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Public Art Purchase

On Thursday, August 30 at 7:00 pm, the library hosted an information session for artists about the City’s Percent for Art commission for the new library.  Participants learned about the selection process, viewed examples of other public art installations, saw architect renderings of the new library, and heard Lawrence Public Library’s vision for this project.  Click here to view a video of the presentation.

This information session was intended for artists who wanted to learn more about the project and were interested in responding to the Request For Qualifications (RFQ) to win the commission.  Artists who were not able to attend the session are also welcome to submit RFQs — please see below for additional details.

Request for Qualifications (RFQ)

Click here to view the Request For Qualifications.

What is Percent For Art?

Many cities, including Lawrence, have adopted Percent For Art ordinances that reserve capital improvement monies for art projects in new city construction and major renovations.   The City of Lawrence has allocated a percentage of the library construction budget for a public art commission.

Project Budget

The City has designated $75,000 for the search, design, materials, fabrication, installation, artist fee, and other associated project costs.  The artist may have the opportunity to augment this budget with construction materials (see the Project RFQ for details).

Library Vision for Art

“… the purpose of the percent for art purchase is to commission a permanent public artwork that will serve as a showcase piece to inspire the public imagination. This piece should stretch beyond a traditional interpretation of libraries and speak broadly to our mission to build community, share stories, and instill a love of learning and creative pursuits…” Please see the Project RFQ for the full vision statement.

Architectural Drawings

Click here to view the latest architectural drawings of the library renovation project.

 Slideshow of Public Art in Libraries

Click here to view the slideshow shown at the meeting – Public Libraries + Public Art.


  1. Caitlyn says:

    I am just curious to know if the art extends to photography…?
    And is this something that can be submitted.

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Caitlyn, thanks for your question. There aren’t any parameters for this project that would eliminate photo and multimedia projects. We recommend that you come to the meeting or wait for the RFQ (which will be posted mid-week August 20-24) for more details about what would be expected for the project.

  2. David says:

    I live too far to attend the Q&A, will the results of this be made available?

    • kallen says:

      Hi David,
      The city will be videotaping the Q&A. We should have it up on our website or a link to it a couple of days after the meeting.

  3. John Wysocki says:

    The architectural renderings of the planned expansion that are available at: do not appear to include any drawings of the parking garage structure. Will such drawings be made available for artists who wish to propose artistic ideas for the structure, such as embellishing its facade?

    • kallen says:

      Hi John, Thanks for your question. We will be posting more detailed architectural renderings within the next week or so. Please watch our webpage for this info as well as a link to a video from the meeting last night. If you weren’t able to attend, many questions were asked about the parking garage facade and any questions you may have might be answered in the video.

      • John Wysocki says:

        Thanks, Kallen, but when will the video of the meeting and the additional architectural renderings be posted online? There’s only 3 1/2 weeks left until the deadline to submit RFQs and, without such supplementary information, some artists may continue to be at a disadvantage in formulating their artistic proposals.

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