Call to Ward 7 and Ward 8 Artists and Writers!

News Releases

Call to Ward 7 and Ward 8 Artists and Writers!

The D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH), in collaboration with DC Public Library, is seeking East-of-the-River artists, including writers, to submit proposals for four prominent areas inside the new Benning and Anacostia libraries, which are expected to open in spring 2010. The proposed artwork sites provide artists and writers the opportunity to display their work in a large-scale format in a public building.

There are two designated places for art in each building: one is in or near the children’s area and the other is in the adult area of the library. Both libraries have very open floor plans; therefore the artist must be sensitive that the children’s art will be seen from the adult area and vice versa. More detailed descriptions of the art spaces are outlined later in this document.

The art may include, but is not limited to, artists who work with mixed media, fiber arts, photography, graphics, lighting, the written word, and other materials and techniques that can be transferred in a digital print or transparent material. One of the artworks may be rendered in glass.

Themes for the artworks may include concepts of creativity, learning, imagination, ingenuity, the freedom of ideas, the freedom to read and view, and/or the importance of libraries. The artwork should also celebrate the unique history and cultures of the Benning and Anacostia communities.

Artist Eligibility: Open to all artists and writers who reside or work in Ward 7 or Ward 8.

Project Description:  Each library has two designated spaces for public artwork, which are described below and can be seen in the attached drawings.  Artists and writers may submit separate proposals for ANY or ALL of the four designated spaces.

Benning Library (3935 Benning Road N.E.):

1. Children’s Area Mural:  The east wall, located in the Children’s Area, is approximately 135 feet long and varies in height from 13 feet to 16 feet, though there are shorter sections in the middle. This wall should be colorful and bold, having appeal to children as well as adults. While the mural adjoins several different areas, it should have the feeling of a cohesive single mural.

2. Adult Area Mural: The west wall is approximately 100 feet long and varies in height from 12 feet to 16 feet. Given its open location, the mural will have a more public character, and could reflect the library’s mission through quotes, poetry, or other forms of text.

Anacostia Library (18th and Good Hope Road S.E.):

1. Transparent Wall: At the entry of the library is a space for a transparent wall that may be rendered in glass or other materials. This art piece welcomes all library visitors and forms the boundary between the main library entrance and the children’s space. The dimensions of the opening are 10’6” x 6’10”, and it sits on top of a 1’2” built-in bench. While this wall faces the children’s area on its reverse side, the piece should relate to everyone who enters the library, not just children. In addition, the artwork should supplement the strong architectural language of the building.

2. Adult Area Mural: This wall, 26’ (wide) by 10’ (height), runs parallel to the main circulation path of the building and faces the adult book stack and reading areas. The art should be strong and powerful and supplement the strong architectural language of the building. The artwork at this location could be a single image or a group of images that forms a single unified composition or concept.  

Selection Process
A panel representing diverse interests and expertise, including representatives from DCCAH, the library, the respective architectural firms and the local communities will review submissions and select artists or artist teams. Selected artists will work with fabricators to translate or revise their concepts into high resolution digital files for enlargement and production.  A fabrication workshop will take place in September. Once converted to large-scale computer graphics, selected proposals will be applied as a wall-covering, silk-screened text or applied letters. The artist whose concept will be rendered in glass at the Anacostia Library will apprentice with a professional glass artist. All selected artists will need to work closely with the library, DCCAH and the architectural teams to verify final field dimensions and conditions.
Each artist who is selected will receive an honorarium of $2,500.

Deadline for Submissions          August 21, 2009 at 5:30 pm
Review of Submissions              Early September 2009
Notification to Finalists              September 15, 2009
Fabrication Workshop               Late September or Early October 2009
Final Submissions                    October 30, 2009
Production                                November - December 2009
Installation                                March 2010
Submission Requirements
Please send the following to be considered for this project:

1.Completed Application Form. If you would prefer to type your information, please follow the format below. Make sure you include your full Legal Name (Professional Name if applicable), Address, Daytime and Evening Telephone, E-mail Address.

2. Original digital images (using the template provided) on CD-R, sketches, drawings or descriptions based on any or all of the following themes: concepts of creativity, learning, imagination, ingenuity, the freedom of ideas, the freedom to read and view, and/or the importance of libraries, along with five (5) jpg images of previous artwork.  Submit only “high” quality jpgs (do not use GIFs, TIFFs or other formats.) Each file must be less than 5 MB. Files must be labeled with a number indicating the viewing order, followed by the artist’s last name.  Please label the library proposals clearly.  Example:  01_Jones; 02_Jones.  The numbers must correspond to the accompanying Image List. Use “0” in front of single digit numbers. Do not use more than 30 characters, and use only letters, numbers and underscores.  If using Mac OS 8 or 9, include a “.jpg” extension at the end of each image.  Example: 01_Jones.jpg.  All images will be viewed on PCs, not Macs.  Do not embed images into PowerPoint or submit moving images or audio files.  Images submitted in any other format other than specified will be disqualified. Slides will not be accepted.

3. Current résumé highlighting any experience with site-specific work and public art commissions.

4. A printed version of the library proposal(s) on 8.5x11 white paper.

If you would like your materials returned, please provide a self-addressed stamped envelope with sufficient postage and a large enough envelope to accommodate submitted material.
Please make a copy of the application to keep for your records.
Contact Rachel Dickerson at
phone: 202-724-5613
TDD:    202-727-3148
Mail or Deliver Entries by August 21, 2009 at 5:30 p.m. to:
D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities
ATTN: Benning and Anacostia Libraries
1371 Harvard St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20009
What: Application Form
Deadline: Friday, August 21, 2009, 5:30 p.m.
Artist Honorarium: $2,500