Call Detail
Antioch Library Replacement - Johnson County, KS One Percent for Art Projects
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Entry Deadline: 7/30/21
Application Closed
Work Sample Requirements
Images | Minimum:Min. 8, Maximum:Max. 15
Video | Minimum:Min. 0, Maximum:Max. 2
Total Samples | Minimum:Min. 8, Maximum:Max. 17
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: National
State: Kansas

Introduction.  The Johnson County Public Art Commission, on behalf of the Johnson County (KS) Public Building Commission and Johnson County Library, is seeking Artists or Artist Teams to closely collaborate with the Architect and Contractor to develop innovative, original art for a new Library to replace the Antioch Branch Library.

Eligibility.  The opportunity to compete for this project is open to all professional Artists residing in the United States, including emerging Artists in collaboration with other professional Artists.

Project Description.   A new 17,000 square foot Library is being planned to replace the Antioch Branch of the Johnson County Library system.  The Library will be located in the Vavra Development in Merriam, Kansas, with construction slated to start in Q1 of 2022.  The Architect for the Library is Dake Wells Architecture, and the Public Art Budget for the project is approximately $120,000 (one hundred twenty thousand dollars).  

Contracts.  The selected Artist will have two contracts for the project.  The first will include the design and documentation of the Artwork, and will be under the Architect’s contract with the Johnson County Public Building Commission.  The second contract will be for all fabrication, construction and installation of the Artwork, and will be under the Contractor’s contract with the Johnson County Public Building Commission

Background information.

Information about Comprehensive Library Master Plan 

Information about Johnson County Library

Submission Requirements.  Interested Artists should submit the following information: 

1. A PDF document that includes the following information:

  • A professional resume/CV (limit 3 pages). Artists working collaboratively must submit a resume/CV for each collaboration member.
  • A letter of interest (limit 2 pages) outlining your approach to developing Public Art for this project and the public realm in general.  What sources of inspiration would you bring to a community Library project on this site?  Are you interested in exploring the unique nature of a public library?  The unique physical conditions of the project site?  The historical context of Merriam?  What opportunities and challenges do you foresee?  What do you hope to gain from this experience?  What might help to differentiate you as an Artist for this project?
  • Three references with current contact information.
  • Up to three individual pieces of selected articles, catalogues, etc.

2. Fifteen (15) clearly labeled digital images of related past Artwork. In addition, up to two movie clips, with a maximum combined length of 3 minutes, can accompany the Images. 

Note that the Johnson County Facilities Management Office is not responsible for distortion or alteration of images as they appear on monitors as projected. 

Deadline.  Deadline for delivery of Submission is 30 July 2021 at 11:59 PM MDT.  Submissions received after this deadline will be automatically disqualified. 

Evaluation Criteria.  The Artist Selection Panel (ASP) will review and consider Submissions on a broad range of criteria including:  

  • Past experience and success:  Using resume / CV as a guide, does the Artist reflect a dedication to achieving successful Public Artwork installations over the course of their career?  Does the Artist’s past education, training, life experience, studio experience, exhibition experience and / or Public Art experience contribute to a likelihood of success on this project?  
  • Excellence in past Public Artwork.  Does the past work of the Artist reflect a consistent focus on excellence?  Does it show evidence of originality, innovation, of  craft, quality and enduring value?  Does it engage the audience on it's site, and promote interaction?  Does it spark a sense of joy, wonder, contemplation? Does it coordinate well with surrounding architecture and landscape? 
  • Capacity and resources to achieve success:  Based on Artist’s past projects and supported by their references, does the Artist’s operation have the capacity to effectively collaborate with the Design Team during the design phase; to fabricate well-crafted Artwork; and to coordinate with the Contractor to ensure a professional installation?
  • Overall approach to this project and site. The creation of Public Artwork that amplifies the experience of Place is critical.  Does the artist demonstrate a genuine interest in this specific project and site? Do they understand the potential of the artwork to tap into the cultural, historical and physical contexts of the site?
  • Maintenance:  Maintenance is a key concern. Does the Artist demonstrate experience working with materials appropriate to long-term installations? Are they able to provide detailed information on materials, and be open to working productively with a qualified professional art conservator to develop plans for long-term care?

