Thursday, November 18, 2021

Public art is known by many names. Graffiti. Urban art. Tagging. Street art. It comes in all styles and media. It ranges from crudely made to well­planned and incredibly executed works. It exists in dying small towns and the largest thriving cities. It may be offensive. It may be beautiful. It may be both. Some is the work of artists who are reliant on public spaces for their gallery space. Some is a response to a call for artists. It is frequently the product of a crime. Increasingly however, more and more of these works are community-oriented and funded by governmental entities and/ or businesses. Regardless of these characteristics, all public art is impacted by issues of permission, ownership, copyright, preservation and sale. 

This presentation will discuss the ownership and use of copyright with respect to public art. It will also consider the intersection of preservation of public art for public consumption, with the growing market to sell, buy and collect public art. Both issues will also be discussed in the context of the legal rights and interests of the property owner where public art is created and exists.


Dave Bright practices in the areas of real estate, land use and real estate development; business transactions; franchising and distribution; nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations; estate planning and probate; and art and museum law. Dave has earned Martindale-Hubbell's top "AV" Peer Review Rating and is an alumni of the Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce’s Community Leadership Program. He was recently selected to author the Iowa section of the American Bar Association’s “Franchise Desk Book.” Dave currently serves as the Co-Chair of the American Bar Association’s Art & Cultural Heritage Law Committee, and regularly contributes to its section of the ABA’s “Year In Review” publication.

Dave is a frequent speaker at colleges and universities, local businesses and continuing education events on topics that include business formation, estate planning, nonprofit and tax-exempt governance, and art and museum law. He is active in the Iowa City community through volunteering and board service. He presently serves on the boards of the Bur Oak Land Trust, Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, Cedar Rapids YMCA, Iowa City Public Library Friends Foundation (President-Elect), Iowa Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts (President) and YMCA Camp Wapsie (Chair).