Permanent Public Art
In July 2014, CMLC issued a Request for Qualifications inviting all locally, nationally and internationally qualified artists to apply. Through a robust and multi-staged selection process which was informed by the City of Calgary’s Public Art Program, the responses CMLC received—239 in total—were first narrowed to a list of 35. The task of establishing a shortlist to then advance to a Request for Proposals (RFP) stage was guided by a Volunteer Art Committee comprising a community resident, an artist and representative from ACAD, a curator from Glenbow Museum, a rep from Calgary Public Library and a rep from Calgary Arts Development organization. Non-voting members/observers included reps from CMLC, City of Calgary Public Art Program and the NCL design team.
The five finalists—all of whom have national/international careers, work in a variety of media and have experience with public art projects and museum and gallery work—went through a detailed orientation with members of the NCL project team, various representatives from Calgary Public Library, a local historian and the design team to ensure a thorough understanding of the NCL vision, site and building design. Each artist then developed and presented their concepts to the committee.
In April 2015, in consultation with non-voting members, the committee selected Christian Moeller for his proposal to create an iconic outdoor three-piece sculpture suite and an interior installation for the New Central Library. His colourful, captivating concepts bring a playfulness to the library experience–a delightful sense of arrival and wonder for all visitors to enjoy, especially children.
Christian's exterior three-piece sculpture— “TRIO”—will be installed on the library’s east and west outdoor plaza spaces. Each piece measure nine to 10 metres tall and moves like a pendulum to create a visual choreography.
His interior installation— “FISH”—is a book wall that employs nearly 11,000 books whose spines, in 12 different colours, create the image of a fish. This work of art measures approximately three metres (10 feet) tall by 14 m (45 ft) wide and it will be located on the third floor of the library.