GSA Art in Architecture Program Celebrates 50 Years, 500+ public artworks

October 27, 2022

The Art in Architecture (AiA) Program commissions public artworks for federal buildings nationwide

HARRISBURG, PA - Administrator Robin Carnahan marked the 50th Anniversary of the U.S. General Services Administration's (GSA) Art in Architecture (AiA) program this week at the new Sylvia H. Rambo U.S. District Court, where two newly commissioned works are being installed: a massive 250-foot mural by Monique van Genderen that spans the building’s lobby and a series of eight paintings by Claire Sherman for floors 3 through 10 of the elevator tower.

The AiA program was established in 1972 by President Nixon after he issued a directive renewing and expanding the 1962 Guiding Principles for Federal Architecture, which recommended that new federal buildings include public artworks. Since then, the program has commissioned more than 500 artworks that enhance the civic meaning of federal architecture and showcase the vibrancy and diversity of American visual arts.

“From Harrisburg and Philadelphia, to San Antonio, to the Seattle area, I’ve seen first-hand the array of public artworks that GSA has helped install and manage in many public spaces with the help of experts, the local community, and world-class artists,” said GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan. “The American people should be inspired and proud of this collection — their collection — and we will ensure that this portfolio becomes even more vibrant in the years to come.”

Looking forward, the program plans to launch 26 new Art in Architecture opportunities in states along the northern and southern borders at land ports of entry (LPOE), funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

AiA has always been dedicated to producing commissions from a diverse group of artists in a diverse range of styles, as PBS Commissioner Nina Albert explained. “This program is committed to including artists who work in many styles and materials and come from diverse communities throughout our nation. Incorporating art from living artists into our important civic spaces reflects how democratic societies benefit from the creative talents of their people."

To commemorate this anniversary GSA will be celebrating with a host of activities:

  • AiA 50th Anniversary Kickoff Event in Washington, D.C.
  • The AiA 50th anniversary video series
  • #AiA50 campaign across GSA’s social platforms
  • AiA commissioned artists experience videos and more

Learn more about the anniversary activities and the Art in Architecture program, such as how installations are funded and how GSA partners with the NEA to encourage artists to sign up for the registry, by visiting the AIA50 website.

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About GSA: GSA provides centralized procurement and shared services for the federal government, managing a nationwide real estate portfolio of nearly 370 million rentable square feet, overseeing approximately $75 billion in annual contracts, and delivering technology services that serve millions of people across dozens of federal agencies. GSA’s mission is to deliver the best customer experience and value in real estate, acquisition, and technology services to the government and the American people. For more information, visit GSA.gov and follow us at @USGSA.

Last Reviewed: 2022-10-27