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Melody Flowers (Executive Director for Strategic Analysis and Policy)


The establishment of a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Public Art Fund and Committee is a strong commitment by the University of Kentucky to diverse and inclusive public art on our campus. However, it is impossible to craft a meaningful program without first attempting to address what is meant by “diverse” and what is meant by “public.” Diverse and inclusive, to our minds, represents a commitment to meet or exceed the diversity of our community in all aspects of this Committee’s work – from the selection of artists and works to representation within the Committee itself.

The Committee will also consider and make recommendations about potential further opportunities to support and enhance diverse and inclusive art on campus in order to fully leverage the power of art to shape impactful spaces and places and create intentional communities of belonging.


The project team began meeting in Fall 2020 with a charge to create an art fund for capital projects. At the end of the Fall 2020 semester, university administration shared with the campus and the UK Board of Trustees its plans to move forward with this project, including establishing a fund to purchase or commission diverse and inclusive public art for campus through a 1% allocation from capital projects of $1 million or more (up to a maximum of $1,000,000 per project).

Committee Members 

  • Jason Akhtarekhavari (Program Manager, UK Arts in HealthCare)
  • Chelsea Brislin (Gaines Center)
  • Nikki Brown (Faculty, African American and Africana Studies) 
  • Katie Eiserman (Athletics Development)
  • Melody Flowers (Executive Director for Strategic Analysis and Policy, Office of the Vice President of Finance and Administration)
  • Rob Jensen (Professor and Director, School of Art and Visual Studies)
  • Miriam Kienle (Fine Arts Faculty) 
  • Paul Knowles (Staff/Space Planning Director)
  • Yesel Rodriguez (Student)
  • Dan Solberg (Art Museum) 
  • Rob Southard (Fine Arts Faculty)

Update - September 21, 2021

As announced at a previous meeting of the board of trustees, this project has been approved. Under the leadership of Melody Flowers, the committee has established an art fund for capital projects. For each capital project approved by the board of trustees (each project of $1 million or more), one percent of the project will be spent on public art. Importantly, the unit or college for whom the capital project will serve will be involved in determining the best use of the art fund for their capital project. 

One example is the Joe Craft Football Training Facility.  In this specific example, the new football training facility was built and shortly thereafter, the athletics department selected a sculpture of the four men that integrated Southeastern Conference football as public art.  The art—which celebrates inclusion—is visited by thousands of visitors to the campus each year.  While this specific project occurred prior to the implementation of Project 13, it serves as a model for other projects as Project 13 takes shape. 

Additionally, the Project 13 team is proposing a revision to Administrative Regulation 9:8.  This revision would officially merge the responsibilities of the university’s existing Art in Public Spaces Committee with the new Campus Public Art Committee which was formed as part of the president’s DEI Implementation Plan.  The draft of the revised AR has been reviewed by Mary Vosevich (Chair of the Art in Public Space Committee), as well as members-in-common of the two existing committees.  After a review of the proposal, the Campus Public Art Committee established to implement Project 13 has unanimously endorsed the draft of the revised AR 9:8.

Update – September 13, 2022

$20,000 of funding has been approved to launch an inventorying initiative within project 13. In collaboration with the executive sponsors and the Office for Institutional Diversity, students will secure critical inventory all campus art.