East County Library – Exterior Sculptures Artwork Opportunity

Rendering of the new East County Library’s north and east-facing exterior elevations in Gresham, OR.

East County Library Exterior Sculpture Artworks Request for Qualifications

Important Dates 

  • April 4, 2024 – RFQ launch
  • May 8, 2024 – Applications due
  • May-early July 2024 – Panel review and artist selection (including interviews)
  • July-October 2024 – Design Phase
  • October 2024-October 2025 – Fabrication
  • November-December 2025 – Artwork complete and installed

Watch the Info Session Here

In partnership with Multnomah County Library (MCL), the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) invites artists/artist teams living in Oregon and Washington to submit qualifications for site-specific exterior sculptural artworks at the new East County Library as part of the Library Capital Building Projects. One artist/artist team will be selected to create a series of free standing, 3-dimensional sculptural artworks which will be prominently located along the building’s east exterior elevation that faces NW Eastman Pkwy, a busy thoroughfare in Gresham, Oregon. The budget available for the commission comes from Multnomah County’s Percent for Art Program and is $225,000. Submissions are due by Wednesday, May 8, 2024 at 11:59pm PDT.

About East County Library

Located in Gresham, the 95,000 sf building will be located at the corner of two busy thoroughfares, NW Division and NW Eastman Pkwy, with the Gresham City Hall TriMet Max stop north of the site that also includes a civic space for farmer’s markets and public events. Designed by Holst Architecture, the new library will serve as a transformative space for community members. Being the second largest library in the county, this site will provide much needed services and access to library resources for a large swath of the region’s communities. The mass timber and symmetrical building will consist of three floors that include an auditorium, flex rooms, maker spaces, child, teen and learning areas, gathering spaces, a collection of over 200,000 library materials, and a parking garage on the bottom floor.

Art Opportunity

We are seeking an artist or artist team to create a series of site-specific exterior sculptural artworks for East County Library. The sculptural artworks will be prominently located along the sidewalk of the building’s east exterior elevation, welcoming visitors to the new, grand community space. These artworks will be highly visible to pedestrian, bike and vehicular traffic along NW Eastman Pkwy and partially visible from NW Division St, two of the main arterial roads in Gresham.

Along the building’s exterior east wall, there will be planting areas that range in size consisting of large, medium and small shrubs, as well as several ‘nurse logs’ which are downed tree trunks scattered through the landscape that may be used as seating, but most will be natural elements among the planting. Directly next to the plantings will be the sidewalk, which will include three concrete coves that are at a slight angle moving into the planting areas and extensions of the sidewalk. The areas around the coves have groundcover, allowing room for potential art interventions, invitations to pause along the way. These coves are about 7’D x 22.68’L each. At the southeast corner of the building, there may also be an opportunity for placement of artworks that is right outside of the view triangle that has to be kept clear for visibility and the two Douglas fir trees that will be planted. At the southern tip of this corner area, there is roughly a 13.5′ x 13′ triangle, and north of the two trees there is a 11′ x 15.5′ rectangle area available for artworks.

It’s important to note the north and south entrances to the library are on the west elevation of the building. Because of this, there will be a series of library banners and/or signage along the sidewalk on NW Eastman Pkwy, helping to both welcome and identify the library to the public. To better the pedestrian experience, there will also be various street lights and bollard lights to illuminate the sidewalk. These exterior sculptures will be some of the first pieces of public art visible as people arrive at the library. It is vital that the artworks play an integral role in creating a sense of place and belonging for the surrounding communities, neighbors, MCL staff and library patrons alike.

While these exterior sites primarily suit hearty and durable mediums (i.e. metals, stone, clay, plaster, and certain woods), there is an interest in incorporating other media into the artworks. Use of natural vegetation, light, sound and installation-like elements could be considered. We expect the artist(s) to determine the media(s) for their work through conversations with the project team, taking other design considerations for the space into account.

Please refer to the pdf attachment showing the detailed locations of the artworks at the site here.

Architectural rendering highlighting the art opportunities along NW Eastman Pkwy, including the three concrete coves.

Rendering of the northeast corner of the building along NW Eastman Pkwy.

Rendering of the southeast corner of the building at the intersection of NW Division St and NW Eastman Pkwy.

Rendering of the building’s east exterior wall and sidewalk along NW Eastman Pkwy heading south towards NW Division St.

Artwork Goals and Qualities

The artwork should reflect and compliment the natural and organic elements of the building’s design which is informed through the use of wood and earth tones on both the interior and exterior and the vast amount of windows which allow natural light into the library. In addition to the planting areas and nurse logs on the exterior, there will be warm lighting at several locations around the library, acknowledging its place as an active community hub with the civic space, TriMet Max station and Gresham City Hall to the north and the library’s plaza area and auditorium on the west side of the building.

