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201 W. Mifflin Street
Madison, WI

Pinney Library: Public Art

In May of 2019 the six Pinney Art Piece finalists gave public presentations on their proposed pieces for the new Pinney Library. Madison residents who were unable to attend the public presentations can leave comments by clicking the link below and sending comments up until May 28th.

Public art Piece #1: Finalisits

Below are mock-ups of the three final proposals for Pinney Public Art Piece #1

Maria Amalia Wood

“For the past four years I have been creating paper and textile objects that refer to specific memories of lived experiences. With a creative process that embraces a personal and socially engaged art practice, my work draws upon material culture, the natural environment, and the complexities of a life lived between Central America and the Midwestern United States. Craft processes and materials have contributed in meaningful ways to the content of my artworks and can be a powerful vehicle in cultivating social consciousness. Inspired by Wisconsin migratory birds flying during sunset, I will create an abstract handmade paper horizon. The work will evolve organically through a repetitive process of layered, ripped, painted, dyed and collaged pulp; building complex surfaces that carry rich color and texture passages. More than 200 handmade paper pages will be installed directly on the 6' x 8'4" drywall using insect pins. The edges of the 4x4 inch pieces will be deckled or irregularly shaped. Each of the pages will be embroidered with french knot random formations, like the formations created by the migratory birds.
Immigrants from the Madison community will be invited to participate in the making of this artwork by donating used cotton garments...”

WHY THE LIBRARY?: “…There are few public spaces in Madison that intentionally celebrate diversity, provide a safe space for immigrants and people of color, and provide free educational resources for everyone in the community. Libraries are shelters, learning centers, and available every day to the most underserved populations. As an artist I value exhibition spaces that are accessible and welcoming to anyone, regardless of their background and social status. If I could choose a permanent location to display my artwork, it would not be at a museum, it would be at a library.”

pARTS Collaboration: Caleb Weisnicht and Robin Good

“…our team proposes a low relief abstract mosaic panel composed of approximately 1,200 tiles with varied tones and reflective characteristics created from natural materials. The composition of the panel tiles would include the materials: hardwood from salvaged trees, ash, oak, maple, copper, iron, nickel, brass, optical glass, colored glass, blown glass, molded glass, crystal, mirror, and clay. The variety of natural materials used in this piece will complement the interior design of the library and be visually beautiful. The reflections cast from the tiles will be reminiscent of the sun reflecting off the lakes on a sunny day. In addition to tying to the natural, the chevron design of the tiles invokes the idea of knotted work or weaving of textile materials…”

WHY THE LIBRARY?:Libraries and their staff are integral members of our neighborhood communities and the larger Madison community. Librarians, as the stewards, serve as the field guides on each of our information journeys and provide resources and new avenues to enhance our experiences. We view the institution of the library as the great equalizer—bringing Madisonians and Dane County residents of different backgrounds, beliefs, and income-levels together to enjoy the art of story, to engage in the excitement of sharing and gaining knowledge, and to experience community.”

Yeonhee Cheong

“The content will be the Wisconsin prairie, depicted by hand embroidery stitches. It will be from a bird’s eye view, emphasizing the vastness and wavy texture of the prairie that looks as if it will softly embrace if you dive into it. The narrow top area will be filled with plain cross stitch in various shades of sky to give a depth or will be painted (dye). Most area will be densely (not showing the linen substrate) filled with a mixture of DMC embroidery floss in various shades of plants. The upper area will be filled mostly with short to medium straight stitches and gradually moves to the lower area with medium to long straight stitches, in order to create a sense of distance. In addition, seed and other textural stitches and possibly beading will adorn gradually from top to bottom, in order to indicate species variety.”

WHY THE LIBRARY?": “…As a new mom and immigrant, I did not know what to do with my child, particularly in a foreign country for me and a native country for him. Free library programs offered some chances for my child and I to get out of the house, get to know the U.S. childhood culture, and meet friends in the neighborhood. Unlimited access to the library made my child very comfortable with books and the space, even after we moved (from Pinney area) to the Sequoya Library area long ago. Walking to the library is always a pleasant event, with expectation of serendipity.”

Jury: Trent Miller (Bubbler Program Coordinator), Faisal Abdu'Allah (Artist), Sarah Lawton (Pinney Library Supervisor), Elizabeth Shoshany Anderson (Curator), Denise Schneider (Pinney Library Assistant)

Public art Piece #2: Finalists

Below are mock-ups of the three final proposals for Pinney Public Art Piece #2,

Peter Krsko


“The sculpture titled “Hordeum/Roots of Knowledge” is inspired by a microscopic cross-section of a barley plant. Grasses and grains are not only an important member of our local prairie ecosystems, but they also symbolize the wealth that human civilization has acquired as a result of agriculture. When humans started cultivating the land, they accumulated resources that allowed them to develop our modern culture. This was the time, when innovation exploded. This knowledge is now protected and further cultivated by the libraries. The tessellated root cells symbolize the healthy and well-functioning community. It all fits perfectly together, very efficiently, which also creates the pleasing aesthetic appearance. Humans as a society strive for efficiency and beauty, therefore we connect to these patterns that naturally emerge in living organisms.

 “Hordeum/Roots of Knowledge” connects  the transformation of the global culture to the uniqueness of the local community. The design functions as an architectural feature that connects the community to the library, and nature to culture. It is transparent and viewable from both sides. It is optically active and responds to sunlight as well as lights illuminating it at night. It is bright, during the day it also functions as a playful educational tool and at night as a safety feature.

 The pattern is fabricated from two layers of high density polyethylene. This material is recycled, durable and playground-safe. The piece is tactile, like an image in Braille. The colorful areas are a coated polycarbonate. This transparent scratch-resistant material is also very strong and safe for this location. The colorful coating is dichroic.”

WHY THE LIBRARY?: “This artwork is a poetic metaphor of the line between the library and the rest of the community. The library is the source of knowledge and information (nutrients) that the entire community benefits from, just like the root cells portrayed. Libraries are the perfect community setting for my educational public art. I always want to be actively affiliated with these important institutions. In my artistic practice, the viewer steps beyond the visual elements of the sculpture and discovers new facts and connection to nature. The educational and informational element is a great way to engage the audience. Each of my projects is always accompanied with interactive workshops with an emphasis on natural sciences and philosophy.”

Michael Velliquette


“Power Flow is a sculptural mural about collective interconnectivity. It is the visual formulation of the moments difference and sameness morph into and out of one another. It speaks to the way all phenomena are in flux. It represents the powerful currents and flows of life.”

”…Contemporary public libraries fulfill multiple roles. They continue to serve as central facilities for the dissemination of knowledge; they offer quiet spaces for contemplation and study; and they are civic hubs for the creation of knowledge, art, and community. Our libraries provide a physical space where individuals spanning Madison’s diverse cultural, ethnic, linguistic, socioeconomic, and religious backgrounds can come together and engage with their neighbors. I am proposing an artwork designed to celebrate the public library’s multiple roles as a nexus for community-building as well as the space for self-enrichment and reflection. This piece will fundamentally explore the theme of interconnectivity. It will assemble differently colored, shaped, and patterned components into a larger unified whole...”

Erick "Ck" Ledesma


“A steel fence-wall comprised of blind contours or one-line self-portraits created by the Madison Public Library’s neighbors, patrons, librarians, etc. The sculpture will sit on top of a steel planter that grows vines in the Spring/Summer, activating the piece with a different life. The planter will be engraved with stories shared by the participants of the workshops.
Through workshops -- community members of the library will be asked to create and share a self-portrait, as well as a story. The portraits will be gathered and turned into a steel fence. The stories will be part of a book that compliments the piece, housing both the written word and the drawings.”

WHY THE LIBRARY?: “…As an artist that engages community I believe the library offers a space like no other. It gathers intergenerational folks with different backgrounds, stories, lived experiences and lenses for life within a location for sharing -- sharing stories, our stories. To learn and grow from each other. The proposed piece “Common Fiber” offers an opportunity to intersect many things the library is already doing organically; to stimulate creativity while cultivating curiosity for making and learning from our stories to build a healthier and stronger community…”

Jury: Trent Miller (Bubbler Program Coordinator), Faisal Abdu'Allah (Artist), Sarah Lawton (Pinney Library Supervisor), Elizabeth Shoshany Anderson (Curator), Holly Storck-Post (Pinney Youth Services Librarian)

Below is The project timeline (Updated May 22nd, 2019)*:

  • By April 1st - All artists/teams are notified of jury results and 6 proposals (3 for each project) moving on to the next round are notified that they are invited to do a public presentation.

  • May 1st and May 8th Public presentations by 6 artists/teams (3 for each project).

  • June 2019: Finalists announced.

  • June 2019: Selected artist(s) will be planning and beginning fabrication (if piece is new) 

  • July 2019 - November 2019: Selected artist(s) create and install exterior piece #2 

  • November 2019 - March 2020: Selected artist(s) create and install interior piece #1 (pending construction schedule) 

  • Spring 2020: New Pinney Library location opens to the public 

    *subject to change depending on construction schedule

The Madison Public Library has received funding through the Madison Art Commission's Art in Public Places Program and a donation from the Madison Public Library Foundation for these two unique pieces that will be installed as permanent public art in the newly built Pinney Library.


If you have specific questions about the application process, please email
Bubbler Program Coordinator, Trent Miller at