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Indepth Arts News:

"Call for Artists: Artwork for the New Central Library"
2003-03-28 until 2003-05-02
Seattle Public Library / Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs
Seattle, WA, USA United States of America

The Seattle Public Library and the Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs seek artists whose work deals with social structures, people and systems to develop permanent artworks in a wide variety of media for the new Central Library, designed by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas and scheduled for completion in late 2003. Visual artists who are residents of the United States are eligible to apply. At least one of the commissions will be awarded to a Seattle artist. This project includes a residency period of one to two weeks at the Seattle Public Library's Temporary Central Library during the design proposal phase.

Applications for The Library Unbound are available online at www.seattle.gov/arts/fundingapplications; artists unable to download materials may request an application by calling 206-615-1801. Applications must be received at the Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, 700 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1766, Seattle, WA, 98104 by 5:00 p.m., Friday, May 2, 2003 or postmarked by Friday, May 2, 2003.

Selected artists will be invited to explore the library, its staff and clients, its functions and collections and to develop projects that address these topics in a thoughtful way. Proposals should embody the questioning and pursuit of ideas that characterize a library. Through short residencies at the library in 2003, selected artists will develop designs for permanent, enduring works of art which draw upon the rich social and intellectual context of the library. The resulting artworks will be installed in the new library between December 2003 and June 2004. The Seattle Public Library strives to inform, enrich and empower every person in our community by creating and promoting easy access to a vast array of ideas and information, and by supporting an informed citizenry, lifelong learning and love of reading. The library acquires, organizes and provides books and other relevant materials; ensures access to information sources throughout the nation and around the world; serves the public with expert and caring assistance; and reaches out to all members of our community. The Central Library houses a collection of approximately 900,000 items, including books and other materials. Special collections of genealogy and local history support research on family history, Seattle, and the Northwest. The library is a depository for important government publications, and maintains subscriptions to many magazines and newspapers. The language collection includes materials for both native speakers and English speakers seeking to learn other languages. The collection also includes contemporary and historical fiction, books in large type and books on tape, feature films and documentaries, music compact discs, and a children's collection of picture books, easy readers, and materials for school reports. In 1998, Seattle voters approved a bond measure to nearly double the square footage of Seattle's neighborhood libraries and build a new Central Library on the existing site. The Central Library will feature new centers for children, teens and adult readers, as well as more computers, reorganized and expanded collections, a 275-seat auditorium for Library programs and community meetings, and parking for about 145 vehicles. The new Central Library is being designed by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas with the Office for Metropolitan Architecture, winner of the 2000 Pritzker Prize, in a joint venture with locally based LMN Architects. The building features an innovative "book spiral," which will allow patrons unprecedented access to the library collection. The crystalline steel-and-glass structure contains five platforms - each devoted to a specific programmatic cluster. Four open spaces are housed among the platforms, where library patrons can meet, search the Web or read. The new library is slated for completion in late 2003. For more information about The Seattle Public Library visit www.spl.org. The Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs strengthens our communities by managing one of the nation's most innovative public art programs; investing in art and culture for all residents through civic partnerships; connecting communities and artists to explore civic issues and ideas; supporting arts training for young people; promoting the arts' contribution to economic development; and advocating for the arts as part of our everyday lives. The 15-member Seattle Arts Commission, citizen volunteers appointed by the Mayor and City Council, supports the City agency.

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