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Press Contact: Mary Ann Merker, Civic Arts Coordinator, (510) 981-7533


Berkeley, California (Monday, January 03, 2011) - Final presentation materials for the public art projects of the Berkeley Public Library's North and Claremont Branch Construction Projects will be on public view inside the North and Claremont Branch Libraries during normal branch library hours from Monday, December 20, 2010, through Tuesday, January 4, 2011. These presentation materials will include material samples that accurately represent the finished work that each artist is proposing; a color sample board; a scale model / maquette or rendered drawing with appropriate details; a detailed project budget; and, written statements or comments that will help to clarify the artist's proposal.

This is the opportunity for the public to comment on the individual proposals during the period that they are displayed. These comments will be collated and delivered to the Selection Panel. These informal comments may help to raise new perspectives and open issues for discussion by the Panel, and they may help the decision process in some way.

Sixteen artists responded to the Panel's invitation to submit letters of interest and qualifications for the North Branch and Claremont Branch public art projects. The Arts Panel met on Tuesday, October 26, 2010, to review the artists' submissions, discuss their general qualifications and the appropriateness of their work, compile total ranking scores for each artist, and select the three finalists for each branch.

The three finalists selected for North Branch are: Marion Coleman www.marioncoleman.com; John Wehrle www.troutinhand.com; and Lena Wolff www.lenawolff.com. The three finalists selected for Claremont Branch are Eric Powell www.ericpowell.com; David Ruth www.davidruth.com; and Nina Zurier www.ninazurier.com and Pat Bruning www.bruningdesign.com.

The Finalists have received their honoraria and have six weeks to put together a proposal for the Panel to study in order to make its final selections. The Consultant for the public art projects will be meeting with each artist during this period to help focus the artists' concepts and to begin to develop a set of preliminary specifications for materials, dimensions, coordination with the architectural design, installation details and schedule and to be sure that the artists will have as complete an understanding as possible of the context and construction constraints that they will be working with, once a final contract and commission is awarded.

The project timeline outlined in the RFQ has been adjusted because of the holiday season and to allow for the artists to develop a final presentation for the Panel's next meeting scheduled for Thursday, January 6, 2011. The Selection Panel is made up of members of the Civic Arts Commission, the Board of Library Trustees (BOLT), the Landmarks Preservation Commission, three practicing artists, and one local gallery owner/curator. This process has been a collaboration of the Civic Arts Commission and the Board of Library Trustees and has also included representatives from the community. Each Finalist will be allowed up to 20 to 25 minutes for a presentation to the Panel at the January 6th meeting, and will have approximately ten minutes for further questions from the Panel and clarifications. 

Presentations will be followed by a Panel discussion and final decisions will be recommended to the Board of Library Trustees for the final decision. 

Funding for alterations and improvements to all four Library Branches, including the public art projects, is provided by a local $26 million Bond Measure FF, approved by the electorate in November 2008. For additional info regarding the Berkeley community support for our libraries, see the following website: http://www.berkeleypubliclibrary.org/branchimprovements.

At the Regular Board of Library Trustees meeting on Wednesday, January 12, 2011, at South Branch Library, approval to incorporate the selected designs into the Branch Construction Projects will be discussed and considered for approval. Commissions to the two selected artists will follow in the form of executed contracts. For further information please contact Berkeley Public Library Administration at (510) 981-6195.


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