Local Library Adds Artistic Touch to Library Cards

The Ohio County Public Library in downtown Wheeling is seeking multiple artists to be a part of a new project that will add an artistic touch to its library cards. The library card update project will commission local artists to create original artwork that will be printed onto new OCPL library cards, along with additional in-house marketing items such as bookmarks, stickers, and welcome brochures.

All materials will be included in new library “welcome kits,” which organizers hope will bolster library card sign-ups and patronage throughout the year. “Our current cards are simply the library’s seal with some contact information on a beige background,” according to Ellery McGregor, head of marketing for the Ohio County Public Library. “This new project is a wonderful opportunity to work with local artists and get people excited about coming to the library.”

The Ohio County Public Library’s cards will soon be transformed into colorful expressions of Wheeling pride.

To ensure that the artwork has ties to Wheeling, submissions should be based on one of Wheeling Heritage’s Themes of History and Development and should not contain finished pieces. In an effort to be respectful of artists’ time and hard work, the library is asking artists to submit prior portfolio pieces and a description of the proposed piece instead of a finished piece. However, if desired, artists may submit a rough sketch of their proposed piece. Once selections are made, the library plans to work closely alongside the artists to create the final art pieces with minimal revision sessions.

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If chosen, each artist will be compensated $1,000 and the library will license the art for 5 years, with the option to renew. Artists will retain all intellectual rights to their pieces and will be encouraged to sell items such as totes, tee-shirts, and prints on their own as a personal, additional avenue of income. Further terms and conditions, as well as a planned schedule for release, will be provided to the chosen artists.

This is just the latest project the OCPL has taken on to highlight local art. Earlier this year, the library commissioned local artist Vondel Bell to create a mural on the main floor, highlighting his portrayal of Maya Angelou and Albert Einstein. The success of this project prompted library staff to envision other ways to incorporate art into its programs and services. “We hope that through projects like this, we can continue to show our pride in our city and solidify the library’s reputation as a strong, beloved and modern institute in Wheeling,” McGregor remarked. 

The library’s new mural “Colors and Thoughts” by Vondel Bell was met with a warm reception when it was revealed to the public in August 2023. (photo courtesy of Wheeling Heritage Media).

READ MORE: Vondel Bell’s Latest Mural Celebrates Literary and Science Icons at OCPL

Interested artists should submit their art to the Ohio County Library by December 22, 2023. To learn more or to submit an art proposal for consideration, visit the library’s website or stop by the library’s circulation desk to request a physical copy of the proposal specifications and the submission form. The Ohio County Public Library is located at 52 16th Street, Wheeling, WV. 

This project is supported, in part, by Wheeling Heritage and the Wheeling Arts and Cultural Commission