The City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), working with the Chicago Public Library, invites professional artists to submit their interest in a public art commission for the new Greater Grand Crossing Branch Library. This commission opportunity is to create a site-specific artwork that responds to the community’s clearly stated desire that the public art for their library be reflective of intellectual curiosity, creativity and a thirst for knowledge expressed in a visually sophisticated manner. Uniquely, this library is a partner in Pocket Con, a comic conference held in the neighborhood for Chicago teens and focusing on underrepresented populations in the comic genre. The local youth and parent awareness of Anime and graphic novels is high. All media will be considered but it is essential that it have low maintenance requirements. The panel has identified the large wall in the main entry and the “frieze band” wall sections immediately over the bookshelves in the Reading Room as primary sites for consideration. There is also an outdoor reading garden. Artists may propose for any public area of the library and grounds. The panel will select semi-finalists in June who will be paid honoraria to develop proposals by September with finalist being selected in October. Installation by the commissioned finalist is expected within one year of contracting.
RFI due in CAFÉ by June 14, 10:59 PM CST.
Semi-finalists selected in July.
Proposals due in September.
Finalist selected by October.
Total project budget: $44,335.00
Application deadline: 11:59pm CST, June 14, 2015
Please note: If you have previously submitted materials to DCASE’s Artist Registry, you still need to apply to this call in order to be considered for the opportunity at Greater Grand Crossing Branch Library. DCASE’s Public Art Program reserves the right to commission artists who do not apply.
1000 E. 73rd Street
The Greater Grand Crossing Branch Library is located at the 100 East 73rd Street. The 8,800 square foot full-service facility opened to the public in 2011 and is now a very well used community resource. It is LEED Gold certified and was designed by the architectural firm of Lohan Anderson.
Please note that the decorative painted “Sullivanesque” frieze band in the images of the Reading Room has been removed and where it was located is one of the primary sites available for this commission.
Links to information and photographs about the library:
Community Demographics: Today Greater Grand Crossing is a largely residential community with a few businesses. It is located in the 5th Ward represented by Alderman Leslie Hairston and protected by the 3rd Chicago Police District. According to the City of Chicago Census Report, as of 2010, Greater Grand Crossing has a population of 32,602. The U.S. Census 2010 Demographic Profile Data Report reported that 97.4%of the population is African-American and has a median household income of $33,632.
Library History: The Chicago Public Library Greater Grand Crossing Branch opened to the public on Saturday, April 23, 2011. It is an 8,900 sq.ft. environmentally sustainable building that came complete with a $500,000 collection, 24 Internet computers, one community meeting room, rooftop garden, and public reading garden. It is the first library to be built in the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood and the first construction of the new 8,900 prototype branch. The Comer Family Reading Garden located to the left of the library opened to the public on April 19, 2012. The garden contains three designated reading areas highlighting the themes of classic literature, Chicago authors, and popular children’s literature.
The Chicago Public Library Greater Grand Crossing Branch serves six elementary schools, three high schools, one private school, and two Chicago Park Districts. The library is also surrounded by many churches.
Children and Young Adult Programming: The Children Services Department introduced the new Summer Learning Challenge Full STEAM Ahead program in 2013. A significant change from the summer reading program in past years, the Summer Learning Challenge encourages learning throughout the summer with a specific focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. Some of the programs the Greater Grand Crossing branch provided to the community were STEAM Time (consists of reading, Five Minute Science, and a Creation Station for hands-on science and engineering projects); Mini Mad Science; and Goo, Globs, & Guts. A great surprise at the end of the Summer Learning Challenge was a donation of $704.43 from the Greater Grand Crossing Neighbors Organization to congratulate the kids for all their hard work during the summer. The donation was presented to the library by President Shirley Woodard at the Summer Learning Challenge Awards Party.
Another great program led by the Children’s Department is Book Buddies. This program invites teenagers to come to the library and help younger kids practice their reading. We had 171 teen and elementary kids participating in Book Buddies by the end of December 2013.
Two major teen programs happened this year. Greater Grand Crossing Library and the Gary Comer Youth Center hosted its 2nd annual Pocket Con- a single day comic convention for teens that focuses on work by artists of color. Kendra worked with Elgin from GCYC to organize and host a variety of panel discussions, author presentations, and cartooning workshops all promoting literacy through the graphic novel format. Pocket Con took place on Saturday July 6 at both Greater Grand Crossing and Gary Comer Youth Center locations. It had 120 attendees.
In response to the major violence plaguing Chicago’s South Side, the Young Adult Services department presented Teen Volume: How Long Will I Cry at the Gary Comer Youth Center on March 3, 2013 and 300 people attended. Presented by the Steppenwolf Theater Company, this performance portrayed first-hand accounts of the tragic consequences of youth violence.
