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Artist Sought for Slave Commemorative Project

Posted by St. Mary's College ; Posted on 
Public Art; Visual - DEADLINE :  
Artist Sought for Slave Commemorative Project




St. Mary’s College of Maryland, the state’s Honors College, is seeking an artist for a major commemorative project that will give visitors, students, faculty, staff, and the local community the opportunity to reflect on the lives of the enslaved people of Southern Maryland at the turn of the 18th century and their long-term impact on the region. The theme is to contemplate and reflect upon the lives of these enslaved people and celebrate their resilience, determination, and persistence.

Budget: $450,000

Eligibility: Professional artists/teams who have experience managing, designing and completing site-specific art commissions with a budget over $100,000 within the past five (5) years

Deadline: September 28, 2018

The full RFQ can be downloaded here.


During archaeological work that preceded construction of a new stadium, St. Mary’s College discovered evidence of slave quarters from two distinct periods that pre-date the founding of the College. As the current landowners, St. Mary’s College is respectful of what has been found and will use the information to guide the College in fulfilling its mission as a public Honors College, and is committed to educating people about the existence of this history and its relevance.

The College, in partnership with many in the region and state, has embarked on this effort to establish a contemplative memorial that will reflect the resilience of the enslaved people who once lived here.

Please refer to the following links for more information:


The theme of this commemorative artwork will offer viewers an opportunity to contemplate and reflect upon the lives of these enslaved people and celebrate their resilience, determination, and persistence. Other major themes to consider are “The past is never dead,” the idea of redemption, and making the invisible visible.

The artwork will be an outdoor environmental project of sculptural expression that may incorporate the landscape.

Possible media include, but are not limited to, architectural glass, architectural metal, stone/ceramics/mosaics, decorative paving, landscape + water, experiential, and sculpture. Artists may consider adding interpretive signage into the artwork as a way to educate visitors to specifics from the archaeological discovery.

The College is interested in an artwork which also engages landscape that reflects the changing of seasons. Additionally, artwork could be kinetic or interactive: reacting to wind, sunlight or darkness. These possible options suggested by the committee are based upon the rural location, setting, subject matter, daytime and nighttime viewing.


The site for the commemoration is a flat, open field of approximately 2,000 square feet, adjacent to the area where the archaeologists found evidence of slave quarters. The artifacts were found below a practice soccer field which shall continue in use.

The site is adjacent to the path from a parking area to the new athletic complex, and athletes and spectators will pass the commemoration site en route to games and practices. Electrical and water are available at the site due to the new complex construction. The commemoration site is adjacent to the archaeological sites. The artist may use the archaeological discovery as inspiration for their vision.


  • Applications accepted:  starting August 27, 2018
  • Deadline to apply: September 28, 2018
  • Semi Finalist selection: October 5, 2018
  • Finalists selection: October 19, 2018
  • Interviews: Oct/Nov 2018
  • Proposal deadline: Nov/Dec 2018
  • Final artist selection: December 2018
  • Project installation: 2019 (TBD)


St. Mary’s College of Maryland has established a commemoration committee, led by the President of the college, Dr. Tuajuanda C. Jordan, to review artist submissions and interview finalists. Qualifying artists will be interviewed and those selected then will be invited to create a design proposal. Finalists will receive an honorarium of $1500 to develop and present a proposal. An additional stipend will be provided to Finalists to cover travel expenses for a site visit.


  • Artistic Aesthetic
  • Quality of work samples
  • Demonstrates the ability to work collaboratively with architectural and planning groups
  • Demonstrates the ability to design a site specific work within a thematic concept
  • Letter of interest suggests an understanding of the St. Mary’s College of Maryland Commemoration vision and artists’ capacity to produce a work that will resonate within the theme and Guidelines.


Résumé/CV:  Submit a brief, current résumé or CV (one for each team member) including contact information, your website, previous relevant art commissions, design team experience, exhibitions, awards, grants, and education. Include any publications, third-party web postings/blogs, and art curator’s reviews of your work.

References: Please include at least three (3) art and/or design professionals who have detailed knowledge of the artist’s work and working methods, including fulfilling deadlines, working with the community, etc. Include contact name, organization, address, telephone, and email for each reference.

Letter of Interest: Talk about your interest in this project and your experience working on comparable projects, including your experience with architectural and engineering project teams, your philosophy on public art, its integration into surrounding environment and how your work and experience will complement this project, your eligibility with the multiple criteria for this project from the Selection Criteria section of this RFQ, and your ability to adhere to the theme and guidelines.

Artwork Images: please upload five (5) examples of relevant artwork as your submission. Images must be JPEG or PNG file format with a minimum of 620px width and maximum file size of 5MB. For each image, you will be prompted to upload a main image. The application screen will also prompt you to specify the title of the artwork, location, budget, year completed, medium, and dimensions.  You have the option to provide more images and information for your completed artwork by publishing a CODAworx “project.” With a CODAworx “project” you can include additional images and more information about projects or artwork you have completed in the past. Follow the link below to publish the additional images and information for your application:


This RFP is administered and managed using the CODAworx RFP Toolkit, an innovative platform that streamlines the commissioned art process. Questions about applying on CODAworx may be addressed to Stefanie O’Keefe, RFP Specialist at or by calling her direct line, (608) 347-9621.  Apply using the link here.

QUESTIONS?  Contact Stefanie O’Keefe, or (608) 347-9621


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