Call to Artists for Public Art Project at Renovated Jamaica Plain Branch Library

The city has announced a request for proposals from artists for a public art project at the Jamaica Plain Branch Library that is reopening on May 20.

The renovated Jamaica Plain Branch Library is reopening May 20, 2017.

This public art project will complement the $10 million in recent renovations of the library that are funded through the city’s Imagine Boston Capital Plan. Working closely with the Boston Public Library, the Friends of the Jamaica Plain Branch Library, and the Boston Art Commission, the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture invites artists to submit their proposals for public art at the Jamaica Plain Branch.

The Call for Artists 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. Residents from the Jamaica Plain neighborhood are encouraged to submit a response to the call.

Applications will be reviewed by a selection committee comprising representatives from the city of Boston and local arts professionals representing the neighborhood.

A successful proposal will respond to the goals of the capital project and to the values of the Jamaica Plain community. The successful applicant will be announced in July 2017 and the public art project is expected to be completed in May 2018.

There will be a site walkthrough for interested respondents on Friday, May 19 at 12:30 pm. The deadline to submit proposals is noon on Friday, June 9, 2017.

For more information and to apply visit: https://www.boston.gov/departments/arts-and-culture/public-art-requests-proposals?up

This is the first call for artists under the new Percent for Art Program, first announced with the release of the city’s cultural plan, Boston Creates. The Percent for Art program is a critical policy outcome of the 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 their communities.

“By creating a sustainable funding stream for the arts, the Percent For Art program will allow us to further invest in public art,” said Mayor Martin Walsh via press release. “We have committed to setting aside one percent of the City’s annual capital borrowing budget for art, creating opportunities for artists and ensuring the integration of art into our neighborhoods for the benefit of residents and visitors.”

“Incorporating public art in public buildings is essential to enhancing the design of our communities and to transforming public spaces,” said Julie Burros, Chief of Arts and Culture for the city of Boston, via press release. “We look forward to seeing the ideas presented for this space as we work to integrate the arts into all aspects of civic life.”

The library renovation includes a 20 percent increase in space for the community to read, browse the collection, access computers, attend and host meetings, and participate in programming. The renovation features a 700-square foot addition facing South Street that will serve as a community reading lounge; a terrace along Sedgwick Street where residents can read and mingle; multiple meeting spaces; improved and more flexible space for children, teens and adults; and a refreshed collection of 30,000 items. Technology improvements include 15 new desktop and 20 laptop computers, free WiFi, additional self-checkout stations, creativity software in the new digital maker-space, and hearing loop technology for people with hearing loss.Other features include an elevator for full ADA accessibility to all levels, new and more efficient mechanical systems, parking for over 20 bikes, and new exterior landscaping.

“This is a significant opportunity for local artists to incorporate their creative works into the fabric of the renovated building, which will undoubtedly enhance the spaces and bring the library to life,” said Priscilla Foley, Director of Neighborhood Services for Boston Public Library, via press release.