Call Detail
City of Chicago Northtown Branch Public Library

Contact Email:
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: Regional
State: Illinois
Entry Deadline: 12/22/17
Application Closed
Images - Minimum: 4, Maximum: 6
Total Media - Minimum: 4, Maximum: 6

In a public/private partnership with the Chicago Public Library, Chicago Housing Authority, Illinois Housing Development Authority, and the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), Evergreen Real Estate Group invites professional artists to submit their qualifications for a public art commission for the new Northtown Branch Library. This commission opportunity is for a large two-dimensional or shallow relief wall mounted artwork. The Selection Panel has identified the large wall in the main entrance as the primary site for consideration. While a variety of media will be considered, the community has expressed a desire for mosaic. The community has a demonstrated interest in site-specific artwork that responds to the community’s clearly stated desire that the public art for their library be reflective of community diversity, as well as intellectual curiosity, creativity and a thirst for knowledge expressed in a visually sophisticated manner. The Selection Panel has identified the large wall (currently sized at 26 feet tall x 20 feet wide) in the main entry as primary site for consideration.


· RFQs due 12/22/2017.

· 3 semi-finalists will be selected by 2/1/2018 to develop formal proposals. A $500 honoraria will be paid.

· Proposals due 4/2/2018.

· Finalist for commission selected by 4/30/2018.

· The general contractor will have the artwork site available to the artist by 10/30/2018. The selected artist will have until mid-December 2018 to complete and install the artwork.

· The proposal and commission contracts will be awarded through and administered by the Evergreen Real Estate Group, the project developer.

APPLICATION DEADLINE 11:59pm CST, 12 / 22 / 2017

6800 North Western Avenue, Chicago, IL 60645

The new Northtown Branch Library, located at 6800 North Western Avenue, will replace the existing Northtown branch located at 6435 North California. The new building is currently in the design phase by Architects Perkins + Will and represents a new urban typology, co-locating affordable senior housing with a community library to encourage life-long learning, collaboration, and exploration. Double height glazed lobbies connect the library with the senior housing, inspiring community interaction between the inside and outside, the public and private. Modular cross-laminated timber housing floors wind above from the west to the southeast, enlivening the typical residential corridor while creating roof gardens that acknowledge the public park to the east and the quiet residential neighborhood to the west. Link to Northtown Branch Library website:

Community Demographics: West Ridge – population 71,942*

White: 36,971


Black: 8,292


Hispanic: 14,701




Pacific Islander: 17


Library History: The first Northtown Branch opened in a storefront at 2502 W. Devon Avenue in 1939. It quickly outgrew the space and later moved to another storefront on Devon Avenue. In the 1950’s the neighborhood was booming, and it was decided that the community needed a dedicated facility. The current Northtown Branch opened on January 29, 1962, and has served the West Ridge community for 55 years. West Ridge is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in Chicago, and is home to many a wide variety of ethnic groups.

Library Service Highlights: The Northtown Branch provides a variety of services and programming for all ages. Services include access to desktop and laptop computers, free WiFi, community meeting space, English as a Second Language materials, a Citizenship Corner, and reference librarians.

Children and Young Adult Programming: Programming includes homework help, Lego club, STEM programming, story time, playgroup time, holiday programs and the Summer Learning Challenge.

Adult Programming: Programming includes Money Smart programs, participation in One Book, One Chicago, local history programs, and book discussions.

Outreach: The Northtown Branch is very active in its outreach to the community through its programming. They also partner with several community agencies that serve refugees and recent immigrants to provide support for their programs.

Collection Highlights: The Northtown Branch has an extensive catalogue, and includes materials available in Russian, Spanish, Hindi, Bengali, Urdu and Arabic.

Budget is: $50,000.00

All applicants must submit the following:

· A letter of interest that provides a brief statement indicating how the artist sees their work aligning with the project brief.

· A resume that clearly highlights the applicants past experience and training relevant to this opportunity (no more than 3 pages saved as a .pdf or .doc file).

· 4-6 images of past work that best demonstrate the applicant’s skill and craftsmanship.

· An annotated image list that includes the title, media, year completed, dimensions, and retail or commission price (if applicable) for each corresponding image.

This call is open to all regional and Chicago-based professional artists.

APPLICATION DEADLINE 11:59pm CST, 12 / 22 / 2017

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