Werner Fenz Grant for Art in Public Space 2024

steirischer herbst / the City of Graz

Submissions are open for the 2024 Werner Fenz Grant for Art in Public Space, jointly awarded by steirischer herbst and the City of Graz.

In honor of art historian and curator Werner Fenz (1944–2016), and on the initiative of more than two hundred artists, curators, critics, and other members of the art world, the City of Graz’s cultural affairs department launched a grant for art in public space in 2020.

Starting in 2023, this biennial grant will be awarded jointly by the festival for contemporary art steirischer herbst and the City of Graz. It targets national and international projects that address the cultural and political context of Graz, Austria.

As an internationally renowned curator, theorist, and educator, member of numerous committees, and founder and director of the Institute for Art in Public Space Styria (2006–11), Werner Fenz combined theory and practice in an uncompromising and exemplary manner, continuously raising the profile of art in public space—in and outside of Graz. He was closely associated with steirischer herbst and realized countless projects there.

The 17,000-euro Werner Fenz Grant aims to regularly assess the status of art in public space, with an international jury selecting a temporary project every two years.

Goals and criteria

The grant is designed to promote art that gives a critical impetus to public space and social change, art that “assumes social responsibility” (Werner Fenz) and seeks to engage citizens.

Projects can deal with economic, political, social, ecological, architectural, or urban development issues. They should contribute to the discourse on current forms of art in public space and address the sociopolitical context of the city of Graz and the province of Styria.

The focus is on temporary projects that infiltrate everyday life and latch onto existing public structures.

Endowment and award procedure

The grant is awarded biennially by the City of Graz and steirischer herbst subject to resolution in the City Senate. It is endowed with 17,000 euros, of which 12,000 are dedicated to the realization of the artwork and 5,000 to the artist’s fee.

The call is open to artists from all countries.

The selection procedure is two-stage. In a first round, up to three projects are invited to Graz for an in-depth exploration of the local context in October/November 2023. The grantee is announced in January 2024 and their work is presented as part of steirischer herbst ’24 (September/October 2024).

The international jury consists of five members: one from the initiators’ committee, two people nominated by steirischer herbst, and two nominated by the city’s cultural affairs department.


The production takes place under the responsibility of steirischer herbst and can draw on the festival’s resources and considerable experience with art in public space. On-site research as well as accommodation of the artist(s) during the production phase in Graz are covered as part of the grant.


  • submission form
  • project description (max. two A4 pages): content and technical aspects, visualization/sketch, information on duration and location, etc.
  • budget
  • portfolio with sample work (in public space), visual material, texts, etc., if not available online (website)
  • language of submission: German or English

The deadline for submissions is 15 August 2023.


The project will be documented in the context of steirischer herbst as well as on the Werner Fenz website.

More information