A woman looks at a a large, wide painting of a detailed jungle scene and makes notes.
Art in Public Places works to conserve and maintain Washington’s State Art Collection.
ArtsWA staff evaluates the condition of the artwork “Jungla Encantada,” a 1992 painting by Alfredo Arreguín. Located at the Department of Ecology in Lacey, Western Washington. Photo by ArtsWA. Part of Washington's State Art Collection.

Care of the State Art Collection

ArtsWA is responsible for the overall care of the State Art Collection. This includes inventory, conservation activities, and record keeping. Our collections management policy ArtCare guides these activities. Artworks are under the day-to-day stewardship of the sites that host them.

The Collection includes more than 5,000 artworks. They are located in K-12 schools, colleges, universities, and state agencies across Washington. ArtsWA collaborates with these entities to care for the artwork.

Collection Care Resources

Materials and Fabrication Handbook. Review our recommendations and requirements for materials, fabrication methods, and placement for commissioned artwork. This resource supports artists in their efforts to design works durable enough for a public environment.

Painting Materials Guide. A straightforward guide designed for artists with painted mural projects at K-12 public schools.

Artwork Presentation/Framing Guide. Review our requirements for framing your two-dimensional artwork, including works on paper and paintings on fabric.

ArtCare: Collections Management Policy for Washington’s State Art Collection. Review our collections management policies and procedures. ArtCare includes information about artwork conservation, deaccession, and rights and reproductions.

Recent Conservation Projects
Partial view of a band of geometric patterns made of thousands of 3-inch industrial highway reflectors encircling the circular roof of a large concrete building. There is a very blue sky behind the SunDome building.

Circle of Light (1992) by Richard C. “Dick” Elliott is comprised of nearly 50,000 individual 3-inch diameter reflectors in an 880-foot-long belt around the Yakima Valley SunDome. It is an icon in the region but the Yakima sun and wind had their toll. Over the summer of 2022, Circle of Light was restored with thousands of new reflectors. Explore and read more about the restoration of Circle of Light.

A double-height room with a large carved and painted wooden mural placed above the entry-way. The mural depicts a bird form in coast salish style formline design.

After major restoration, Marvin Oliver’s Big Bird (1979) was re-installed in June 2021 inside the Yelm High School Commons area. The artwork was previously located on the building’s exterior, where it was damaged by exposure to the elements. A student noticed the poor condition of the Coast Salish artwork and approached Principal John Johnson asking if it could be restored. Read more about this project.

Contact Us

If you have any questions, please contact: collections@arts.wa.gov.

Explore More of the State Art Collection: