Artist Opportunities | Request for Qualifications

Three youth students painting a mural on the brick wall located on the side of the library

The Cleveland Public Library (CPL) seeks emerging and established visual artists for its Prequalified Artist Registry. The Artist Registry will serve as a source for CPL to contract with artists to purchase existing artworks, commission new works, or partner with on commercial and other projects. Artists who are identified through this process are eligible to be contracted with by CPL to design, fabricate, and/or install projects at Main Library or any one of its 27 locations throughout Cleveland, Ohio, or related to any of its mobile and/or community-based projects, such as CPL BookBoxes, Art Boxes, BookBikes, or mobile technology spaces. A project-specific contract will be developed for any artist who is commissioned to do artwork with CPL.

There is no limit to the number of artists who can be prequalified through this process. Artists selected to be prequalified through this process will remain eligible for work consideration with CPL through June 30, 2026 and may reapply for inclusion in the registry in the future.Cleveland Public Library intends to reissue this RFQ annually. Artists who are already prequalified will remain eligible for projects for two years after they have been accepted through this process.

Virtual information sessions will be offered for prospective artists. See TIMELINE for dates and to sign up.


Our Mission

We are the “People’s University,” the center of learning for a diverse and inclusive community.

Our Vision for Cleveland & its Library

A city in which opportunity is within reach.
A library that empowers its people.


Applications are open to artists, artist teams, and collectives working in a variety of artistic mediums including, but not limited to, sculpture, painting, fiber, ceramics, photography, digital arts, printmaking, video, illustration, collage, and mixed media. All artists 18 years of age and older are eligible to apply. Cleveland-based artists are strongly encouraged to apply. BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, neurodivergent, people with disabilities, and people with varying abilities are encouraged to apply.


close up of sculpture in front of stone building.

Artists at all stages of their careers, from emerging to experienced, will be considered. The registry is open to artists from all backgrounds, from self-taught to professionally trained. Artists’ applications will be evaluated for inclusion in the registry based on the following:

  • Creativity
  • Conceptual strength
  • Technical skills
  • Experience or interest engaging the public through the arts
  • Relationship with the community served by CPL
  • Experience or interest in collaborating with public organizations, members of the community or public art projects
  • Appreciation for CPL’s mission, vision and values


A demographically diverse selection panel comprised of internal and external professionals will convene to screen all eligible applications and recommend a roster of qualified artists for CPL to consider for future projects. There is no limit to the number of artists who will be included in this registry.


  • April 1 Request for Qualifications (RFQ) issued
  • April 16 Virtual Informational session for prospective artists, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
  • April 18 Virtual Informational session for prospective artists, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

Select one (1) virtual information session and email to sign up.

  • May 15 Applications due
  • June 30 Artists notified of decisions

All artists accepted through this RFQ process will be eligible for projects with Cleveland Public Library through June 30, 2026.


Día de Muertos painting. with "Join the Fun" on the door.

To be considered, please submit the following via email, (accepted file types: pdf, jpg, png):

  1. Current resume including experience, education, and contact information.
  2. Letter of interest that expresses the artist’s interest in working with CPL, relationship to Cleveland, and past experiences working with people in community, professional, and/or educational settings (no more than 500 words).
  3. No more than 12 images of completed projects. If the artist has fewer than 12 completed projects, the letter of interest is a good place to describe other relevant experiences or ideas.
  4. List of submitted projects: title, date, location, materials, dimensions, budget, and commissioning entity (if applicable).
  5. Artist statement describing the artist’s overall vision for their work and if/how they relate to larger cultural forces, issues, movements, or types of artwork, (no more than 300 words).
  6. Three (3) professional references (or personal references if emerging artist).

Applications will be accepted through May 15, 2024. Please email applications to, with the subject line, “Application for Prequalified Artist Registry.”


  • Prequalification does not guarantee that an artist will be commissioned for a project, nor does this process prevent CPL from procuring artists through other avenues
  • CPL may request additional information, samples, or interviews in order to determine an artist’s qualifications or suitability for a particular project.
  • CPL reserves the right to determine the weight given to the above described selection criteria in selecting artists for the registry.
  • CPL assumes no liability for costs incurred in the preparation, presentation, or submission of applications.


All questions regarding this “Request for Qualifications” are to be submitted in writing to

Large circular art structure of interlaced sound tubes