Call Detail
Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library - Price Hill Branch Sculpture

Entry Deadline: Rolling
Work Sample Requirements
Images | Minimum:Min. 3, Maximum:Max. 8
Total Samples | Minimum:Min. 3, Maximum:Max. 8
Call Type: Proposals
Eligibility: Regional
State: Ohio
Budget: $40,000


This commission opportunity with the Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library will result in the selection of an artist/artist team that will create a unique and permanent outdoor public art installation at the Price Hill public library branch. This Call to Artists includes a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) and a Request for Proposal(s) (RFP) where interested applicants are asked to offer an idea or vision for outdoor public sculpture.


Partnership Overview: 

Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library and ArtWorks will lead the overall strategic input process for artist selection to ensure the final artwork appeals to audiences of all ages and meets the design criteria. This committee will review artist submissions and interview artist(s) prior to any one artist or artist team being invited to move forward in the design process.  

Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library: Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library has been cultivating curiosity from the moment we first opened our doors in 1853. Since then, we have evolved into one of the biggest and busiest libraries in the country: supporting minds of all kinds who seek to unlock their full potential. With 41 neighborhood branches, a vast range of programming, and an ever-growing collection of virtual resources, we're proud to be a place where everyone can learn without limits. 

ArtWorks: ArtWorks, now in its 26th year, is an award-winning Greater Cincinnati nonprofit that has pioneered public art and economic impact throughout the region with a mission to transform people and places through investments in creativity. ArtWorks co-creates public art with community leaders that build civic pride and beautifies the region, creating jobs for over 300 artists annually, including youth, ages 14-21, earning a living wage. Economic empowerment, mentorship, and upward mobility are critically important for youth and artists who are underemployed and youth who come from a majority of underserved households. Since 1996, ArtWorks has employed nearly 4000 youth and 3,500 creative professionals, and the organization has completed more than 14,000 public and private artworks of art that include over 200 permanent outdoor murals, as well as public sculpture, and light-based installations as part of BLINK, all contributing to the region’s global reputation as an arts destination. ​ArtWorks is based in the neighborhood Walnut Hills in Historic Peebles Corner with a new storefront and youth gallery and is part of the burgeoning arts district in Cincinnati’s second downtown.


Opportunity Overview:

The Library is committed to the community’s well-being and to contributing to the effort of building a bright future for all Cincinnati and Hamilton County residents. As a part of this commitment, the Library will undergo a decade-long process to upgrade its facilities. Thanks to the residents of Hamilton County, the Library will receive approximately $19 million in additional funding for the next ten years beginning in April 2019, for a total of $190 million for much-needed system-wide improvements across its 41 locations, including the Price Hill Branch. System-wide facilities work has not been undertaken in generations. To ensure that taxpayer funds are used ethically, efficiently, and effectively, the Library worked with experts to create a Facility Master Plan. The development of the Plan engaged over 3,000 community members to listen and learn from the community about what their biggest needs are and how the Library, with its 41 locations, can be re-envisioned to serve not just today’s generation but also generations to come. The implementation of the plan is being called Building the Next Generation Library and seeks to abide by a series of guiding principles which are “customer focused,” “diverse and inclusive,” “industry leading excellence,” “maximizing access,” “sustainability,” and “transparency.” 

As part of the planned renovations for the Price Hill Library located at 970 Purcell Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45205, dedicated space has been identified on the front lawn for new and unique public art. This is an exciting opportunity to transform the exterior of the Price Hill branch and engage public residents and visitors. As part of the larger renovation plan, an art installation will help create a strong anchoring presence, as a unique and iconic work on the public lawn that invites delight from audiences of all ages.  Successful art will be welcoming, inclusive, intriguing, engaging to individuals of all abilities, and attractive to diverse and multi-generational audiences, speaking to “Minds of All Kinds.” 

The piece itself should be durable and easy to maintain over many years to come, and the material(s) used should be suitable and appropriate for a permanent public art piece. Artwork may not impede surrounding sidewalks and will leave all right-of-ways clear and accessible for pedestrians. Additionally, while the artwork should be engaging and interactive for visitors, it is important to note that the piece should not be climbable, and it should not require electricity. 

The artist/artist team should have experience with and demonstrate a willingness to take community and partner committee feedback into consideration as part of the design development phase. The artist/artist team should conduct independent research about the history and current community of Price Hill, and the artist(s) should consider the following keywords and phrases as inspiration for proposal development. 

