The Grant Committee is interested in seeking out unestablished artists as well as established artists but the participants need to show competence in their field of expertise.

A) Have the participants tackled a project of the same scope as the one they are proposing?
B) Does their previous work indicate artistic and intellectual competence?

Practical Issues:

A) Is the project financially feasible?
B) Is there an adequate and reliable source of funds?
C) Is the time-line realistic?
D) Has the necessity and feasibility of obtaining permission to display the work at the desired site been evaluated?


—A grantee can apply for a second grant one year from receiving their grant.

grant criteria how to apply   archive our philosophy home