PSA: Free Library Looking For Artists To Re-Design Selected Libraries

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Free Library Announces Call for Entries to Philadelphia Artists
Made possible by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Library is seeking proposals for artistic designs to be installed at neighborhood libraries

PHILADELPHIA—The Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation is asking local artists to submit proposals to produce fully-developed artistic designs at five neighborhood libraries, as part of the Free Library’s 21st Century Libraries Initiative.

The proposed artistic designs should inspire community members to engage with questions such as: “Who are we?” “How do we define our community?” and “What is the role of the Library in our daily lives?” Selected artists will work with James Moustafellos from The Center for Design+Innovation, renovation architect James Keller, and the library communities to develop creative concepts for art in the new facilities. Each selected artist will receive an honorarium of $7,500. The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is funding the effort.

The application form—which requires a résumé, relevant art samples, and a proposal summary and narrative—is available online at freelibrary.org.

Through the 21st Century Libraries Initiative, the Free Library is working with the community to redefine these branches to better meet local needs. The following Free Library locations will receive art installations as part of the initiative: Lillian Marrero Library, 601 West Lehigh Avenue; Logan Library, 1333 Wagner Avenue; Lovett Library, 6945 Germantown Avenue; South Philadelphia Library, 1700 South Broad Street (slated for reopening in the winter of 2016); and Tacony Library, 6742 Torresdale Avenue.

“As libraries continue to reinvent themselves in the digital age, they have become spaces that are more about creation than collection,” said Donna Frisby-Greenwood, Philadelphia program director for Knight Foundation. “We’re excited by the Free Library’s efforts to strengthen their branches as true centers of community engagement, and look forward to the role they will play in bringing the arts into people’s everyday lives.”

Applicants must currently reside in the City of Philadelphia and may not be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program during the span of the project. Selected artists must attend a full day workshop on Friday, April 11 and must also be available to spend time in the months subsequent to the workshop working with community members, Free Library staff, and others at neighborhood libraries to develop and finalize their designs. Finally, selected artists must be available to present their final designs at community meetings at each of the neighborhood libraries in December 2014. During this time the Free Library Foundation will seek funding for implementation of the final designs.

For more information, please contact Theresa Ramos, Program Development Coordinator, at ramost[at]freelibrary[dot]org.