City of Portsmouth NH Launches Peirce Island Public Art Installation Planning in the New Year

January 4, 2024

The City of Portsmouth’s newly-established Public Art Review Committee (PARC) is pleased to announce the launch of the process to plan for, create, and install a signature work of art on City property at Peirce Island using funding from the City’s Percent-for-Art program.

From statues, murals, fountains, paintings, and photography, Portsmouth features many examples of public art. The new work on Peirce Island will join such signature examples as the new “Endeavor” sculpture by Sijia Chen in Bohenko Gateway Park, Jerome Meadows’ artistic elements at the African Burying Ground Memorial Park, and Foundry Place Garage art works by Peter Happny, Terrence Parker, and others that honor Portsmouth’s industrial past.

Like the Foundry Place works, the Peirce Island Art Project will be funded through Portsmouth’s Percent-for-Art program, established in 2006 to increase the number of significant works of art in the City available for the enjoyment and enlightenment of citizens and visitors. The Portsmouth public art ordinance was modeled on the state of New Hampshire’s Percent-for-Art program. For each publicly funded construction project, the City allocates 1% of the total project budget up to $150,000 toward public art.

The construction of the Peirce Island Wastewater Treatment Plant provides the funding for the Peirce Island Art Project. PARC anticipates the artwork will be located near the entrance to the Island in reasonable proximity to the City’s Outdoor Pool and playground and freely accessible for all visitors.

PARC members will soon announce a series of community engagement sessions open to all Portsmouth residents to elicit citizens’ ideas for the Peirce Island Art Project. “The artwork could be a sculpture or a landscape design, could be a single piece or several works, and/or could reflect a single theme or a range of ideas or themes,” said PARC Chairperson Chris Dwyer in announcing the project launch. “Citizens’ ideas will inform the Request for Proposals from interested artists that PARC will release in the Spring.”

For more information and future updates, visit the Public Art Review Committee page on the City website: