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Call for artists announced at Jamaica Plain Library Branch

May 10, 2017

Arts and Culture

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Arts and Culture

The public art project is the first call for artists under the Percent for Art Program. 

Building on his commitment to investing in the arts through a Percent for Art program, Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a public art project at the Jamaica Plain Branch of the Boston Public Library. This public art project will complement the $10 million in recent renovations of the library that are funded through Mayor Walsh'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, which reopens on Saturday, May 20 at 11 a.m.

This is the first call for artists under the new Percent for Art Program, first announced with the release of  the City of Boston'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 Walsh. "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. "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 $10 million renovation of the Jamaica Plain Branch, revitalizes the branch services and spaces, including 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.  

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 12:00 PM on Friday, June 9, 2017.

For more information and to apply, click here.

Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture (MOAC)

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 (BostonAIR); curating exhibitions in City Hall; and operating the historic Strand Theater in Dorchester.  For more information go to: www.boston.gov/arts

About Boston Public Library

Boston Public Library has a Central Library, twenty-four branches, map center, business library, and a website filled with digital content and services. Established in 1848, the Boston Public Library has pioneered 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. Each year, the Boston Public Library hosts thousands of programs and serves millions of people. All of its programs and exhibitions are free and open to the public. At the Boston Public Library, books are just the beginning. To learn more, visit bpl.org.

About the Boston Creates Cultural Plan

The cultural plan is a ten year plan for supporting arts and culture in the City of Boston. It was created out of a year-long community engagement effort designed to help local government identify cultural needs, opportunities, and resources and to prioritize, coordinate, and align public and private resources to strengthen Boston's cultural vitality over the long term. The full cultural plan can be found online at http://plan.bostoncreates.org.

Boston Art Commission

The Boston Art Commission (BAC), an independent board of arts leaderscharged 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 go to: www.publicartboston.com