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Call for artists for library commissioning

May 24, 2010

We have funds in our library building project budget for public art and are now seeking proposals from artists to be considered for commissioning for placement in the expanded and renovated library.   I think it’s important to note that we don’t have any preconceived ideas on what this might be.  We do know we want a tree of some kind in the children’s department.  That’s one exciting possibility for an artist to develop.  However, if you aren’t interested in this idea, that’s just fine.  The art we are seeking could be for the youth department or the teen area.  Or you might be interested in creating something for the front entryway, the outside, the donor wall, or the historic area of the library.  In short, we are open to all ideas and virtually any medium.  The Request for Proposal (RFP) provides more information.  Here is the submittal form.

From the official press release:

The Library Arts Committee has established a review process. Cynthia Holt, chair of the group and President of the Fort Atkinson Arts Council indicates, “We will be looking for portfolios that resonate with the community and the library’s history and traditions, environment and mission. We will not necessarily be looking for specific works but artists that will engage with the project on potential public art opportunities.”

“We want the library to be a place that inspires curiosity, creativity and a desire to explore learning,” said Connie Meyer, Library Director. “We’d like people to feel better when they leave than when they arrived, uplifted as a result of visiting the library. Delivering exceptional library services involves many elements, including the physical environment. There are artistic opportunities in the entry, the floors, the donor wall, the landscaping, the teen and youth areas as well as the historic sections of the library. We don’t have any preconceived ideas at this point; we are very open to artists ideas,” Meyer concluded.

Uihlein-Wilson Architects included 1% of the project budget for public art, about $50,000. “The environment and feeling of the space is critical to the success of a library. We want it to be an inviting and fun place to visit and gather,” said architect Del Wilson. “The library helps set the tone in a community. It’s an important place. We have designed the library to honor its history at the same time as it offers promise and anticipation of the future. This is quite an opportunity for an artist to contribute something important to Fort Atkinson,” said Wilson.

Proposals are due to the Dwight Foster Art Committee by June 4, 2010 at 4 p.m.  The review process and artist interviews will take place in June and decisions announced in late June or early July. The Request for Proposals and the application can be found at The Dwight Foster Public Library Web site http://www.fortlibrary.org.

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