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The Boulder Office of Arts + Culture is seeking an artist, or artist team, for a site-specific public art commission for the forthcoming North Boulder (NoBo) Public Library. Envisioned to be a jewel in North Boulder, the library facility will be a beacon for the community, meet the City’s climate action goals, be integrated with and reflect the area’s natural surroundings.
Budget: $225,000 (possibly split into two artworks: $175,000-$200,000 and $25,000-$50,000)
Eligibility: Professional artists/teams
View full RFQ, site images, and apply here.
Boulder Public Library and the NoBo Library Overview
The Boulder Public Library’s Vision: Connecting people, ideas, and information to transform lives and strengthen our community. The guiding principles of the Boulder Public Library can be found at https://boulderlibrary.org/about/2018-library-master-plan/
The City of Boulder will construct a new North Boulder (NoBo) Branch Library to replace and expand library services that are currently offered at the NoBo Corner Library. During the past several years, the North Boulder community has experienced significant residential and commercial growth. Construction of a full-service North Boulder Branch Library has been a community priority since 1994 and requests for a full-service library in North Boulder continue to appear in library user surveys. It is a high-priority goal in the Library Master Plan.
The new North Boulder Branch Library is being developed by the architecture firm WORKac and is estimated to be 12,000 square feet. This library will offer expanded, community-oriented services with a strong focus on the customer experience. Envisioned as a jewel in North Boulder, the library facility will be designed to meet the City’s climate action goals for energy efficiency and environmental sustainability. The design uses sustainable strategies and technologies to create ‘iconic systems’ that inform the building’s architecture. The building will be integrated with and reflect the area’s natural surroundings, including an accessible green roof, a playground integrated into the building, community gardens and a large urban plaza that connects to Broadway.
Visit WORKac’s Design Concept Presentation: https://boulderlibrary.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Design-Concept-Presentation.pdf
About North Boulder
North Boulder boasts the city’s only formal Arts District, serves as a gateway to Boulder, and contains a mix of uses, including a variety of housing types, retail and food establishments, offices and studios, light industrial businesses, and parks and open spaces.
Since its founding, Boulder has attracted visual artists, poets, performers, writers, musicians, designers, and creative people of all kinds as a beautiful, inspiring, and supportive place to live, practice their craft, and prosper in the business of their art. The residents, workers, and business owners of the neighborhoods of North Boulder have consistently demonstrated support for the activities and impacts of a creative district, the recommendations for culture in the North Boulder Subcommunity Plan, and the Community Cultural Plan.
North Boulder has a long history, starting as an agricultural area and later developing into a neighborhood after WWII, when tracts of land were offered to returning soldiers. North Boulder is unique to Boulder development in that it boasts a mix of density and uses. Additionally, the nearby Holiday Neighborhood was designed with sustainability and affordability in mind, providing a walkable neighborhood, public parks, and many types of residential units. The NoBo Art District, formalized by acknowledgement from the Boulder City Council in May 2017, creates opportunities for artists to connect with each other and the broader community through art, education, and events. The NoBo Art District Mission is to enrich and advance the arts in Boulder through educational activities and engagement that promote the role of artists and creatives in our community.
North Boulder is described as “mixed, diverse and unexpected. The old quirky Boulder with the new and young, all mixed together.”
Residents compiled the following descriptive list during the NoBo Place Project:
Alive • First Friday Art • active • bikers • artists’ haven • gritty • excitement • beautiful, radiant, dramatic light • innovative • creative spirit • casual atmosphere • cauldron of opportunities • community • contemporary • crossroads • contrasts in new and old • urban • off beat • potential • developing open opportunities • scrappy • vintage • good restaurants • inclusive • individualistic • inviting • less crowded • unique to our city • multi-dimensional • old, but so NEW! • new restaurants, shops • old strip mall • place where the mountains meet the plains • quirky • really needs some public ART!
Public Art: Parameters & Goals
The selection panel’s specific goals for this public art opportunity are to create a unique work of art that contributes to and compliments this new library facility and reflects the NoBo neighborhood. Artists interested in applying are invited to submit work samples that exhibit how their work might address interior/exterior and dualities/contrasts articulated in WORKac’s presentation.
In response to this Request for Qualifications (RFQ), applicants will be asked to submit up-to eight digital images of existing work samples, two video or audio samples, a résumé or CV, and a statement of interest in the NoBo Library Public Art opportunity of no more than 2,000 characters via www.callforentry.org (CaFÉ™). From these applications, the selection panel will choose between three and five semi-finalists who will be brought in for an interview with the panel. If a formal proposal is requested, the artists/artist teams will be provided an honorarium of $1,500 to prepare and present the proposal in person. Semi-finalists are strongly encouraged to conduct a site visit, and will be expected to pay for travel expenses from the honorarium. Community engagement is a vital component in Boulder’s decision-making process. Semi-finalists should be prepared to present or have their proposals presented to the public in some fashion during the decision-making process. The project selection panel will choose an artist/artist team for this commission from the interview or proposal.
Selected artists will collaborate with the NoBo Library Design Advisory Group and Technical Review Committee when finalizing their designs for installation. Public art commissions must go through applicable review and permitting processes.
(Except for online application deadline, timeline is subject to adjustments):
What and How to Submit
Please read this section carefully. Incomplete applications will NOT be considered, without exception. The applicant’s name must appear on all materials submitted.
All materials must be submitted online, via the CaFÉ™ website (www.callforentry.org). There is no application fee to apply or to use the CaFÉ™ online application system.
QUESTIONS? Contact Mandy Vink, public art administrator and NoBo Library Public Art Project Manager: 303-441-4342 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the Public Art Program, visit https://boulderarts.org/public-art/
Boulder’s Community Cultural Plan can be found here.
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