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A.8. Committee on Art in Public Places (CAPP)

CAPP has existed since the fall of 1994, when the president and Board of Trustees entrusted it with the exhibition, purchase, and placement of works of art on the campus, apart from the Middlebury College Museum of Art.

1.  Charge of the Committee

The Committee has been charged with achieving the following goals:

  • Establish a program of exhibition of art in public places to be administered jointly by the Middlebury College Museum of Art and CAPP.
  • Expand the educational mission of the Middlebury College Museum of Art, the Department of History of Art and Architecture, and the Program in Studio Art by providing interesting and challenging work of high quality, accompanied by an interpretive program to make works accessible to the non-specialist.
  • Elicit gifts and loans of works of art that can enhance the aesthetic and educational mission of the arts.
  • Involve a broad representation of the community in choosing, placing, and interpreting art in public places.
  • Designate the Center for the Arts and its grounds as a place for public art, as well as selected sites in other spaces on campus.
  • Provide funding for the purchase, installation, maintenance, and interpretation of works of art in public places.
  • Ensure the security and care of these objects.


2.  Mandate and Operating Procedures for CAPP

The College has established a policy of "One Percent for Art;" that is, one percent of the total budget of any renovation or new construction at the College would be earmarked for the purchase, installation, maintenance, and interpretation of works of art in the public places associated with the building being renovated or constructed.

The College will undertake a concerted effort to acquire gifts of works of art, as well as monetary gifts leading to the acquisition, care, and interpretation of works of art in public places.

The College will consider the audience for such works to be the entire College community and will take into account the mission of the institution, which will be reflected in the acquisition, siting, and interpretation process.  Works of art will be acquired for exhibition in public places following the guidelines established by the Middlebury Museum of Art for the acquisition of art for its collection.

Distinctive works of art chosen or created for the public spaces of the campus will represent a broad range of artistic styles and be of sufficiently high quality to merit their inclusion in the College's permanent collection.

All works will be reviewed for site specifications, function of site, primary users of the site, site-specific maintenance and safety questions, and appropriateness of a loan or permanent placement.

Loans of works to be exhibited in public places will be considered, especially as they allow for experimental and challenging works to be shown.

The College will be fiscally responsible in accepting works for loan exhibition, reviewing financial and legal obligations regarding the acquisition of works of art, including covering artist fees, travel costs, transportation of work, site preparation, signage, potential repair and restoration costs, insurance and security costs, and costs for an educational program designed around the work and for publicity to introduce the work to the community. A budget for exhibition of works of public art on loan will be established before loans are accepted.

Bearing in mind recent legal discussions about the rights of artists concerning the discussion, alteration, and placement of works of art, the College will take such ethical considerations into account when choosing and negotiating for works of art to be displayed in public places.

CAPP will have the right to deaccession works guided by the same standards used by the Collections Committee of the Museum.

3.  Policy for the temporary exhibition of works of art on the Middlebury campus

CAPP does not presume any authority over works of art, photographs, etc., that faculty and staff place on view in their offices, that departments choose to install in their offices and teaching spaces, that students place in their rooms, that Commons choose for their lounges.

CAPP welcomes temporary installations in public spaces organized by departments or individuals. There is no need for CAPP to monitor short exhibits (three weeks or less), but such presentations must always be clearly labeled to indicate their source and the educational purpose that lies behind them.

CAPP, or the on-campus subcommittee of CAPP, which has been authorized to make practical decisions that are too cumbersome to be managed by the Committee as a whole, must approve any work or works to be placed on view for a longer period. (This subcommittee consists of the chair of CAPP, the director and curator of modern and contemporary art at the Museum, the director of the arts, the director of the Program in Studio Art and the chair of the Department of the History of Art and Architecture.)

When a work or works are approved for temporary exhibition, the length of time it/they will be on view must be clearly indicated and stipulated in writing, indicating the agreement between the installer and the subcommittee. Normally, an academic year would be the longest time for such an exhibition. If the department or individual wishes, a request may be made at the end of the designated period to extend the exhibition, or to acquire the work or works for permanent installation. If CAPP does not approve the extension, the work or works must be removed.