Call For Entry: Art for Southwest Neighborhood Library

By Editorial Team on June 8, 2021
Courtesy of the District of Columbia Public Library.
Deadline: June 30, 2021 by 5pm

The District of Columbia Public Library (DCPL) is seeking professional proposals from artists or artist teams for the design of a permanent work of public art for the interior of the children’s area in the newly constructed Southwest Neighborhood Library, located at 900 Wesley Place, SW, Washington, DC 20024. Applications are due by email June 30, 2021 by 5:00 p.m.

Please see the RFQ linked here for full information, with additional detail below.

Introduction
The District of Columbia Public Library (DCPL) is seeking professional proposals from artists or artist teams for the design of a permanent work of public art for the interior of the children’s area in the newly constructed Southwest Neighborhood Library, located at 900 Wesley Place, SW, Washington, DC 20024.

Project Overview 
The new Southwest Library opened on May 15, 2021. The new building was designed and built by the team of Perkins + Will Architects and Turner Construction.

The library’s modern design blends seamlessly with the mid-century modern architecture for which the neighborhood is known. The site is adjacent to a park and playground, and the new design creates an intentional connection between the park and the library. A dramatic zig-zag roof and spruce columns at the entrance lead to a two-story “marketplace” area featuring a large-scale black-and-white historic photograph of the waterfront that greets visitors when they enter the building.

The building has a tree house feeling, with natural spruce ceilings and floor to ceiling windows that overlook the copious trees that surround the property. White shelving and blue and gray finishes add to the minimalist interior design.

The children’s area of the new building is light-filled, with floor-to-ceiling windows and low shelving throughout the space. Blue-gray carpet, soft blue chairs, and a natural spruce bench provide a soothing, welcoming atmosphere for our younger customers.

The new library features:

  • LEED Platinum Certification for environmentally sustainable design including solar panels and a green roof
  • Expanded spaces for children, teens and adults
  • Lots of natural light
  • A variety of comfortable seating options
  • Meeting room for 100+ people
  • 3 conference rooms for 12 – 20 people
  • 4 study rooms for 1- 4 people
  • STEAM Lab with the latest technology
  • Outdoor porch overlooking the adjacent park

To learn more about the renovations, including summaries of community input received, please visit dclibrary.org/newsouthwestlibrary.

Project Goals 
To further enhance the new Southwest Library and contribute to a dynamic neighborhood, DCPL is seeking to commission a work of art, which will be rendered digitally and affixed as a vinyl wall treatment. The artwork will achieve the following goals:

  • Create a vibrant, inspirational and welcoming piece of art that complements the interior design of the building.
  • Respond to the community’s desire for artwork at the Library that reflects their neighborhood and community.
  • Connect to the neighborhood’s rich history.
  • Foster an emotional connection with visitors, particularly young children and their parents and caregivers, who will frequent that area of the library.
  • Contribute to an inviting community space with engaging art to promote frequent visits and increase community ownership and investment in the Library.

Site Location & Artwork Footprint
The proposed artwork will be sited on the first floor, on a wall on the south side of the building, in a space in the children’s area dedicated to our youngest library customers (birth to three years of age), identified with a red line in the drawing below.  The wall is approximately 4’ tall and 25’ wide, with a floor-to-ceiling window interrupting the wall one (1) foot from the left side. The selected artwork will be horizontally oriented and will span the entire length of the wall. On the drawing below, a red line marks the location of the wall.

The product of this contract will be a digital file, produced in a format TBD and delivered to DCPL at a date determined upon contract signature. DC Public Library will take responsibility for fabrication and installation of the vinyl wall treatment, with consultation by the artist.

A site visit is possible and encouraged – please contact Ryan McCoy at ryan.mccoy2@dc.gov to arrange for a time.

Questions shall be submitted to the Contract Specialist Latoya Beard at latoya.beard1@dc.gov by 5:00 pm EDT on June 9, 2021.

RFQ application materials shall be submitted as a single PDF file to procurementdcpl@dc.gov. by 5:00 pm EDT on June 30, 2021.