Call for Proposals: Gottesman Libraries Art Commission

Myers Foundation


Made possible by a trust founded by Colonel Eugene Myers, which funds art education initiatives at Teachers College, the Gottesman Libraries Art Commission has brought relevant art content to the patrons of the Gottesman Libraries for years.


The aim of the Gottesman Libraries Art Commission is to create art experiences in the library that present themes of education, learning, and libraries through innovative work. In the last few years an effort to incorporate interaction and technology has been made in order to expose audiences to ideas and methods that are not part of traditional educational curriculum.


Gottesman Libraries in collaboration with the Myers Foundation, offer funding, exhibition space, and support to artists who explore the intersections between education, technology, data, art, and media. The goal of the Gottesman Libraries Art Commission is to create novel, meaningful, and transformative experiences in the context of a graduate school of education, health, and psychology. Selected artists complete multimedia art projects, which lead to public outcomes including installations and performances, seminars, public discussion, and publication.


With support from the Myers Foundations, the Gottesman Libraries will award selected artists up to $10,000 to collaborate on imaginative new work based on the concepts above. Artists will work alongside Gottesman designers to create art that impacts the community on campus, in New York, and beyond.


Funding is also available for exhibition of relevant existing work and varies by project.


Background Information

In addition to holding the largest collection of materials devoted to the educating professions, the Gottesman Libraries has developed a range of new services to meet the needs of students and faculty members interested in accessing and producing educational and research materials in multiple media which includes the production and display of applicable artwork.


See examples of previous art commissions.


Required Submission Materials - Due December 15, 2020

Email all submission documents to govan@tc.columbia.edu


  1. Letter of intent for project (no more than two pages). Briefly describe your approach to the project. Please include an initial budget for fee, materials, and installation costs.
  2. Portfolio of up to 10 work samples (may be submitted as PDF, website or physical document) with corresponding details on each work.
  3. CV or Resume
  4. One or two pages of related biographical information with complete contact information
  5. List of 3 references, ideally from those who have engaged you in similar projects


Evaluation and Award Process (December 16, 2020 to January 31, 2021)

Proposals will be reviewed by the Library art commission committee and selected based on applicability to mission, impact, and innovation.


The review committee will research and identify a pool of qualified candidates. From this pool, no more than 5 artists will be invited to continue in the selection process. Finalists will be given the opportunity to develop one or more preliminary concepts for Teachers College and to tour the space and have the ability to request access for research, photography etc. In the case of existing art, the proposal must include details about installation, location, and any additional support. 


Proposals should be developed enough to provide a good understanding of how the art will look within the context of the location. Finalists will be asked to submit their updated proposals to the review committee within this period.


The review committee will evaluate all submittals and recommend 1 to 3 artists as commission recipients. Final selection will be based on the applicability of the proposal to Gottesman Libraries and Teachers College’s mission and the level of uniqueness and innovation proposed.


Scope of Work/Timeline for Projects

As part of the selection of the final commission recipients, funding will be determined by review committee according to scope and applicability. The review committee and artist will develop a contract and scope of work in this final phase of the selection process.


New Commissioned Work


  • Up to 16 cumulative weeks
  • up to $10,000 in funding


Exhibition of Existing Work


  • Timeline to be determined by the Artist and Gottesman Libraries
  • up to $3,000 in funding 


*Additional funding may be available for limited travel, housing, shipping and necessary installation/event expenses and will be considered on a case by case basis.


Roles and Responsibilities

Gottesman Libraries will work with the artist to identify the best location on the premises for the work and help to install, maintain, and de-install work. The artist is responsible for making sure that the art is finished, functional, and adheres to the specifications set by Library Management for content. The artist must be present and participate for a period to be determined (see “Scope of Work” above) by the review committee and artist at each stage of the project. 


The artist must be available and prepared for potential public outcomes about the work such as, but not limited to: openings, Library educational seminars, press, and publication.


Payment Schedule

Artists are paid on an agreed-upon schedule by the artist and the Gottesman Libraries. Payments are usually planned in four phases: 40% for initial materials, 30% for proof of concept, 20% upon successful installation and 10% for an artist talk or presentation.


Intellectual Property

All accepted artworks, collaborations, and their representations will be licensed by the Gottesman Libraries for future use and exhibition as part of the original commission.


Important Dates


  • Oct 7: Call for proposals
  • Dec 15: Applications are due by midnight EST 
  • Dec 16 - Jan 31: Library committee reviews proposals and generates pool of finalists who will be contacted to develop their proposals further with Library team. Library review committee selects up to 3 artists for the commission
  • Feb 2021 onward: Selected artists finalize contracts with review committee and commence collaborations


Email applications and any questions to govan@tc.columbia.edu



Last Updated: 9:25 am, Thursday, Oct 8 , 2020