BLINK artist selected to create ‘light sculpture’ for Downtown Main Library outdoor plaza

ArtWorks and the Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library are excited to announce the selection of artist Jen Lewin to create a monumental permanent public sculpture for the Downtown Main Library’s new outdoor plaza on the corner Vine and of Ninth streets. Lewin’s work may be familiar to local residents as her installation, The Pool, was featured in BLINK 2017’s inaugural festival.

As part of the current renovations for the Main Library, a new plaza is under construction with space for public art. Lewin's sculpture is expected to delight visitors and further engage the public as a destination in the urban core.

The light sculpture will include groupings of illuminated Stainless steel pillars with changing light patterns that will be visible from both outside and inside the building.

"We often heard in our Facility Master Plan community listening sessions that our community values public art and wants the Library to include works of art in our updated spaces,” said Paula Brehm-Heeger, the Eva Jane Romaine Coombe Director of the Library.

In total, 144 applicants from nine countries and 36 U.S. states responded to the Library’s and Artworks' initial Request for Qualifications. Lewin was selected out of three finalists asked to submit Request for Proposals. Lewin is internationally known, opens a new window for producing tech-based artwork which incorporates changes in light intensity and color.

“Over the past four months, ArtWorks has worked closely with library leadership, its renovation design team, and gathered community input to find the perfect proposal for the plaza,” said Colleen Houston, ArtWorks CEO & Artistic Director. “This will be an important and iconic work of public art in our city.”

Project timeline:

  • Early 2022: Community engagement opportunities will be held to help the artist refine her concept to ensure that it represents the Cincinnati and Hamilton County community.
  • Late 2023: Expected installation of Lewin’s artwork, which will coordinate with the conclusion of the larger renovation project at the Downtown Main Library, part of the Building the Next Generation Library

Download renderings (CONCEPT ONLY, NOT FINAL): 

ABOUT ARTWORKS: ArtWorks is an award-winning Greater Cincinnati nonprofit that transforms people and places through investments in creativity. The organization collaborates with community organizations and residents, businesses, governments, foundations and nonprofits to build creative works of art that bolster the region’s global reputation as an arts destination. ArtWorks employs professional artists who inspire and mentor diverse teams of youth, ages 14-21, helping them build 21st century career-readiness skills. These teams have completed more than 14,000 public and private art projects in its 25 years, including more than 200 permanent outdoor murals.

ABOUT CINCINNATI & HAMILTON COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY: Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library has been cultivating curiosity from the moment we first opened our doors in 1853. Since then, we have evolved into one of the biggest and busiest libraries in the country: supporting minds of all kinds who seek to unlock their full potential. With 41 neighborhood branches, a vast range of programming, and ever-growing collection of virtual resources, we're proud to be a place where everyone can learn without limits. To learn more, visit or call 513-369-6900.