Public art is part of the ‘software’ of East Village – it helps give the neighbourhood its look, feel and character. For the New Central Library, 1% of the project budget has been allocated to two important public art initiatives managed under CMLC’s robust Art in the Public Realm program for East Village. To inspire visitors even before the new library opens its doors, CMLC has commissioned local artists to create temporary installations for the construction fencing along 3rd Street SE between 7th and 9th avenues. The first, by local artist Serena Malyon, went up in October 2014 and will remain for approximately 18 months; the second installation goes up in 2016 and remain for approximately 28 months. The second dimension of Art in the Public Realm for the NCL involves the creation of permanent public art to beautify, enliven and activate various spaces within the new library complex.
In July 2014, CMLC issued a Request for Qualifications inviting all locally, nationally and internationally qualified artists to apply. Working with a budget of approximately $2 million, the successful artist or artist team will work with CMLC and the design team of Snøhetta and DIALOG to determine the best location for public art within the library complex. The RFQ received an astonishing 217 proposals from places as far away as New Zealand. Our volunteer selection committee reviewed submissions and short-listed six artists and a final selection will be announced in 2017. The selection committee includes members of Calgary Arts Development, Calgary Public Library, Alberta College of Art and Design, East Village Inglewood community representative, and Glenbow Museum. Non-voting members include CMLC, City of Calgary Public Art Department and DIALOG.