Key Words & Phrases

  • Inclusive
  • Equitable
  • Accessible
  • Iconic
  • Intrigue
  • Delight/Fun
  • Whimsy
  • Next Generation
  • Minds of all Kinds
  • Community Roots
  • Interactive/Engaging


About - Price Hill Branch Library Renovation:

The two-story Carnegie Price Hill Branch Library opened in 1909. In 2018, a partial ceiling collapse led to the closure of the building and the decision to renovate and expand the branch. The LEED-certified branch is now fully ADA accessible. Extensive community engagement guided a design that carved out spaces for quiet study, added large and small meeting rooms, as well as family-friendly kids and teen spaces with hands-on play and learning. In response to the influx of Spanish-speaking customers, bi-lingual signs and Spanish language titles were incorporated. By excavating the site and turning the original basement into the building’s new first floor, key elements from the original building were maintained. The skylight and tiled entry foyer were restored as the old 1st-floor was reinvented to now be the new 2nd-floor large meeting rooms. Nods to historical elements were incorporated in the new addition, including interior octagonal tile and matching brick masonry as well as tile transitions between old and new guide customers through the new & original construction. 


Launch of Combined RFQ/RFP: August 5, 2022

RFQ/RFP Closed: October 23, 2022

Initial Review of Application by ArtWorks; Up to 5 Applications are Advanced to the Library for Review: Week of October 24, 2022

Library & ArtWorks Review “Finalists:” Week of October 31, 2022

Selected Artist/Artist Team Contracted: November 11, 2022

Final Design Development with Library: November - December 2022

Fabrication/Production: December 2022 - May 2023 

Site Preparations: May 2023

Sculpture Installed at Price Hill Branch (by): May 31, 2023



The budget for the artwork is $40,000 to be paid to the selected artist(s) for the successful completion of the artwork including all expenses such as but not limited to design fee, materials, labor, fabrication, shipping, installation costs, etc. 

The selected artist(s) will be asked to submit a detailed budget following confirmation and selection for the opportunity. The artist(s) should work closely with the Library to determine and approve all costs, including installation expenses, prior to the start of fabrication to ensure a feasible project plan that can be completed with quality within the budget parameters.


Selection Criteria: 

(RFQ) Demonstrates prior experience and/or skill in the areas of:

  • Designing large-scale, site-specific, permanent public sculpture
  • Creating sculpture that is engaging, exciting, and thought-provoking
  • Incorporating community and/or committee feedback on design development

(RFQ) Quality Samples of Past Work 

(RFQ/RFP) Artistic Aesthetic

(RFP) Unique and Clear Vision for the Price Hill Library Sculpture  

NOTE: Selected artist(s) may be asked to attend an in-person (if local) or remote interview with the selection committee to further discuss the artist/artist team’s application materials, qualifications, interest, and vision for this opportunity.


Submission Instructions

Part 1: Request for Qualifications (RFQ): 


  • Contact Information*
  • Website*
  • Previous relevant art commissions*
  • Exhibitions, awards, grants
  • Education
  • References* - Please include at least three (3) art and/or design professionals who have detailed knowledge of the artist’s work and working methods, including fulfilling deadlines, working with the community, etc. Include a contact name, organization, address, telephone, and email for each reference

*  -  indicates required materials

Existing Artwork Images

  • Submit a minimum of two (2) and up to three (3) relevant images of completed artworks and/or commissions from the last ten years.
  • Accompanying the images with a reference sheet detailing high-level information about each chosen piece such as but not limited to: Title, Date, Location, Media/Material, Budget, etc.

Letter of Interest - Please include the following information in a 1-page letter of interest: 

  • Contact Information (name, address, phone number, and website for artist group and/or all individual artist team members)
  • Description of your interest in working on this project
  • Description of most relevant comparable projects from the last ten years
  • Description of philosophy on public art and/or creative placemaking
  • In reference to the Selection Criteria section, discuss your/your team’s eligibility for this opportunity

Part 2: Request for Proposal (RFP): 

Concept Description - Submit a 1 - 2 page concept description that discusses your vision/idea for this opportunity. Consider the following questions as you draft your description: 

  • How does this proposed artwork represent the Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library?
  • How does this proposed artwork represent the community of Price Hill?
  • What makes this artwork interactive and engaging?
  • What materials will be used to make the artwork permanent and long-lasting?

Concept Images - Submit a minimum of three (3) and up to five (5) sketches or renderings that help visually communicate your vision for this artwork.

NOTE: If selected, the artist(s) will have the opportunity to further render and develop their ideas into a “final design.” The committee understands and expects that the submitted images/concept(s) are preliminary. 

Concept Budget - Submit a preliminary budget draft inclusive of design fee, labor, materials, shipping, installation, etc. for the proposed artwork.



  1. Artist(s) must be based in or have direct ties to the midwest region.
  2. Artist(s) who have experience managing, designing, and completing site-specific public art commissions with budgets over $25,000 within the past ten (10) years are eligible; or those who can demonstrate equivalent skills and experience.
  3. Artist(s) of all backgrounds are encouraged to participate in the RFQ/RFP process.