Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture, in collaboration with the Boston Art Commission and Boston Public Library, today announced a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a public art project to complement the renovation of the Dudley Branch of the Boston Public Library.
The RFP is for the first of two Percent for Art projects that the City of Boston is commissioning as part of the renovation of the library. The Percent for Art program sets aside one percent of the City's annual capital borrowing budget for the commission of public art.
"I'm very excited to see how these public art installations will enhance the design of the renovated branch," said Mayor Walsh. "The Dudley Library has been a pillar in the Roxbury neighborhood for years, and this artwork will only make it more welcoming and reflective of the vibrant community that surrounds it."
The Dudley Branch is currently undergoing a $17.2 million renovation included as part of Mayor Walsh's Imagine Boston 2030 Capital Plan, scheduled to reopen in 2020, that will fully modernize the facility. The renovation includes a new welcome area overlooking a redesigned plaza, improved visibility and openness, dedicated space for children, teens, and adults, a nutrition lab and learning lab, refreshed collections, and more.
The project has a budget of $250,000 and is for a site-specific, impactful, focal design feature; with a second RFP being issued this summer for graphics and images that will be reproduced and fabricated by the design team to animate interior spaces within the library.
The City is accepting questions about the project until Friday, May 18, 2018 by 5 p.m. EST and the deadline to submit proposals is Friday, June 8, 2018 by 12 p.m. EST.
"We are thrilled to see the Mayor's Office of Arts & Culture incorporate public art into the redesign project for the Dudley Branch, which I hope will add another dynamic visual element and help ensure the new library space is welcoming, inspiring, and of the community," said David Leonard, President of the Boston Public Library.
Potential locations for the artwork include a large concrete wall that is visible from many areas of the library, as well as from Warren Street.
"The Dudley Branch Library is a valuable 'third space' in the Roxbury Cultural District where our community gathers to learn, convene, have fun and share our stories," said Kelley Chunn, President & Chair of the Roxbury Cultural District. "Cultural representation matters, and so we are glad that community based artists will have a voice in the reimagining of this precious public resource."
The RFP is open to all professional artists, artisans, architects, landscape architects, or teams with experience in public art, site responsive design, project management, and construction administration. Professionals from Roxbury are encouraged to apply.
"This project will allow us to continue working toward a major goal outlined in the Boston Creates cultural plan, which is to integrate arts, culture, and creativity into the public realm and urban environment," said Julie Burros, Chief of Arts and Culture. "I look forward to seeing the public's response to the art, and the impact it has on visitors to the space."
An Artist Selection Committee comprising representatives from the Boston Art Commission and local arts professionals representing the neighborhood of Roxbury will review the submissions. A contract is expected to be awarded in July 2018. Artists can submit proposals here.
About the Percent for Art Program
The Boston Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture (MOAC) released the City's first cultural plan, Boston Creates, in 2016, calling for increased support to Boston's arts and culture ecosystem. The Percent for Art Program is a critical policy outcome of this planning process and addresses Goal 4 of the plan: to integrate arts and culture into all aspects of civic life, inspiring all Bostonians to value, practice, and reap the benefits of creativity in their individual lives and in their communities. The Percent for Art Program demonstrates the City's leadership and commitment to sustainable funding for the arts by setting aside one percent of the City's annual capital borrowing budget for the commissioning of public art. The Percent for Art Program is administered by the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture and the Boston Art Commission, in collaboration with the Office of Budget Management, the Public Facilities Department, and other City departments. For more information, visit here.
About the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture
The Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture's mission is to support artists, the cultural sector, and to promote access to the arts for all. The office houses the Boston Cultural Council, the Boston Art Commission, and the Poet Laureate program. Responsibilities include leading up the City's cultural plan, Boston Creates; managing the Boston Artist-in-Residence program; curating exhibitions in City Hall; and operating the historic Strand Theater in Dorchester. For more information, visit here.
About the Boston Art Commission
The Boston Art Commission (BAC), an independent board of arts leaders charged with the care and custody of all artworks on City of Boston property, advocates for the creation of innovative and transformative art and promotes its accessibility to enrich the lives of Boston's diverse citizens and visitors. The Art Commission advises, supports, and consults with artists and communities, City departments, and others. It commissions, approves, and conserves the City of Boston's collection of art and historical artifacts. For more information, visit here.
About Boston Public Library
Boston Public Library provides educational, cultural and civic enrichment, free to all, for the residents of Boston, Massachusetts and beyond, through its collections, services, programs, and spaces. Established in 1848, the Boston Public Library is a pioneer of public library service in America. It was the first large free municipal library in the United States, the first public library to lend books, the first to have a branch library, and the first to have a children's room. As a City of Boston historic cultural institution, Boston Public Library today features a Central Library, twenty-five branches, a map center, business library, archival center; extensive special collections of rare books, manuscripts, photographs, and prints; and rich digital content and online services. The award-winning renovation of the Central Library in Copley Square, completed in 2016, together with new, renovated and historic branches, provide a transformed library system for the next generation of users. Boston Public Library enriches lives, hosting thousands of free educational programs and exhibitions, and providing free library services online and in-person to millions of people each year. To learn more, visit bpl.org.