Artists needed for new valley library

The city and borough of Juneau is looking for artists to design, produce, and install public art in the new Mendenhall Valley Public Library.

Scheduled completion for the library isn’t until 2015, but it’s not too early to start thinking about artwork.

“For this art project, the reason it’s out right now and we’re looking for an artist is because the design is not complete and the design team has decided that they would like to integrate the art into the design somewhat, so that’s part of the reason we’re putting it out now instead of after the building is being fully designed and being constructed,” says Jennifer Mannix is contract administrator for the CBJ.

The new library will be located in Dimond Park. NorthWind architect James Bibb is part of the design team. He says the new library will play a key role in the Valley, “The Valley is sort of considered to be a suburb where there’s not a very definitive sort of city center or center for the neighborhood as much, but Dimond Park has become sort of the next what we see as a very central location for community activity with the school system there, the swimming pool, the ball fields.”

The selection panel wants the artists to incorporate certain themes into their proposed work. Community is one of them. Another is integration with the natural environment.

“Artworks that respond to our weather, our land forms, our waterways, flora and fauna, other features, and because the library is designed to have a very nice connection to the outside, art works that enhance rather than obscure that connection, ” says Donna Pierce, library project manager

The call for artists is part of CBJ’s Art in Public Places program. One percent of the library’s construction costs must go toward art. The selection panel will decide how that money gets spent.

“Artists have the option of proposing in different price ranges. The total budget for the project is $105,000, so the panel could select several different pieces of art that add up to that or they might just select one large one,” Mannix says.

The city is advertising for artists nationwide. Proposals are due October 4th.

A pre-submittal meeting takes place 10 am today in CBJ’s engineering department conference room in the Marine View Building. Mannix, Bibb, and Pierce will be present to answer questions.

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