Artist Selection.  Please review the Johnson County Public Art Master Plan before submitting. Per the process outlined in the Master Plan.

  • A diverse Artist Selection Panel (ASP) will be convened for this project. Based on a review of Submissions, the ASP will shortlist a number of Artist or Artist Teams to be interviewed..
  • Shortlisted Artists will be provided additional project information, as available, and will be required to present one or more proposed concepts.  An integrated Artwork that enriches the Library patrons’ experience of place is a desired outcome.
  • A $1,000 stipend will be paid for the development of proposals/finalist interviews.
  • There will be a single site visit / meeting opportunity with the Architect to assist Artists as they prepare for interviews.  Non-local Artists will be given an additional travel stipend.  
  • Interviews should include the Artist’s vision and maintenance for the Artwork.  In addition to the concept, a project budget should be presented.  Additional information about the interviews will be provided to the shortlisted Artists. Following the interviews, the ASP will recommend one or more concepts from the selected Artist to the Johnson County Public Art Commission.

Artwork Contract #1:  Design Contract.  Following approval of the selected Artist and concept by the Johnson County Public Art Commission, the ASP-recommended Artist will be contracted through the Architect for the design and documentation scope to further develop, refine and finalize their proposed concept.  Note that development of the Concept will occur during Construction Documentation of the Library.  Artist will make a 50% Concept Development presentation to the Architect and the Project Management for feedback.  Following refinement of the Concept, Artist to present Final Concept, including a detailed budget and maintenance plan, to the Architect and the Project Management team.  Artist will then present the Final Concept to the Johnson County Public Art Commission in order to obtain their affirmative recommendation. Following affirmative recommendation, the Artist will then finalize design documents to close out Artwork Contract #1, with the Architect.  

Artwork Contract #2: Fabrication and Installation Contract.   With the final approved design documents, budget and maintenance requirements in hand, the Artist will then contract directly with the Contractor to fabricate and install the Artwork.  This contract will be developed by the Contractor at a later date.  Final Artwork cost to include all aspects of design, fabrication, transportation, installation and lighting and any other work scopes required to realize the Artwork.  Final Artwork cost may include:

  • excavation, site remediation and landscaping if required by the Artwork
  • electrical work and fixtures such as lighting if required by the Artwork
  • work by licensed structural engineer or other engineers  if required by the Artwork
  • travel expenses
  • general liability insurance
  • commercial auto insurance

Questions regarding this Call for Artists.  Questions related to this project should be emailed to  by 16 July 2021 by 3PM CST. Questions received by this deadline will be answered in writing on this CaFE Call for Artists listing via an addendum.

Additional clarifications. 

  • A Schematic Design for the Library does not yet exist, nor will it by the submission deadline.  The Architect will engage with the shortlisted Artists immediately after the announcement of the shortlist, and will share design insights on the design at that time.  It is hoped that these design insights will help spark the Artist’s imagination for engaging, integrated Artwork concepts.  The Architect is enthusiastic about the potential to collaborate with the Artist, and looks forward to provide insights with regard to lighting, safety, durability, etc.  
  • Artwork Concepts are not necessary for this initial Submittal!  Your Letter of Interest should just communicate your overall insights on how you might approach developing Artwork for this site and project type.  What sparks your interest in this opportunity?
  • There are no preconceptions on what the Artwork should be, or where it should be located within the Library.   We are open to Artwork that brings joy, sparks curiosity, sparks a sense of wonder, makes one think, engages one with the place…all the things that great art can do.
  • Artwork that is specific to this site and responsive to this opportunity  is highly preferred to Artwork that has already been completed by the Artist.
  • All documentation, shop drawings and specifications for the Artwork are to be by the Artist.  After all approvals, Artwork location will be shown generally by the Architect in the Construction Documents, referencing documentation by the Artist which--depending on the nature of the Artwork--may be included in the Construction Documents for information purposes.

