City of St. Petersburg – President Barack Obama Main Library Request for Qualifications

  • Commissioning Entity

    City of St. Petersburg

  • Application Open Date

    06/28/2024

  • Application Deadline Date

    07/27/2024

  • Minimum Budget

    $

  • Maximum Budget

    $130000

  • Location of Commission

    St. Petersburg, Florida, United States

  • Geographic Eligibilty

    Applicants in country of installation

  • Contact Name

    Tracy Kennard

  • Contact Email

    [email protected]

  • Contact Phone

  • Commission Document

    View Link Document

  • Brief Description

    To enable the application form for this opportunity, make sure you are registered and signed in to a free CODAworx Account, and click the "Apply to RFP" button on the top right hand corner of this page.


    I. Introduction

    Artists are invited to submit qualifications for interior and/or exterior art (minimum of 25 years lifespan) for the City of St. Petersburg’s President Barack Obama Main Library, a new construction/renovation project (the “Site”). The Site of the construction is located at 3745 9th Ave. North, St. Petersburg, FL 33713 by Jorgensen Lake. Completion is expected in Spring 2025.


    The Project Committee seeks artists to design, build and install artwork that would reflect the history of the growth of our city, advances made by our minority residents and the importance of learning and education. The site for the artwork is one exterior location and an interior area inside the lobby at the main entrance. This will create an opportunity for the artwork and the building to visually complement each other and wholistically reflect the city’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.


    Low maintenance installations are encouraged. Any outdoor installations must withstand the Florida humidity, salt air, hurricane force winds, possible inundation by salt water, strong UV rays, and potential unsupervised contact with children and adults. Proposals may require electric wiring. Conduit, if required, would be funded by the construction budget. All lighting fixtures would be funded through the artist budget. Self- contained, solar-powered, fire-resistant proposals are preferred.


    Renderings courtesy of the commissioner.
    II. Background about the Site

    The 40,000-square-foot library was built in 1963 and designed by noted St. Petersburg architect William B. Harvard, the man behind the former inverted pyramid St. Pete Pier and the bandstand in Williams Park. The 61-year-old facility, renamed the President Barack Obama Main Library in early 2021, is undergoing a $16.9 million renovation, funded by Penny for Pinellas sales tax revenue. “I am incredibly excited for this dedication. As I said three years ago when we announced the changes we will see here and the new name for St. Petersburg’s main library, highlighting Barack Obama’s extraordinary story and history-making presidency in this way will inspire generations of young people. I believe the President Barack Obama Main Library will not only complement city buildings bearing the name of local trailblazers but will serve as an example to other cities. Our main library has always been an exciting hub for learning in our city. It is made all the better by honoring President Obama.” -former Mayor Rick Kriseman.


    Mayor Ken Welch took office in January 2022. Welch, the city’s first Black mayor, changed plans to build more public meeting space and office space and add science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) programs for kids. The renovations to this mid-century modern building will include an upgraded rear patio and outdoor gathering space, reconfiguration of interior spaces with new programming areas, additional parking spaces, ADA-compliant restrooms, HVAC improvements, asbestos abatement, and fire protection. The library is in the Central Oak Park Neighborhood (est. 1920), the 3rd largest neighborhood in St. Pete, and is the only residential neighborhood to cross Central Avenue. The neighborhood includes diversity in age and lifestyle and is made up of a varied mix of homes, ranging from 1920’s bungalows, 1950’s ranches and a sprinkling of new builds. The entire area is easily traversed with large oak trees and a mature tree canopy providing a park-like setting for many homes. Brick streets dating back to the 1920s add to the charm and character of the neighborhood. An additional bonus is the area’s high and dry elevation, among the highest in St. Petersburg. The Central Oak Park Neighborhood vision is a harmonious and inclusive neighborhood with unified goals.


    Artists are asked to specifically pay attention to the library’s community spaces aligning with the mayor’s focus on education and youth opportunities. It will also provide rooms for tutoring and convertible areas for multiple uses. STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) offerings would be a focal point. “Mayor Welch is very committed to creating a facility that is an innovation zone in itself,” -Mike Jefferis, community enrichment administrator.


    Additionally, artists are encouraged to honor the legacy of Barack Obama as the first Black president of the United States. The former president’s name has significance for the city embodying the hopes and aspirations of the city’s young people and the ability to rise despite racism. “He overcame every obstacle, every person who hated him simply because of the color of his skin. People who questioned his place of birth and his very right to run for the highest office in the land,” said former Mayor Kriseman.


    Renderings courtesy of the commissioner.
    III. Opportunities for Art

    There are two areas designated for art in which artists can submit for one or both locations (only one piece of art will be selected for the interior lobby – either 2a. OR 2b. below):


    1. Exterior
    – Covered patio area in rear of the building overlooking Lake Jorgensen. The project committee will consider artwork that will be contained in a 7’ x 7’ area (see rendering) set on top of concrete. The weight limit of potential art to be finalized with selected artist. Artist will work with the architect early in the process and be prepared to adjust piece to accommodate structural load requirements. The committee may favor exterior and interior art that compliments or connects to each other.


    2. Interior
    2a. Interior – Wall in the lobby at main entrance. The project committee will consider 2D/3D artwork in mediums such as glass, tile, paint, metal, etc. that will be placed on the wall with dimensions of approximately 38’ x 17’ (see rendering for exact dimensions. Area for art is Lshaped). The committee may favor interior art that compliments or connects to the exterior piece. Wall is a metal stud wall with plywood blocking and 5/8” drywall to assist with wall installation. The weight limit of potential art to be finalized with selected artist. Artist will work with the architect early in the process and be prepared to adjust piece to accommodate structural load requirements; OR

    2b. Interior – The project committee will consider 3D artwork that will be contained in an 8’ x 8’ area (see rendering) and may be a free-standing sculpture or a pedestal piece. Existing floor is concrete. The committee may favor interior art that compliments or connects to the exterior piece. The weight limit of potential art to be finalized with selected artist. Artist will work with the architect early in the process and be prepared to adjust piece to accommodate structural load requirements.



    Site floorplan courtesy of the commissioners

    For full project information and application instructions, please see commission document. To apply, be sure you are registered and signed in to a CODAworx account, and click the "APPLY" button in the upper right hand corner of this page.