At their March 17 meeting, the Metro Nashville Arts Commission (“Metro Arts”) approved finalist artist selections from a citizen panel to create site-specific public artworks at the future Donelson branch of the Nashville Public Library (NPL). After scoring more than 100 eligible artist submissions, narrowing the field to semi-finalists for each project, and conducting in-depth interviews, the Citizen Selection Committee of Donelson area residents and stakeholders selected the team of artists wow house to create artwork for the building’s exterior plaza, while Nashville-based interdisciplinary artist Amber Lelli will create a hanging artwork inside the new library branch.
The artist team at Wowhaus, a collaboration between Scott Constable and Ene Osteraas-Constable, takes a systems-based and community-engaged approach, drawing inspiration from the cultural, historical and ecological factors that shape a sense of place. .
“We are honored to have been selected for this exciting commission and look forward to creating engaging works of art that will become a beloved community center and landmark for the Donelson Library,” said the team at Wowhaus.
Metro Arts’ call for indoor hanging artwork was reserved exclusively for artists in Nashville-Davidson County and surrounding counties. Local interdisciplinary artist Amber Lelli grew up watching Donelson grow and change with Nashville. For Lelli’s family, the library represents the transformative power of literacy.
“It is an honor to be selected for this opportunity! As a longtime resident of Middle Tennessee, I have many fond memories of Donelson,” Lelli said. “Being able to reinvest my skills in this city and this library means a lot to me. The power of books is inspiring and can be seen in my family history, from my grandmother who never made it past grade one, to my mother, who for the love of books worked to become an editorial director. . And now to me, who in three generations has had the opportunity to create a sculpture that showcases this great community and the power of this place. I look forward to partnering with local businesses and residents to capture the spirit of Donelson.
The two works of art in the Donelson Library are funded by Metro Nashville’s Percent for Public Art Fund, established in 2000 under Mayor Bill Purcell. This fund allocates one percent of the funding for projects designated in the metro’s capital improvement budget to commission works of art in the Subway Public Art Collection.
“I’m very proud of the selection of artists from the Citizens’ Panel who will make our new Donelson Branch Library an even more welcoming, vibrant and engaging downtown,” said Donelson Board Member Jeff Syracuse. “The panel’s time and effort on behalf of the Donelson community is deeply appreciated, and I look forward to following the process of creating and celebrating the installation of these pieces.”
About Metro Arts
Metro Arts is Nashville’s office of arts and culture. Our mission is to lead a vibrant and equitable community through the arts. Metro Arts strives to ensure that all Nashvillians have access to a creative life, and we work towards this goal through community investments, training of artists and organizations, public art and creation creative venues, and direct programs involving residents in all forms of arts and culture. Metro Arts receives operational support from the Tennessee Arts Commission, and additional information is available online at MetroArtsNashville.com.
About the Nashville Public Library
The Nashville Public Library maintains a collection of 2 million items, including books, periodicals, DVDs, CDs, audiobooks, eBooks, and streaming TV, movies, and music. NPL also offers over 800 computers for public use, free art exhibits, educational programs, events for all ages, online reference assistance, research databases, interlibrary loans, and special collections. The Metro Archive, housed in the Main Library, includes 5 million historical documents. Equal access is provided through the Talking Library audio reading service for the print disabled and library services for the deaf and hard of hearing. For more information call 615-862-5800 or visit library.nashville.org.