Commission stages – detail

This stage is about working out the feasibility and approach for a commission.

  • Ensure funds: understand your budgets and where you can fundraise to give a clear brief.
  • Identify people: to support the project including art expertise and internal support.
  • Agree a framework: such as a strategy or plan to develop a vision.
  • Scope opportunities: permanent or temporary opportunities can have different parameters and aspirations.


This stage is about working with an artist to develop ideas and shape proposals.

  • Prepare a brief: including the commission’s scope and any technical information
  • Approach artists: select artists competitively or approach directly
  • Develop proposals: artist(s) to work up ideas and responses
  • Engage with audiences: consider forms of consultation and participation

Alongside making a commission there are various other areas that often need specialist support.

  • Prepare contracts: look at responsibilities, copyright and ownership
  • Test proposals: check that designs, materials and equipment will work
  • Sign-off proposals: agree with an artist and other partners to realise proposals
  • Produce: fabricate and install the commission
  • Launch: celebrate the commission.

A commission can’t survive as an isolated process that suddenly appears on site. These are areas that help promote ownership and engagement, whatever the longevity of the commission.

  • Maintain: agree how to look after the commission through its lifecycle
  • Evaluate: decide how to judge success
  • Press and marketing: promote the project to different audiences.