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Main Branch Library: one additional artwork to be commissioned


A Dayton Metro Library RFP for Artwork

Download the full RFP (PDF)

Open To: Regional Artists (250 mile radius of Dayton, OH)
Commission Amount: $5,000 -$10,000 is budgeted for one work
Entry Open Date: July 16, 2018
Entry Deadline: September 10,2018
Commissions Announced: October 2018
Project Completion: January 2019 or as negotiated with selected artist

Project Summary: The Dayton Metro Library (DML) and The Dayton Art Institute (DAI) seek to commission a site-specific piece of artwork for one space in the Main Branch Library with an installation goal of January 2019. The location is above the fireplace located on the 2nd floor in the Park Reading Room.

Artists are invited to propose newly created artworks conceived in response to the three artworks below, held in the DAI’s permanent collection.  The inspiration pieces were selected from the results of voting by community members, and particularly patrons of the Main Branch, on three favorites of six DAI artworks.  Artists may develop a response to one or all artworks.  Any aspect can be utilized as source material for the submission (color, material, style, content, context, composition, etc.).  From the submissions, the DML ReImagining Works Committee will select the winning artist, who will meet with DML and DAI staff, architects, and construction representatives to confirm plans for the commission.  The artists will be required to sign a Letter of Agreement by November 1, 2018 and complete the work by January 2019 or as negotiated.


Claude Monet (1840-1926) French, WATERLILIES, 1903, Oil on canvas, 32 x 40 inches, The Dayton Art Institute, Gift of Mr. Joseph Rubin, 1953.11

This depiction of water might seem tranquil, but the changes in culture and technology that led to its creation were radical. The advent of trains and portable paint tubes facilitated the artist’s ability to travel outside of the urban city center and paint directly from nature, or en plein air, as never before. Monet and other Impressionist painters, with their focus on spontaneity and capturing the changing quality of light, transformed the nature of painting forever.

1967 46 RGB

Chimú Culture, Peru, MUMMY MASK, 1100-1400 CE, Hammered gold, copper, 10 ½ x 16 ½ inches, The Dayton Art Institute, Museum purchase with funds provided by Mr. and Mrs. Ralf Kircher and Mr. Louis Jacobs. 1967.46

This mask, made by the Sicán people of ancient Peru, is exceptionally complete, being comprised of 35 separate pieces. Fractional patterning highlights the way in which small parts make up a whole; this principle, evident in the composition of the mask, is a primary aesthetic value expressed in the new design of Main library.


1999 23 animate

Nam June Paik (1932- 2006) American, South Korean, FOUR DECADES, 1989, Mixed media, 96 x 80 x 23 ¼ inches, The Dayton Art Institute, Gift of Society Bank through exchange, 1999.123

Nam June Paik was among the first artists to utilize technology and video. He also embraced the unpredictable qualities of art. Paik disrupts expectations of the function of mass-produced objects and images by removing them from their accustomed setting, as exemplified in this sculpture composed of televisions whose pictures are random and have been manipulated by the artist.



Artistic Goals of the Project: The new Main Library flows with glass, wood and modern siding of a bright green hue. Cascading stairwells; long, narrow horizontal stretches; and an off-square orientation evoke the intersection of rivers and the memory of a nearby historic canal. This language of water embedded in the structure informed the artwork chosen for the flagship building. Proposed artwork should reflect the distinctive personality of this location: resonate with people of all ages and backgrounds; inspire collaboration, learning and creativity; and contribute to an inviting, engaging, and stimulating environment. The committee welcomes, but in no way, requires submissions that relate to the mission of Dayton Metro Library or may provide a springboard for educational programming and/or current or future collaborative learning opportunities. 

Practical Considerations: This selected site for artwork will be accessible to patrons of the library; the artwork must be durable and easily maintained. The artwork will be on the paneled wall above a gas fireplace. The work must be able to withstand heat from the fireplace and must be attached within the 4’x8’ niche above the fireplace. The work could extend beyond the niche but cannot be attached to the surrounding paneling in any way. Main library is open to the public and artists are invited and encouraged to view the site in person.



Submissions:  Proposals will only be accepted electronically, in the form of a single pdf of no more than 10 pages and no more than 10 MB.  Proposals must include the following and be organized in the order below:

  1. A sketch and narrative explanation of the proposed artwork
  2. Explanation of relationship between DAI inspiration art and proposed artwork
  3. Size range for suggested location with maximum budget including installation costs and proposed timeline
  4. Four to six images of completed artwork, preferably of similar scale and material, including title, media and size
  5. Brief artist’s CV or biography (2 pages maximum)

Additional Information: Susan Anable is The Dayton Art Institute’s project manager for ReImagining Works. She will hold an informational meeting for artists on Saturday, July 28 at 11:00 at the Main Library on Third St. This is a great opportunity to gain a better understanding of the building space and the art location. Additionally, Ms. Anable will schedule individual, 15-minute phone calls with artists on Monday, July 30 between 4:00 and 6:00 pm. Please note that if you have specific questions about your project prior to the DAI meeting feel free to email Susan at

R.S.V.P. for the meeting and/or schedule a time to discuss your proposal or ask questions by emailing



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