The Baldwin Public Library is seeking qualifications from artists who wish to create an indoor work of public art in the Baldwin Public Library. Specifically, the library seeks an artist who can create a two-dimensional piece, that would be hung inside four pieces of spandrel glass in the new entry and collaboration space of the library. This work will provide a visually striking component to the library that will inspire wonder, draw the eye upward, and excite engagement.
The Baldwin Public Library is a gathering place for thousands of visitors each month who come to the facility for standard library uses such as book borrowing, computer access, and studying, as well as to participate in extensive programming for all ages. The library features a large children’s room, an expansive wing for adult and teen use, an historic Grand Hall reading room, several meeting rooms, and a makerspace known as The Idea Lab. The Library is home to several works of art including “Michigan Spring” by James Miller-Melberg, “Siberian Ram” by Marshall M. Fredericks, and “Medieval Tapestry” by Glen Michaels.
This project is funded by the Baldwin Public Library Trust.
BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT
The Baldwin Public Library is located in the heart of downtown Birmingham, Michigan in the city’s civic center, which encompasses Shain Park, the Municipal building, and the Library. In 1869, Martha Baldwin founded the Ladies Literary Society, which first met in her living room. Since then, the library has been housed in three buildings around Birmingham. The existing building opened to the public in 1927. Over the years, the library has had several expansions, including the addition of a youth room in 1960 and an expanded adult wing in 1980. In 2016, the library embarked upon a three-phase expansion and renovation of the, adult services wing, the youth room, and the front entrance. The final phase of this project will be completed in March 2024.
PROJECT SCOPE AND PARAMETERS
The Baldwin Public Library Board of Directors has established specific scope and parameters for this public art project with the intent of creating a unique and inspiring work of art for those who visit the Baldwin Public Library. The Library is looking for an artist or group of artists that will be able to adhere to these parameters through their work.
Appropriate and Unique: The City is seeking an original, one-of-a-kind art project that is appropriate for Birmingham and for the diverse community that will experience it. The artist(s) must convey the copyright for the art piece to the library for use in library marketing.
Artistic Considerations: The use of artistic elements including organic shapes are highly desirable for inclusion in this project.
Placement of Piece(s): The two-dimensional piece will be placed in the entry of the Baldwin Public Library on four adjacent pieces of spandrel glass. Each panel of the piece should be connected and cohesive through the overarching design. The glass panels measure as follows:
Top left: 126 ½” W x 28 ¼” H Top right: 125 ½” W x 28 3/8” H
Bottom left: 126 ½” W x 28 ¼” H Bottom right: 125 ¼” W x 28 3/8” H
Materials and Media:
The selection panel is open to artwork in all media and materials that will meet the project objectives and expectations.
Durability and Maintenance:
The artwork should be fabricated of stretched canvas, scrim, or vinyl decal. This project will be in the public realm and may therefore be exposed to physical stresses such as touching by the public in areas of the work within arm’s reach.
The budget for this commission is $12,000 USD which will be allocated to a single artist or artist team. This amount is inclusive of all costs associated with the creation of the artwork including, but not limited to: the artist’s design fee, materials, tools, fabrication, studio expenses, transportation, installation, travel to and from the site for installation/dedication, per diem expenses, project documentation, contingency to cover unexpected expenses, and any other costs. The Library will be responsible for preparing the site for installation of the artwork and for signage for the completed work.
November 21, 2023 – Call for art issued
December 11, 2023 – Submissions due
December 19, 2023 – Selected artist notification
Project Completion and Installation timeline will be finalized through the issuance of the contract with the selected artist. The entrance to the new library addition is expected to open to the public at the beginning of April 2024.
In response to this call, applicants will be asked to submit a Statement of Interest, up to eight digital images and/or video samples of past work, a résumé or curriculum vitae (CV), and up to three professional references (if available).
Mail or email all required materials to:
Rebekah Craft, Director
Baldwin Public Library
300 W. Merrill
Birmingham MI 48009
The applicant’s name must appear on all materials submitted.
1. Statement of Interest – Please submit a statement outlining your interest in the project. Please include your experience working on projects of this kind. You may also include how you have, or may, engage with stakeholders to inform your plans and address the stated scope and parameters of the project if commissioned.
2. Digital Images and/or Video – Please submit up to eight work samples, including digital images or video, of previously completed artworks.
3. Résumé or CV – Please submit a current résumé or CV that highlights your professional accomplishments as an artist.
4. References – Please provide information about up to three professional references, including their name, title, phone number and email address. Please provide an indication of the context in which the person knows you.
The selected artist or artist team for the commission will collaborate with Library Board members and library staff on final design, and will be responsible for fabricating the artwork, bringing it to the site, and installing it.
This project is open nationally to all artists, regardless of race, color, creed, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, religion, marital status, political opinion or affiliation, or disability.
Artists working in any media are eligible to apply.
Please direct all questions about the project to Rebekah Craft, Library Director, Baldwin Public Library, at 248-554-4681.