Ann Arbor budgets $150K for public art inside police-courts building lobby
The city of Ann Arbor is seeking an artist to create a piece of public art — or multiple artworks — for the lobby of the Ann Arbor Justice Center, the new addition to city hall located at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Huron Street.
The city has set a $150,000 budget for the project to cover design, lighting, artist travel, fabrication, transportation, insurance and any subcontractor expenses and installation.
"The actual cost of the artwork is dependent upon the proposal, the selection committee’s recommendation and the final decision by the Ann Arbor City Council," according to the published request for proposals, or RFP.
Ryan J. Stanton | AnnArbor.com
The lobby of the Justice Center — informally known as the police-courts building — measures 3,160 square feet and has a ceiling rising more than 21 feet. Blue glass spans the length of the northern wall and floor-to-ceiling windows are on the remaining three walls.
According to the RFP, the artwork would be permanently installed in the southwest corner of the lobby, and city officials are looking for "the type of piece that can sustain a high traffic volume."
"This artwork should be a ceiling-mounted or suspended piece that will be visible and make an impression looking in from both North Fifth Avenue and Huron Street (southwest corner) during the day and at night with either incorporated or reflected lighting," the RFP states. "The artwork should complement the building and surrounding site environment. The artwork should speak to the public purposes of the building, which include public safety, justice, equality and security."
Work outside the new building — which houses the Ann Arbor Police Department and the 15th District Court, as well as the city's IT department — remains ongoing.
Once it's finished, when members of the public approach the Huron Street entrance, they will walk through a rain garden and past another piece of public art designed by German artist Herbert Dreiseitl. Dreiseitl won approval from the city to install a large water feature sculpture with integrated glass pearls at the east edge of the south plaza adjacent to the rain garden.
That's expected to be installed sometime in August.
According to a schedule for the interior artwork outlined in the RFP, a selection panel intends to review proposals Sept. 5-12, with selection of semi-finalists on Sept. 16, followed by interviews with semi-finalists Sept. 23-28. Finalists would be notified Sept. 30.
Detailed proposals from finalists would be due Dec. 1. Eventually, the Ann Arbor Public Art Commission would make a recommendation to the City Council in January 2012, followed by a council decision in February 2012. The city would like the installation done by June 2012.
The city pays for public art through its Percent For Art Program. Under an ordinance approved by the City Council, 1 percent of money spent on city capital projects is set aside for art.
Aaron Seagraves, the city of Ann Arbor's new public art administrator, and Sue McCormick, the city's public services administrator, could not be reached for comment.
Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for AnnArbor.com. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to AnnArbor.com's e-mail newsletters.