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The Department of Cultural Affairs’ Percent for Art program especially encourages Staten Island artists and designers to apply by August 10 at midnight

Staten Island, NY – The NYC Department of Cultural Affairs’ Percent for Art program, in partnership with the New York Public Library, today announced an open call for artists to design a permanent public artwork for the historic Port Richmond library in Staten Island. Artists can respond to the Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) through Friday, August 10 at midnight. Local artists with knowledge of the Port Richmond community are especially encouraged to apply.

“Staten Island is home to a diverse and vibrant cultural community, with artists and cultural organizations bringing extraordinary energy to all corners of the borough,” said NYC Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl. “We’re excited to reflect that energy in this historic library building. Libraries are centers of learning, creativity, and social connection, so it’s fitting that as part of this restoration project, we give local artists an opportunity to create something that connects with the people who use the space every day.”

"Staten Island has a vibrant art community, and there’s no better place than the North Shore right now to see that. We’re excited to see where this Open Call leads. Local artists – specifically those who are familiar with the Port Richmond neighborhood and its fascinating history – are encouraged to submit a proposal for this permanent installation. Let the conceptualization begin,” said Borough President James Oddo.

"I encourage Staten Island artists from across the borough to submit their work to the Percent for Art program for the chance to have it on display at the historic Port Richmond library. This is a great opportunity to use artwork to show the history and bright future that Staten Island has in store. I look forward to seeing the art work on display after it is selected and completed," said Senator Diane J. Savino.

“New York City’s public libraries are some of its most valuable assets. The renovated library, with the introduction of new public artwork highlighting the rich history of Staten Island, will build on investments we’re seeing across the borough,” said NYCEDC President and CEO James Patchett. “NYCEDC is proud to be leading the construction efforts for renovations to the Port Richmond Library and four other Carnegie libraries throughout the city.”

"The Port Richmond Library serves a diverse and vibrant community that appreciates its history, heritage and culture. Working with Percent for Art is an extraordinary opportunity to support the talent of local Staten Island artists and honor both the neighborhood and our library," said Christopher Platt, Chief Branch Library Officer at NYPL.

"This is an amazing opportunity for artists to not only be a part of the building design process but to have their work be appreciated outside of the traditional museum or gallery setting,” said Staten Island Arts Deputy Director Gena Mimozo. “For Staten Island artists it is an opportunity to enrich a building and community in their own backyard and for years to come."

Project Background

This call for artists is occurring alongside a planned renovation of the library. NYCEDC’s capital program will be implementing the construction of this renovation, addressing aging infrastructure, the need for flexible 21st century spaces, and the integration of technology, all with the benefit of an improved patron experience and enhanced accessibility of this branch. The Port Richmond library renovation is currently under design by CannonDesigns, with a target for construction to begin in 2019.

The Port Richmond library, located at 75 Bennett Street in Staten Island, opened in 1905, one of the “Carnegie libraries” that were constructed with funds donated by Andrew Carnegie in 1901. With more than 70,000 visits last year, the branch works closely with local organizations and offers a robust suite of services to provide patrons in the community with access to after-school programs, English Literacy classes, and technology workshops. The library's holdings include large young adult and Spanish language collections. Port Richmond also houses a small collection of materials on the history of Staten Island.

The full request for qualifications is available here. The City, in partnership with a committee of outside arts and design professionals, will select the artist finalists to proceed in the competition. Phase Two is a Request for Proposals in which finalists will submit a conceptual design for review by the committee. One artist will be selected to complete a design for installation at the library.

About Percent for Art

Since 1982, New York City's Percent for Art law has required that one percent of the budget for

eligible City-funded construction projects be spent on public artwork. Managed by the City’s Department of Cultural Affairs, the Percent for Art program has commissioned hundreds of site-specific projects in a variety of media—painting, new technologies, lighting, mosaic, glass, textiles, sculpture, and works that are integrated into infrastructure and architecture—by artists whose sensibilities reflect the diversity of New York City. Learn more at