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RFQ - Public Art Project at East Library Branch, Norman, OK
Norman Arts Council
122 East Main Street
Norman, OK 730169

Entry Deadline: 12/16/16
Application Closed


Images - Minimum: 10, Maximum: 15
Total Media - Minimum: 10, Maximum: 15

View Site Details

Norman, located 20 miles south of downtown Oklahoma City, is the third-largest city in Oklahoma. The citizens of Norman initiated NORMAN FORWARD, a proposal to renovate, expand, construct and fund Quality of Life projects, such as multiple recreational facilities, libraries, parks, athletic venues, public art, trails, swim complexes and other quality of life projects throughout Norman.  The initiative went  to the City Council from community groups, stakeholders and Norman residents, who prepared an initial package using analysis and information from recreational planning professionals and research firms. In 2015, the City Council placed NORMAN FORWARD on a ballot that was overwhelmingly supported by Norman voters.

The Norman Public Library East is a part of the Pioneer Library System whose brand promise is Pioneering Tomorrow’s Library. This promise is realized through cutting edge technologies and 21st century customer service strategies. The oldest of eight library systems in Oklahoma, Pioneer began in 1958 and serves Cleveland, McClain and Pottawatomie counties with branch libraries in ten communities including Norman.  The branch libraries are offered in partnership with the cities that provide and maintain the facilities while Pioneer administers the libraries and funds the operational costs including personnel, materials and technologies.  Pioneer is funded at the highest level of Oklahoma’s library systems thanks to the interest and support of the citizens in its service area.

The City of Norman has been working with library design consultants MSR Design for the East Branch which will be located adjacent to the new Fire Station No. 9.

The  library will have a collection of 20,000+ items and will feature 12,500 square feet of highly flexible space that will support a mobile service approach, new education models, collaborative learning, information sharing, and digital literacy, including tablet lending services. The design includes 1,100 square-foot children’s area with 12 reader seats and 3 early literacy alcoves. For teens and adults, there will a 3,700 square-foot area with 38 reader seats, 18 computer stations, and dedicated teens-only hours. There will also be a community program room with seating for 100, plus meeting and study rooms.

The Artwork

The Project Team has determined that the artwork will be most effective outdoors in the area around the building. Please see the attached site plan to understand the building plan and topography.

Since the work of art will be outside, it should complement the beauty of the site and the architecture of the building as well as welcome all visitors to the library. The artwork should also express a spirit inherent in all libraries, e.g. a sense of wonderment, curiosity, learning and inclusiveness. Visitors, staff and customers should be able to interact with the chosen artwork, either physically (sitting on it or in its shade, or touching it) and/or passively (listening to it, or observing it.)

The Project Team is open to any media or material that is appropriate to the site as long as it is durable, safe, low maintenance and vandalism resistant.


The total artist's fee for the project is $30,000.00. This amount must cover all associated costs including design, materials, fabrication, travel, insurance coverage, shipping and installation.

Artist Eligibility

Open to professional artists with experience working on public art projects and creating site-specific works.


            RFQ Deadline: Friday, December 16, 2016 at 11:59 pm in Mountain Time Zone

  The following dates are subject to change:

            Notify Artists:  By Thursday, January 12, 2017

            Finalists’ Site Visit: By Friday, February 3, 2017

            Finalists’ Presentation of Proposals: By Friday, March 10, 2017            

            Selection of Artist: By Thursday, March  23, 2017

            Opening of Norman Public Library East: December, 2017

Committee and Selection Criteria 
Selection for this project will be made by a panel including stakeholders, design professionals, a City representative, a member of the Norman Public Art board and members of the arts community. The panel will be looking at the merit of the artist’s work, past experience at completing projects on time and within budget, and appropriateness and maintenance requirements of the proposed concept. The Panel will also consider artists who can demonstrate sensitivity to the site and surroundings. Artists must be able to commit and effectively work within the project timeline and collaborate with the Library administration.

Selection Process

The Selection Panel will review applicants’ submissions and then select three finalists who will come to Norman for a mandatory site visit to meet with the Project Team and others. They will be paid a $250.00 allowance to cover transportation, hotel and per diem expenses for the site visit. After the site visit, they will be asked to create a site specific design proposal that will include:

  • a scale model, maquette, or computer generated design
  • an itemized budget
  • a project timeline
  • project narrative
  • maintenance plan

The finalists selected will each be awarded an honorarium of $500.00 for their proposal. Finalists will be required to present their proposals in person to the Selection Panel. Artists will receive a $250.00 allowance for transportation, hotel and per diem expenses for the proposal presentations. The Selection Panel will make the final decision on the artist awarded the project.