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Georgetown GLOW Festival Seeks Light Artists

Posted by Georgetown Business Improvement District ; Posted on 
Public Art; Visual - DEADLINE :  
Georgetown GLOW Festival Seeks Light Artists



The Georgetown Business Improvement District (BID) invites artists to submit proposals for the fourth edition of its Georgetown GLOW Winter Public Art Exhibition, an outdoor display of light-art installations on view in Washington, D.C. from Friday, December 8, 2017-Sunday, January 7, 2018. Georgetown GLOW is free and open to the general public, with installations lit nightly from 5 to10 p.m. in the commercial district.


There are three budget categories to apply for:  Less than $5,000, between $5,000 – $12,000, and between $12,000 – $25,000. If the artwork requires a budget beyond that provided by the Georgetown BID, the artist is welcome to seek and propose accompanying sponsors.


Open to all artists working in mediums to include performance, video and sculpture, that creatively incorporates light as its primary medium.

Project History and Context

Georgetown GLOW is part of the BID’s overall holiday programming which includes the region’s largest outdoor ice skating rink, holiday shopping and a holiday window competition. With its charming buildings, yuletide decorations, and more than 450+ stores, restaurants, galleries, and salons to shop and dine. The Georgetown neighborhood is internationally renowned, and the D.C. area’s top stop for all things holiday.

In December of 2013, the Georgetown Business Improvement District( BID), in partnership with Alliance Francaise D.C., hosted four international artists who showed at the Fête de Lumieres, one of Europe’s most celebrated festivals held annually in Lyon, France, since 1852. This was the first time that any of the Lyon installations had been exhibited in the United States.  In 2014, the Georgetown BID launched Georgetown GLOW by commissioning local, regional, and international artists to re-imagine the season ofl ight through publicart. Past exhibitions encouraged contemplation of, and interaction with, the natural and historical environment of Georgetown.

Visit to view past installations. To learn more about historic Georgetown, please visit the BID’s official website,

Artwork Goals

With light at the center of each project, artists are encouraged to explore concepts of space and place; inspire public interaction; and utilize and respond to Georgetown. We will not accept projects where light is simply illuminating your artwork; the role of light must be essential and integrated with your concept.  Additionally, we would like each concept to address the theme of Connectivity. Washington, D.C. is a thriving international capital with deep connections to embassies and global markets. The city celebrates diverse cultures and a myriad of languages can be heard throughout Georgetown and the broader Washington, D.C. area. We want to celebrate and pay homage to the Connectivity that is part of the fiber of Georgetown. Through this exhibition, we will embrace ideas that connect us to each other by looking to local, national and international voices to interpret the theme of Connectivity within the setting of historic Georgetown.


  • Call for Artists: Deadline to submit        Friday, May 5, 2017
  • Artists notified of project selections:     Friday, June 9, 2017
  • Installation of selected artworks:           Monday, November 27–Wednesday, December 6, 2017
  • All artwork must be installed, tested, and have received a walkthrough with a BID team member by 8 p.m. on December 6.
  • Exhibition Private Opening Reception:  Thursday, December 7, 2017
  • Exhibition opens to general public:        Friday, December 8, 2017
  • De-installation:                                       Monday, January 8 –Friday, January 12, 2018

Selection Process

A selection committee including Georgetown BID staff, BID members, community stakeholders, and curator Deirdre Ehlen MacWilliams will select approximately ten (10) artists for the 2017 GLOW exhibition.

Selection Criteria

The committee will consider the following in selecting the final projects for the 2017 GLOW exhibition:

  • New Artworks: We give priority to light art that has been created for GLOW
  • Light is the Primary Medium: We are not looking for art that is simply illuminated. Light must be central to the concept of your proposal
  • Creativity & Innovation: GLOW aims to amaze visitors with the creativity and innovation of light art. We are looking for works that are innovative and evoke a sense of wonder with the viewer.
  • Durability: We require durable and rigid constructions. The December weather in D.C. can be unpredictable–from unseasonably warm and dry to below freezing, windy and rainy (andattimes,snow!). As a result, your piece must be technically and physically durable to withstand all kinds of elements
  • Theme: We are looking for concepts that interpret the theme in surprising and thoughtful ways.

Submission Requirements

  • Application form. Form can be found at the following link:
  • CV (no more than three pages)
  • Contact information for lead artist, to include full name, address, email and cell phone number
  • Rendering of proposed project(s) in situ of desired location (applicants are permitted to submit no more than two project proposals for consideration)
  • Description of proposed project(s) (no more than one page each)
  • Budget for each submitted proposal to include costs for materials, artist fees, travel, fabrication, installation of th eartwork, etc.
  • Up to 10 images of previous artwork accompanied by a short description of each project
  •  Three references.

How to Apply

Download and review the full Request for Proposals before submitting. All proposals must be submitted to the curator, Deirdre Ehlen MacWilliams, at with the subject line “Georgetown GLOW Exhibition Proposal” by 11:59 p.m. EST on Friday, May 5, 2017.

QUESTIONS? Please contact Deirdre Ehlen MacWilliams,