Current PAN Year in Review Process 

Thank you everyone who participated in the 2016 PAN Year in Reivew. Especially to our three jurors,Lucas Antony Cowan, Public Art Curator, Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Conservancy; Constance Y. White, Lead Creative, SLDcreative; and Franka Diehnelt, Co-owner, merge conceptual design. Check out the online database for the projects recognized this year and visit our store to purchase your own copy of the 2016 PAN Year in Review presentation.

Applications for the next PAN Year in Review will open in February 2017. Check back for more details.


Americans for the Arts Public Art Network (PAN) founded the PAN Year in Review recognition program in 2000 to bring greater visibility and appreciation to the work of public artists and the communities they serve across the country. Through a juror selection process, the PAN Year in Review annually recognizes outstanding public art projects that represent the most compelling works created in the prior year. Hundreds of project applications are reviewed and compiled and the best are presented during the Americans for the Arts Annual Convention each year.

Application Process

Public artworks accepted for works completed in a calendar year are eligible for submission during the follow application process for the following year. To be considered for PAN Year in Review, permanent artworks must have been completed and open to the public by December of the calendar year it is being considered for. Temporary artworks must have been open and accessible during part or all of the year in which it is being considered for. Public artworks are considered temporary if the planned life of the project is up to 2 years.

In addition to the process listed above, public artworks being considered for submission must reach the following criteria:

  • Creativity in project design and approach
  • Excellence in concept, skill and implementation of a unique, artistic vision
  • Innovative use and suitability of materials for intended duration of project
  • Sensitivity and responsiveness to site and its context, and physical and social conditions
  • Success with which the project is perceived to resonate with and engage its intended audience
Application Timeline

The application process for PAN Year in Review is open by February and typically runs to March. Applicants are notified of the selection results by May and the presentation of the selected works is held in conjunction with the Annual Convention. (Please note that the timeline is subject to change.)

To be notified when the next PAN Year in Review application will be open become a member of Americans for the Arts and join the PAN Listserv. You do not need to be a member of Americans for the Arts to be considered for recognition in the PAN Year in Review.


Up to three jurors are selected each year based on recommendations from the PAN Council to review and select up to 50 public artworks. The jurors are selected from professionals in the public art field or related fields. Typically there is at least one public artist and one public art administrator as part of the selection process each year, and an additional professional who can come from a variety of other complementary fields such as curators, planners, historians, architects and the like.

Jurors are selected with care to their professional backgrounds and relationship to the public art field. Americans for the Arts and the PAN Council support in full the selections made by the jurors.

Selection Process

To select the projects, the jurors are asked to consider criteria listed in the Application Process and are provided with a mission statement and guidelines to support their selection process while encouraging a balanced listing of exemplary projects.

The mission for the jurors is as follows:

The PAN Year in Review (YiR) honors and recognizes exemplary permanent and temporary public art completed during the year. The survey of outstanding projects reflects a broad range of artistic responses and approaches to the challenge of creating art in the public realm. YiR selections should be innovative and imaginative art projects that fulfill their public goals and are inspiring to their intended audience, which includes artists, commissioning agencies and their communities. Selections are to demonstrate ways artists can engage site, community and social spaces.

The guidelines provided to the jurors help to clarify the intention of the PAN Year in Review based on recommendations from the PAN Council and supported by Americans for the Arts. It is the goal of the PAN Year in Review to represent excellence in the field. To that end, the jurors are encouraged to select a balanced group of exemplary projects that represent the public art field in its breadth and diversity. While it is understood that the outcome is dependent upon the quality of the submittals and fully respect the curatorial choices of the panel, the jurors are asked to consider a balance of projects from different budget categories, comparing projects of similar budget size and to select a balance of permanent and temporary work as each type of project represents their own unique challenges.

Jurors are asked if they have or have had a direct relationship to the design or development of an artwork, such as project manager, artist or director of a program then they are to recues themselves from reviewing and voting on the applications associated with that public art project.

About the PAN Year in Review Online Database

The Online Database allows you to search and find details about past works recognized by the PAN Year in Review. The database contains curated, categorized, and searchable examples of the best in public art projects from across the country that received PAN Year in Review recognition. As such, it serves as an information and advocacy tool for public art administrators, artists, and allied professionals, gives greater visibility to the field of public art, and provides photographic examples of works along with information such as materials, budget, location, funding source and more. This reference tool was designed to help inspire and inform other projects across the country and support the development of burgeoning public art programs in communities nationwide. The database provides invaluable data to assist public art initiatives advocating for passage of percent-for-art ordinances, helps promote the talented artists whose work is featured in the database, and increases the visibility of the role of public art and artists in developing and improving our communities.

We are looking for feedback to further develop the database. Please send any suggestions to

What is Public Art and What Makes it Such a Community Treasure

The term “public art” may conjure images of historic bronze statues of Generals on horseback in a park but today, public art can take a wide range of forms, sizes, and scales—and can be temporary or permanent. Public art can include murals, sculpture, memorials, integrated architectural or landscape architectural work, community art, digital new media, and even performances and festivals! Today's public arts is often highly collaborative and seeks to engage the community. Public art is no longer the random piece of art in the park but instead a source of community pride and engagement. Public art artists endeavor to create works that generate a dialogue with the community, at times about the issues central to their lives. As you read through the descriptions of the art works feature in the PAN Year in Review Database you'll start to see this common theme emerge and will find the stories behind the works of art as fascinating as the images displayed.