Adult Programming: Adult programming decreased a bit in 2013 as one librarian was promoted to the Branch Manager position at the North Austin branch leaving only one librarian in the Adult Services department. The Grand Crossing Community Book Club has averaged about four participants each month since June 2013. Titles read in 2013 included Black Water Rising by Attica Locke, Fire Sale by Sara Paretsky, and The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson.
Although adult programming did decrease somewhat in 2013, a strong connection was developed with the Renaissance Adult Day Center on 79th and Greenwood Avenue in Chatham. A group of 10-12 seniors visit the library twice a month to participate in different craft activities, film screenings, and library performances. These activities help seniors who suffer from dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other diseases to retain their social skills, memory, and some physical coordination. A librarian also visits the adult day center quarterly for book discussions in which the seniors participate whole heartedly. The discussions are very enjoyable. This year the seniors read (and listened to on audio CD) The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.
There were other popular programming for all adults in 2013 as well. Greater Grand Crossing presented its first foreign film screening, Quarantina (Iraq) as part of the Global Lens Film Project in January. The Art Institute of Chicago presented They Seek A City: Chicago and the Art of Migration 1910-1950 in February. Curator Shahrazad Shareef presented an art lecture on foreign and southern-born artists and their contribution to the art landscape in Chicago. In October, Al DeGenova presented Bob Prosody, Jazz, and the Practice of Spontaneous Poetics. This workshop introduced patrons to the relationship between jazz and poetry.
Outreach: The Chicago Public Library Greater Grand Crossing Branch continued its outreach efforts in 2013 by making school visits and attending various Beat 324 CAPS meetings. Children and Young Adult Services cancelled our outreach with Woodhull Park District due to inconsistent staffing at their location.
Collection Highlights: The collection of the Greater Grand Crossing Library includes Fiction and Non-Fiction books for adults, juveniles, and young adults; magazines and newspapers; fiction and nonfiction DVDs; access to Chicago Public Library databases; and adult and juvenile reference materials. The branch also has WIFI connectivity. Our most popular collections are still African-American fiction, cooking, and exam testing collections.
Uber Urban Fiction: Our most popular collection is our African-American fiction collection which contains books written by black authors from historic classics to contemporary urban fiction.
Crazy for Cooking! We have over 200 books in our cooking collection from new cookbooks to old favorites. The cooking collection covers a spectrum of food interests such as vegan/vegetarian cooking, baking, slow cooking, and cooking for diabetics.
In 1978, Chicago City Council unanimously approved a Percent for Art ordinance that requires 1.33 percent of municipal construction or renovation costs be allocated to commission public art at the facility. The art budget for this project is $44,335.
DCASE’s Public Art staff will oversee the process and developed the selection panel in consultation with the Chicago Public Library and the Department of Fleet and Facility Management.
The art community panelists are:
Three Public Art Community Forums have been held to gather community input to inform panelists during the selection process.
On May 13, 6pm, a community forum about the RFI and the CAFÉ application process for artists interested in applying for the project will be held at the Greater Grand Crossing Branch Library (1000 E. 73rd St., Chicago, IL 60619). Please watch our website for more information.
After the application deadline, submissions will be reviewed by the selection panel. That process will identify a short list of semi-finalists to whom honoraria will be paid to develop formal proposals. Semifinalists will be contacted in June, and their proposals will be due in September.
After the panel interviews the semifinalists and reviews their proposals, they will recommend a finalist(s) for commission. A final Public Art Community Forum will be held for discuss with the community the recommended proposal.
Deadline = 11:59pm CST, June 14, 2015
All applicants must submit the following:
1. A letter of interest that indicates why this specific opportunity at the Greater Grand Crossing Branch Library is a match for the applicant’s work. Applicants are encouraged to review the attached information and visit the library before applying. In addition, applicants should elaborate on how their work may embody the community and panel’s interest in intellectual curiosity, creativity and the thirst for knowledge in a manner that appeals to all sectors of the library’s audience, youth and adult alike.
2. A resume that clearly highlights the applicant’s past experience and training relevant to this opportunity (no more than 3 pages – saved as a .pdf or .doc file).
3. 6-10 images of past work that best demonstrate the applicant’s skill and craftsmanship. One video, edited to no more than 2 minutes in length, may also be submitted but is not required.
4. An annotated image list that includes the title, media, year completed, dimensions, and retail or commission price (if applicable) for each corresponding image. If a video is submitted, please include 2-3 sentences that describe its context.