The Tasmanian Government’s Art Site Scheme is marking its 40th year which has resulted in an extraordinary collection of which our community can be extremely proud.

Over these four decades, artworks have been commissioned for State Government buildings including hospitals, schools, community hubs and parks in recognition of how public art enhances our urban areas and improves the experience of shared environments.

With an average of 60 per cent of funds for each art project going to Tasmanian suppliers and subcontractors, the scheme provides a critical investment in our small businesses and in Tasmanian jobs, as well as opportunities for developing artists’ careers and enhancing our cultural life.

Since launching in 1979, these public art programs have managed more than 660 commissions and the creation of more than 1,900 diverse artworks across Tasmania by Tasmanian artists including Wendy Edwards, Patrick Hall, Tom Samek, Marcus Tatton and Alex Miles.

The very first artwork commissioned through the scheme in 1980 was Huon pine furniture by Kevin Perkins, Peter Taylor and Merv Gray created for the St Paul’s Chapel at the Launceston General Hospital.

Meanwhile, Tasmanian artist Alex Miles has just finished installing one of the most recent projects at the new Cradle Mountain Gateway Precinct for the Parks and Wildlife Service.

This artwork is a suspended sculptural work which will be unveiled in January.

The public artworks, commissioned for new buildings and major renovations to State Government buildings, foster collaboration between artists, audiences, designers, architects, the construction industry and the government.

The scheme is managed by Arts Tasmania’s public art team which also assists clients in the private, community, local and federal government sectors to develop and manage art or design commissions through the Corporate Art Scheme.

Tasmania’s arts and cultural sector is a critical part of the State, injecting approximately $179 million into the Tasmanian economy a year and directly employing approximately 5,000 people.

Elise Archer, Minister for the Arts