Timeline (dates subject to change)

2 July, 2021:                 Call for Artists distributed

16 July 2021 (3 PM CST):      Clarification / Questions deadline

30 July, 2021:     Call for Artists submission deadline

3 September 2021:             Shortlisted Artists announced

21 September 2021:          Site visit for shortlisted Artists

7 October 2021:             Concept presentations for shortlisted Artists

12 October 2021:              Selected Artist announced

26 October 2021:              Artist contracts with Architect for Design

December 2021:              50% Artwork Concept Development Presentation by Artist

Mid-February 2022:          Final Artwork Concept Approvals 

Late-February 2022:          Artist contracts with Contractor for Fabrication and Installation

April 2022 (anticipated):      Library construction begins

Q2 2022 - Q1 2023:          Construction continues, Artist fabricates work

March 2023 (anticipated):      Construction wraps up, Artist installs work

Additional Information.

History of Merriam, KS, Compiled by Amanda Wahlmeier, Local History Librarian.  Merriam has a long history of innovation and diversity in Johnson County. While originally inhabited by the Kaw tribe, the Shawnee tribe of Ohio and Missouri were displaced by the U.S. Government to the Johnson County area in 1826. In 1836, Quaker missionaries followed and founded the Shawnee Friends Mission at what is today 61st St and Hemlock St, where they set up a school and Friends meeting house to serve the Native Americans.

In 1864, a Native American woman named Mary Parks sold her land to David Gee Campbell, a white man from Tennessee. Not much is known about either party, but the surrounding town was originally named Campbellton in his honor. The town name was not to stay for long as the railroad came through in 1870 and changed everything. The town name was changed to Merriam in honor of Charles Merriam, a Kansas City, Fort Scott, and Gulf railway employee.

Merriam has long been the home to Johnson County’s natural recreation, including Merriam Park (1880), Hocker Grove Amusement Park (1907), and Antioch Park (1959). You can read more about these historic parks on the Johnson County History blog:

Among other firsts, Merriam had the first Bell Telephone office (1908), first public library (1956), first full-service hospital (1962), and was the first home of the community college (1969) in Johnson County. However, the city was not incorporated until 1950.

Merriam’s national impact came with the Webb vs School District 290 court case (1949). This school desegregation case served as a precursor to the Brown v. Topeka Board of Education case that changed our nation’s education system. Corinthian Nutter, a teacher at the dilapidated Walker School for black children, served as the primary catalyst to integrate her students with the white children at the newly built South Park School. You can learn more about this landmark case from a recent ‘The Past is Prologue’ program:

Other Resources:

Clarifications / Questions Answered:

  • Are you open to 2D designers (muralists, mosaic artists) than can work with your team and local fabricators to design an all-inclusive art experience? Or are you more so looking for 3D artists such as sculptors and architects for this project? 
    • There are no preconceptions on what the Artwork should be, or where it should be located within the Library. We are open to original, site / context specific Artwork that brings joy, sparks curiosity, sparks a sense of wonder, makes one think, engages one with the place… all the things that great art can do.
  • I am the artist who created murals for the Lenexa City Center Library, part of the Johnson County Library System, and would like to know if I am eligible to submit for another Public Art Commission for a second Johnson County Library.
    • Having created public artwork for Johnson County in the past does not disqualify you from this opportunity. 
  • Is large metal sculpture an acceptable medium for this site?
    • "Acceptable" depends on the actual proposal and how it works together with the site context and the architecture, to bring about some of the goals previously mentioned (i.e. brings joy, sparks curiosity, sparks a sense of wonder, makes one think, engages one with the place… all the things that great art can do.)
  • Is interactive metal sculpture involving sound or music an acceptable approach for this site?
    • Similar to the previous question, "acceptable" depends on context. There is nothing precluding public art with a sound component, it would just need to be carefully considered.
  • If I am to understand the CaFE correctly, there are no schematic or master plans of the new library?
    • That is correct. Per the Call for Artists, the Schematic Design for the Library does not yet exist, nor will it by the submission deadline. The Design Team is currently developing a few concepts for feedback from Johnson County. The Design Team will engage with the shortlisted Artists after the announcement of the shortlist, and will share design insights at that time.
  • I am an artist from Spain/France. I would like to send you a proposal for the Antioch Library project. In order to do that, could you send me some details about the space?
    • The opportunity to compete for this project is open to all professional Artists residing in the United States, regardless of nationality, including emerging Artists in collaboration with other professional Artists. A Schematic Design for the Library does not yet exist, per answers to previous questions.

Application Requirements

Eligibility Criteria