Council committee learns more about call to artists planned for Civic Park, Edmonds Library

The two possible locations identified for the Civic Park artwork. (Rendering courtesy City of Edmonds)

The Edmonds City Council’s Parks and Public Works Committee Tuesday night got an update on the process involved in the call to artists for two public art projects — one at the new Civic Park and the other outside of the Edmonds Library.

Under the city’s One Percent for Arts ordinance, established in 1975, at least 1% of total costs for a municipal construction project must be allocated to artwork. Arts and Culture Manager Frances Chapin provided an overview of the two planned art projects to committee members (and councilmembers) Susan Paine and Diane Buckshnis.

For the new Civic Park, where construction is expected to begin in May, the Edmonds Arts Commission decided to focus on the 6th Avenue entry plaza for artwork.

While there are many opportunities for art that could be pursued in the park, Chapin said, the Arts Commission felt that the 6th Avenue plaza — where there will be a shade pavilion — was the best initial location. “That does not mean there won’t be other artworks,” she said. “That may come in the future. But this is where we’re going to start.”

Although two possible locations have been identified for the Civic Park art, the selected artist will be expected to prioritize one of them. According to the request for qualifications, the artwork locations and possibilities include a sculptural feature that visually separates the entry plaza from the existing Boys and Girls Club building and a suspended sculpture for the shade structure. 

The application will be open to professional artists residing in the Pacific Northwest. Chapin assured the councilmembers that the artist selection committee would include community members with an interest in the park as well as a representative from the council and the arts commission.

Up to five artists will be selected for interviews at a public meeting and one will be recommended. The selected artist will work with the design team and community to develop a proposal presented at a public meeting. There is $90,000 budgeted for the artwork design, fabrication and installation, plus an additional $2,500 in reimbursable travel expenses for finalists traveling from over 50 miles.

The Edmonds Library art will be installed in the area at the left that will be re-landscaped following removal of the no-longer-used book drop. (Photo courtesy City of Edmonds)

Placing artwork in front of the Edmonds Library is an idea “that has been under discussion for many years,” Chapin said. Now that the area is being re-landscaped with the removal of an unused book drop, the time is right for art to be incorporated there. The project budget is $110,000 for the artwork with an additional $1,100 design fee to each of the three artists developing site-specific proposals — plus $2,000 for reimbursable travel expenses for finalists traveling from over 50 miles.

Chapin noted that $35,000 of the library project budget will come from private donations — $30,000 from the Arts Festival Foundation and $5,000 from the Friends of the Edmonds Library.

Following the presentation, Councilmembers Buckshnis and Paine agree to place the proposed calls for artists on the council consent agenda.

Once finalized, the requests for proposals will be available on this Edmonds Arts Commission webpage.

— By Teresa Wippel


6 Replies to “Council committee learns more about call to artists planned for Civic Park, Edmonds Library”

  1. Wonderful that we are putting art in these places. I just had one question that was not quite clear in this story. Has the project for the Library courtyard renovation been APPROVED for 2020 and will the tear down of the old bin and other renovations be done in 2020 (along with the art work)? Only reason I ask is that this project has been on the books for many years. Thanks for any clarification.


  2. Does anyone know who authorized removing “Peggy Pritchard Olson Building” from the sign at the entrance to the library?


    1. Hi Ron, the updated sign still recognizes the building as the “Peggy Pritchard Olson Building.” It is in the grey band under “650 Main St”.


      1. Thank you, Luke. It’s now in the “fine print”. Since it’s city property, who in the city authorized the change in the signage?


        1. The previous sign was embarrassing frankly, with rusty bolts and lacked any color and variation! New sign has more mojo and at the same time honors “Peggy Pritchard Olson” I hope city considers some variation of this color scheme for the entire Library and Anderson complex in the future. Excited for old book depository to get replaced with some Art as well soon! Thank you leadership for the new sign I think it’s Really an improvement.


  3. I am not interested in debating the deign of the sign at this time; I am simply asking if anyone knows who at the city approved the sign being changed.


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