Per Cent for Art Scheme – Does it Make You Wonder?

Kerry County Council’s contribution to art and culture with the Arch by John Crowley on the Tralee to Castleisland road at Ballymacelligott. Photograph: Domnick Walsh Photography ©
Bealach by John O’Connor gracing the Castleisland bypass as another example of Kerry County Council’s Per Cent for Art Scheme. Photograph: Domnick Walsh Photography ©

Do you ever drive past a sculpture at the side of the road and wonder what it is and why it’s there? More than likely it’s a commission under the Per Cent for Art Scheme.

The scheme is a government initiative which requires up to one percent of the total budget of each capital project, across all government departments e.g. roads, housing and water services, to be ring-fenced for the commissioning of a work of art.

Established in 1978

The aim of the scheme, which was established in 1978 and developed in the mid 1990’s, is to support artists in Ireland and to make art more accessible to the general public.

The Kerry County Arts Office has assisted commissioning departments in the local authority with the implementation of the scheme.

Sculptural Commissions

Since 1995, Kerry County Council has had sculptural commissions, which have enhanced public areas, and since 2002, the council has had community-based commissions, which have encouraged engagement within the locality.

Info on Upcoming Commissions

For a full list of Kerry County Council’s Per Cent for Art Commissions go to

For information on upcoming commissions follow the Kerry Arts Office on Facebook and Twitter @KerryCoArts.