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Public Art

Stochastic Interactions by artist Eric Peltzer, 2018, UMB, Health Sciences III Building

Public Art

Maryland State Arts Council Public Art Programs

Public art can be two or three dimensional, created in a variety of media, sited indoors or out, temporary or permanent, and always free and accessible to all. Maryland State Arts Council offers two public art programs: the Maryland Public Art Initiative (MPAI) a percent-for-art program that integrates large scale public art in new or renovated state buildings; and the Public Art Project (PAP) grant program that funds Maryland artists producing projects with County Arts Councils or designated Arts & Entertainment Districts (A&Es).


Maryland Public Art Initiative (MPAI)

Forum by Thomas Sayre, 2014, UMBC Performing Arts and Humanities Building
Forum by Thomas Sayre, 2014, UMBC Performing Arts and Humanities Building

The Maryland Public Art Initiative (MPAI) sets aside a percentage of capital construction costs for the integration of public art in new or renovated state buildings or sites. State capital projects are identified by the Department of Budget and Management for public art integration, and MSAC works with the state agency implementing the building project to select an artist through an open call public solicitation Request for Qualifications (RFQ) process. An artist selection panel is appointed, including staff of the new building, architect and/or landscape architect, MPAC Commissioner, and art professional/community member.

The artist selection panel reviews all eligible applicants and narrows the pool to three semi-finalists who travel to the site for in-person interviews. The finalist selected contracts with the state agency implementing the building project and commences artwork concept development working collaboratively with a multi-disciplinary team including architects, landscape architects, engineers, project managers and contractors. The artwork is designed, developed and fabricated and installed in conjunction with the building project construction schedule, typically a two year process or more.


Public Art Project Grants

FY19 Public Art Project grant panel meeting is open to the public and takes place at the MSAC office. Look for the new FY20 program guidelines and application to be posted here in late summer, 2019. Be sure to Like our Facebook page to hear about public art Calls-to-Artists and other arts news from around the state.

In FY18 the Public Art Project (PAP) Grant program awarded additional funding for projects commemorating MSAC's 50th Anniversary. Grants of up to $5000 were awarded to 12 Maryland County Arts Councils supporting a range of work including: murals, tile mosaics, sculptures as well as a unique and colorful surface painting of an outdoor basketball court. In addition, six grants were awarded to Arts & Entertainment (A&E) Districts for public art projects including, artist-designed bike racks, as well as projects in parks and along trails complementing existing public art. Click here for the full list of grantees.


Michael Singer Studio Selected for Maryland Public Art Initiative Project

MSAC in partnership with the Universities at Shady Grove (USG) announces the selection of Michael Singer Studio for the new Biomedical Sciences and Engineering Education Building (BSE) at the Rockville campus. When the building opens in 2019, the University System of Maryland’s research universities, University of Maryland, Baltimore, University of Maryland, College Park and University of Maryland, Baltimore County, will offer undergraduate and graduate degree opportunities in healthcare, biosciences, engineering and computational sciences.The BSE will provide state-of-the-art teaching laboratories, active learning classrooms, clinical training facilities, and innovation and product design labs for interdisciplinary student research projects. Read more here.


Maryland Commission on Public Art

The Maryland Public Art Commission (MPAC) oversees the Maryland Public Art Initiative and meets quarterly.

January 17, 2019 - Agenda


9/11 Memorial of Maryland

The Maryland Commission on Public Art helped steer the concept and fundraising efforts for the 9/11 Memorial of Maryland at the World Trade Center in Baltimore, which honors the Maryland victims of the September 11th attacks and serves as a meaningful place for reflection. Learn more