The Lawrence Arts Center staff members wants their new building in the 900 block of New Hampshire to reflect the artists living in Lawrence and the surrounding around.
But they realized allowing a metalsmith to make a sculpture for the lobby or a painter to create a mural in the entryway just wasn't enough.
So they decided to try something new: Seek proposals for a number of works of all styles of art and media that could be integrated into the building through its signage, lighting, surfaces, furnishings and other architectural elements.
"The artwork is to be incorporated into the very structure and construction of the building," Ann Evans, arts center director, said. "We didn't want to commission a single artist to create a specific piece, but we wanted to have their special touches added to the building. This seemed like the appropriate way to reflect the community and to have artists involved."
Ellen Casagrande, director of education at the arts center, and artist Ron Hinton are co-chairs of an art selection committee made up of professional artists, the building's architects, a member of the neighborhood association, an arts center board member, arts center staff and other members of the Lawrence community.
The committee will consider proposals in six project areas:
Signage, which includes 34 room designation signs and directional signage.
Lighting, which would involve creating, altering or enhancing 11 standard recessed lighting fixtures.
Surfaces, which includes entry walls to restrooms, interior surfaces of the elevator cabin and the interior door windows.
Furnishings, which includes six benches, a podium and a writing classroom table.
Exterior sign, which calls for a sculptural sign that identifies the center and will sit in a grassy area in front of its main entrance.
l Exterior plaza floor area, which calls for the alteration, design enhancement or addition to the concrete floor.
"Artists can submit proposals in one or more categories," Evans said.
Artists residing in Douglas County or involved in the Lawrence community can submit proposals in any media. Proposals will be accepted from individual artists as well as teams of artists.
Artworks will be evaluated on artistic design; degree of integration/harmony with the building/site area; durability of design and materials; liability and safety issues; minimal maintenance requirements; maximum resistance to vandalism; and the artist's ability to meet the projected budget and installation deadline.
Casagrande said the committee may choose not to select proposals in all categories, if the works submitted do not merit the award.
Request for Proposals forms and project information packets for each category are at the arts center, 200 W. Ninth St. A model of the new facility and material samples also are available.
All proposals must be received by the arts center by 5 p.m. March 30. Finalists will be notified by April 27, with selections made by June 29. The artwork is tentatively scheduled to be installed or completed by December.