Another main goal for the artwork is to acknowledge and celebrate the diversity and richness of cultures that will utilize the building. Currently, 40 percent of the county’s population lives east of I-205, and East County is one of the most diverse areas of the region. To appeal to the diverse groups of users at this significant location, the artwork should be meaningful and dynamic. Some key approaches in accomplishing this is to align with the library’s programming and be relevant to the library’s users; generate art that connects to contemporary and/or traditional art-making practices; and stimulate and engage the senses for passersby.


The selected artist/artist team will receive $225,000 for this opportunity to create the site-specific exterior sculptural artworks. This fee is inclusive of all project expenses including artist fees, design development, materials, fabrication, installation, and communication/coordination with the design team, construction team and third-party contractors who may help to fabricate and install the artwork.


This opportunity is open to artists/artist teams based in Oregon and Washington. If applying as a team, at least one member must meet the residence eligibility requirement. MCL and RACC are committed to reflecting the cultural richness of our county by promoting opportunities for emerging and historically underrepresented artists. Artists/artist teams representing communities of color are strongly encouraged to apply. RACC is committed to engaging new communities of artists and expanding the range of artistic and cultural expression represented in the County’s public art collection.

The selected artist/artist team must be able to create, complete and deliver their artwork by November-December 2025.

Selection Process

At this time, the selection process will be entirely virtual. A selection panel composed of MCL representatives, project team members, local artists, and community members will review artists’ submissions and choose more than one finalist to invite to  interview for the commission.

Overall, the purpose of the interview will be to allow the artist(s) and the panel to meet each other and engage in a mutually beneficial and informative conversation. It’s an opportunity for the artist(s) to better understand the context of the project and the intentions the selection panel has for the final art piece. Both parties will be given the chance to ask questions and determine best alignment and artist selection for the project. After the interviews are completed, the selection panel will choose a final artist/artist team to award the public art opportunity to. Criteria for selecting semifinalists for interviews are (1) quality of past work as demonstrated in submitted images; (2) ability  and interest in creating site-specific artwork; (3) how past artwork has fit one or more of the general goals described above through demonstrated processes and/or final design.

(Note: the selection panel reserves the right to select an artist who does not directly apply to this call, if appropriate. Likewise, the panel maintains the option to make no selection from submitted applications and to reopen the selection process or propose other methods of selection if no applicant is accepted.)

How to Apply

All application materials must be submitted through the RACC Opportunity Portal, an online application system. Applicants will need to create an account, or log into their existing account at https://racc.org/apply. (If you are first-time user, learn how to create an account here). If you are applying as a team, please assign one person to apply and be the point of contact on behalf of the team. Submissions due Wednesday, May 8, 2024 at 11:59pm PDT

Application Materials

  • Artist bio/resume. Upload a PDF of no more than two pages that outlines your creative activities and artistic accomplishments. If applying as a team, submit one PDF that includes a bio/resume for all team members no more than 6 pages.
  • Statement of interest. Based on the information given, please address the following:
    • Your interest in this project
      • Why this project, its focus, and themes are of interest to you
      • Why you would be a good match for this project
      • How do you foresee your work connecting to the mission and values of the project
    • Describe your capacity and/or experience to complete the scope of work
    • If you are applying as a team, describe your individual roles on the team and how you anticipate working together

There are two options in submitting these responses:

-Written Statement: 3000 characters or less

-Oral Statement: Upload a video/voice recording no longer than 2 minutes

  • Up to 8 past work samples. These work samples are the primary way the quality of your work will be judged. Provide up to two images, no larger than 5MB each, for each work sample. For each image, please provide title, media, dimensions, year completed, budget and location. Conceptual information is desirable but not required.

Once you have started your application, you can save after each step and sign out. Your application will be saved as a draft that you can continue to work on, as needed. Please note that after you click “Submit,” your application is final and no further edits can be made.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us throughout the process.


We are here to support and assist you! If you have questions about the overall opportunity or the RACC application portal,  would like to set up a time for a phone/video call or have any other needs for assistance please email project manager, Salvador Mayoral IV, at smayoral@racc.org.

If you would like to be considered for this opportunity and don’t have a computer or online access, please feel free to contact RACC for support. Also, if you prefer these materials in another language you can contact the RACC project team for translation services.

We strongly encourage you to submit your application with enough time for any questions to be answered prior to when submissions are due as inquiries received towards the end of that period may not be responded to. We appreciate your understanding and consideration of our capacity.

Interpretation services are available, please email info@racc.org.

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