The giant rings along the river are from a Denver-based artist. The forthcoming Maggie Walker statue is by a Maryland artist. And the emancipation proclamation statue coming to Brown’s Island is by an Oregon-based artist. (Side note: all white men.)
Every time a new public art project comes to town, folks are upset if it’s not by a Richmond artist. But, as public arts coordinator Ellyn Parker said at a Thursday Public Arts Commission meeting: “A local artist can't get the commission, if no local artist applies.”
To that end, Parker is encouraging local applications for an upcoming work to be installed front and center at the Hull Street Library, where a bush and sign now stand.
There are two informational meetings happening Feb. 28 at 6 p.m. and March 4 at 1 p.m. where artists can learn more about the project and how to apply. The allocation is $51,000 for the art, Parker says.
The official request for proposals will be posted after the meetings, but Parker shared this draft language with Style.
This Call for Artists requests proposals for original or existing artwork to be located in small plaza area in front of the Hull Street Library. The artwork should strengthen the identity of the library as a community asset and also help to create a sense of place. The location for the art work will be visible to library patrons, pedestrians and automobiles so the piece should be iconic and engaging, while considering that it is located in neighborhood library that is well utilized by both families and elderly residents and therefore should be a piece that can be relatable to all ages. The artwork needs to consider durability and weather and be suitable for longevity. This location is suitable for a sculpture, installation or other integrated piece of art that will complement the space. Electrical connection is available and a lighted piece of artwork is highly desired. No murals or paintings will be considered as appropriate submissions.
Commission members would also have you know that the bush being removed is quite small. “This is not an historic bush,” joked one member on Thursday.
Have at it, Richmond artists.