Milwaukee Public Library
Press Release

Placemaking Opportunity at the Library

Milwaukee Public Library Seeks Artists for Art Project at New East Branch

By - Nov 21st, 2013 10:46 am

MILWAUKEE – Placemaking comes to the East Branch. The Milwaukee Public Library (MPL) is seeking local artists to create a community space with public art outside of the new East Branch. MPL envisions adding art to a unique triangular shaped piazza near the library entrance on North Cramer Street. The creative work should activate the space and engage visitors while reflecting the ideas of community, literature, story and learning.

“This new work of art will be a beacon for all the library represents and offers the community,” said Library Director Paula Kiely. “Art will invite interaction and gathering. As an anchor institution in the community, it is important that we create spaces that encourage collaboration and dialogue and enhance the appeal of the area and the neighborhood.”

Today, MPL released a request for qualifications for artists who have the experience and ability to create site-specific public art. The submission deadline is Monday, December 9th.

Construction of the Standard @ East Library, the development that will house the new East Branch, is well underway. MPL’s Facebook page features a photo gallery of construction progress. The library space will be completed in the fall of 2014. The new branch will incorporate the hallmarks of a 21st century library model – technology-rich, highly flexible spacing used to create a forum for community engagement and collaborative work areas, a smaller print collection, areas for each age group and self-service technology. The branch will be reflective of local history and culture.

Public Art Program Details

Up to three finalists will be selected by a public art selection committee, who will review artist portfolios the week of December 16th. The finalists will be asked to submit site-specific concept proposals to be presented at a public meeting on February 9th. The library values public engagement and transparency throughout this process and community input will be considered in the final determination.

The request for qualifications and complete program description can be found at Submissions are due no later than 4:00 pm on Monday, December 9, 2013. Questions can be submitted in writing to

MPL announced the commission award for two public art installations inside the new East Branch on October 9th. The commissions were awarded to two local artists Santiago Cucullu and kathryn e. martin.

Public Art Funding

The public art project for the East Branch is funded in part by grants received from the Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s Mary L. Nohl Fund, Marvin W. Haesle Fund for the Arts and the Jean Hutchinson Fund, the Milwaukee Arts Board and from the sale of the former East Library Eames furnishings. The library has budgeted $15,000 for each of the two internal art installations and $25,000 for the external art work.

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