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Public Art Sought for Richard A Tucker Memorial Library

Posted by Norfolk Public Art Commission ; Posted on 
Public Art; Visual - DEADLINE :  
Public Art Sought for Richard A Tucker Memorial Library



The Norfolk Public Art Commission and the Richard A Tucker Memorial Library Planning Committee seek to commission an artist to design and create artwork.

Budget:  $125,000

Eligibility: Professional artists

Deadline: May 3, 2019, 2:00 p.m. EST


The Planning Committee wants the artwork to tell the story of the rich culture and history of Campostella and make a statement about the people that live here and their contributions to society. Residents should connect with and see themselves in the artwork. The work should be a bold statement, thought-provoking, and represent and connect with this strong neighborhood. This is an opportunity to address history and the untold stories of the past while pointing to the future. Campostella has embraced STEM ideals in their schools and in this library.  The artwork will be pedestrian scale. Artist should assume artwork will be touched and must be durable and of permanent materials that will stand the test of time. Materials must be safe and easily maintained. The artist must hire a Virginia licensed contractor to install the artwork(s). The selected artist will be asked to present an educational workshop or presentation to the community.


The new library will sit in Campostella, which is in the southeastern corner of Norfolk, Virginia. Campostella was originally a Confederate encampment named by a confederate captain in honor of his oldest daughter Stella. The area is separated from downtown Norfolk by the Elizabeth River and was annexed by the city in 1923. Today, the area hosts a mixture of residential, commercial, and industrial uses. It is home to Colonna’s and Lyon Shipyards. Oak Leaf Park, an oak-leaf shaped housing development in Campostella, was built as World War II housing for African American workers employed in shipyards and private industries holding defense contracts. It was later converted into public housing in 1957.  The new library will be named for Norfolk native Richard Allen Tucker. A Howard University graduate, he was an ordained Baptist minister, a Norfolk Public Schools principal, husband and father. He was the second principal of the S. C Armstrong School, which was located on Cumberland Street and built in 1886. It was the first public school built specifically for African Americans in Norfolk. The Richard Tucker School opened in 1943 on the site where the new library is being built. The school building is remembered passionately as many residents or their parents and relatives attended the school.


The Richard A. Tucker Memorial Library will be located on a large corner parcel surrounded by native vegetation and wetlands and adjacent to the new Southside Aquatics Center. There are plans to develop a nature walk and recreation area, making the entire acreage into a multi-use public space. The new library will include a Nature Explorium, an outside nature classroom. The front corner of the lot is open for future development and/or an entry gateway. We imagine the artwork will be located at the front of the new building, scheduled to open in late spring 2020 but multiple pieces/sites are acceptable to best tell the story. A site plan and an image of the building can be seen at  

TIMELINE: This calendar is subject to change.

  • March 22, 2019, RFP issued
  • April 5, 2019, 5:00 EDT, Question deadline
  • May 3, 2019, 2:00 p.m. EST time, submittal due date and time
  • Summer 2019, selection announced
  • Spring 2020, completion of art


Up to three finalists may be selected to be interviewed by the Public Art Planning Committee via Skype. The finalists are not expected to complete a design at this stage but will be interviewed about past work and their creative process. There will also be a preliminary discussion of the site. The committee reserves the right to select the final artist without a finalist process.  Please note that a city contract will be issued with a design phase requiring review and approval by the Public Art Commission prior to fabrication.


The commission will be awarded based on many factors such as the aesthetic value, creativity and contemporary relevance of the proposed piece. The city will consider the diversity of beliefs and values and general standards of decency of the citizens who fund the commission and purchase public art for the City of Norfolk. The award will be made to the responsible offeror whose submission is determined in writing to be the most advantageous to the City taking into consideration the evaluation factors set forth in this Request for Proposal.

The following criteria will be used in the proposal evaluation process:

  • Artistic merit (excellence, originality, creativity and innovative approaches) as evidenced by submitted materials
  • Professional artistic experience to fulfill the requirements of this project either in studio, educational, community, employment and/or art projects and the ability to undertake the design, creation and installation of the artwork
  • Appropriateness of materials, style and concepts in relation to this prospectus


The following materials are required:

  1. Terms of Use, online agreement of compliance to all State of Virginia codes.
  2. Letter of Interest, not to exceed 1000 words, outlining your interest in this project and how you will approach the artwork design and creation.
  3. Resume, maximum of two (2) pages, outlining your professional accomplishments.  If submitting as a team, please include resumes for each team member, with each resume not exceeding two (2) pages.
  4. Artwork Images, selection of up to ten (10) images representing artworks most relevant to the scope of this opportunity.  You may submit up to two (2) video files if relevant to showing the artwork.
  5. References, three (3) professional references, including name, affiliated organization (if appropriate), email address, phone number, and relationship to each reference.


Submission must be submitted via Submittable or delivered to 810 Union Street, Suite 303, (City Hall Building) Norfolk, VA 23510 by 2:00 PM EST on May 3, 2019. Artists are highly encouraged to apply through Submittable. There is no application fee to apply or use the Submittable online application system.

QUESTIONS?  Questions about this project may be directed to Ashley Barnes, For assistance with the Submittable online application process, contact Submittable tech support at


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