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A Collaborative Art Project with Dayton Metro Library, the Dayton Art Institute and Regional Artists

Following the Dayton Metro Library Board approval to earmark a recent anonymous bequest to integrate original works of art into the 17 new or renovated facilities, the Library issued a Request for Proposals in December 2013 seeking a partner to curate and manage a comprehensive art installation project. The Dayton Art Institute's proposal was selected as best meeting the Library's intent to engage Library patrons in the art process and to provide a springboard for educational or thematic programming.


The project will include a range of art for the interior, exterior, and/or grounds of the Main Library and 16 branches. Art will be broadly defined to include a diverse expression of fine art and traditional, ethnic and/or folk art. The art may embrace a range of media (painting, drawing, sculpture, mosaics, textiles, quilts, etc.). All artwork should be designed to have a long life beyond installation.

Artists will be encouraged to create works that include a collaborative learning opportunity for the community. Ideally, some pieces will be dynamic or interactive to provide an ongoing programming element as well as enhance the library's aesthetic environment.

The artwork should:

  • Reflect the distinctive personality of each location
  • Resonate with people of all ages and backgrounds
  • Inspire learning and creativity
  • Contribute to an inviting, engaging, and stimulating environment

Project Description

The project will tap into the DAI's stellar collection to provide inspiration for original art for our new Library facilities. Each building will be approached as an individual initiative, with its own design constraints and distinct viewing audience. Library patrons will vote (online and in the branch) on a selection of works from The DAI's permanent collection, as chosen and approved by a DML selection committee. The winning pieces will serve as a prompt, from which artists will express the creativity, joy, pride of place and shared experience of visiting the library.

Libraries and museums are both places of discovery. This spirit underlies the collaborative project, which encourages active participation by library patrons and supports the joy of knowledge unfolding. The "re-imagining" theme provides a unique partnership to benefit two community treasures – the Dayton Metro Library and The Dayton Art Institute – through the exposure to potentially new audiences, increased appreciation for art and the opportunity for future art-related programming in the library's new hands-on activity spaces.

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