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Maryland County Courthouse Seeks Artists for Commissioned Work

Posted by Howard County ; Posted on 
Public Art; Visual - DEADLINE :  
Maryland County Courthouse Seeks Artists for Commissioned Work




Howard County, Maryland (the “County”) desires to secure the professional services of qualified artists (“Artists”) for the purpose of commissioning artworks. The County seeks to commission up to three artworks to be installed at its new Circuit Courthouse, which is currently being designed by Edgemoor-Star America Judicial Partners (ESJP). Permanent public interior and exterior Artwork pieces are planned. For purposes of this Request for Expressions of Interest (REOI), Artist is a defined term to include an individual artist or an artist team and respondents to this REOI that submit the required online application materials.

Budget: $460,000 (total for 3 artworks, all-inclusive; permitting fees waived and installation equipment may be provided)
Eligibility: Professional artists living in the United States; see full RFQ for additional eligibility requirements and restrictions
Deadline: 03/29/2019 3:00 PM Central Time

Review the full RFQ here.

Site History
The County is ideally located midway between Baltimore and Washington, DC and has grown substantially in population to over 325,000 today. It is known for the best schools in Maryland, and is now one of the top 10 wealthiest counties in the nation. Under a home rule charter since 1968, Howard County is governed by an elected County Executive and a five-member County Council.

Howard County officially became the 21st of Maryland’s 23 counties in 1851. It was named in honor of John Eager Howard, statesman, soldier and fifth governor of Maryland.  Howard County was mainly farming and hunting grounds for the Native Americans until 1687 when Adam Shipley was granted property on the Patapsco River from Lord Baltimore and started the farming tradition. The County’s history included the Carroll family, signers of the Declaration of Independence and one of Americas wealthiest families, and the Ellicott brothers. Ellicott Mills was founded by Joseph, Andrew and John Ellicott, three brothers from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, in about 1772. The Ellicotts selected a site to build a mill where the Patapsco River cut a ravine through two rock escarpments. They established a flour mill on the Patapsco River and went on to create the largest pig iron foundry on the east coast, and Ellicott Mills, one of the greatest milling and manufacturing towns in the east at that time. The railroad was key to the second phase of Ellicott’s Mills’ growth. Completed in 1830, the B&O Railroad from Baltimore to Ellicott’s Mills was the first commercial railroad built in the United States. They also built roads, bridges, a wharf in Baltimore, schools, and the first part of the National Road that was later to become America’s first interstate highway. The access provided by the railroad and improved roads attracted more people to the growing town, then part of Anne Arundel County. Population growth led to the creation in 1840 of a new Howard District, and a new courthouse was planned and constructed in Ellicott’s Mills in 1841-1843. This structure, built of granite in the Neo-Classic Revival style, continues to serve as a courthouse as well as a local historic landmark. The County’s current courthouse has been periodically renovated and was last expanded in 1983.

The Howard County Circuit Court is part of the Judicial Branch of government and is a court of general jurisdiction. Circuit Court hears jury trials, juvenile, family law, serious criminal matters and complex civil matters. Circuit Court also hears appeals from the District Court of Maryland, Orphans’ Court and Administrative Agencies. The Howard County Circuit Court strives to apply the law fairly and timely while treating all who come before the Court with respect and dignity.

Artwork Location Description
The County will open the new Howard County Circuit Courthouse at 9250 Judicial Way, Ellicott City, MD 21043 in July 2021. The site is located near Routes 29 and 108 and it is bordered on one side by a multi-family development and by limited commercial development. The new courthouse site is approximately 14 acres of a 27-acre, County-owned site. The existing facilities on the 27-acre site will be demolished.

The new Howard County Circuit Courthouse will consist of 238,000 square feet of space in a four-story building. The new courthouse will also include a four-story atrium and a small café. The site will include a parking structure with about 682 spaces adjacent to the courthouse with expansion space for two new 200,000 square feet office buildings. The new courthouse has a goal of meeting a minimum rating of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver.

The County’s website presents information on the new Circuit Courthouse project. Please visit for preliminary renderings and a computer-generated building model of the ESJP new Courthouse design. Additional information on the Howard County Circuit Courthouse is also featured.

Artwork Goals
This REOI seeks to commission works of art of redeeming quality that enhance the aesthetic quality of the new Circuit Courthouse through the selection of qualified Artists that can creatively and thoughtfully design within the context of this project. The essential goals include design and creation of Artworks that:

  • Reflect the dignity and judicial nature of the work of Howard County Circuit Courthouse;
  • Fit well within the site’s context and complement the Courthouse’s architecture; and
  • Are durable, easily maintained and vandal resistant.

Additional goals should include, where possible, enhancing the civic meaning of Courthouse architecture; providing a welcoming and calming effect for visitors to the County’s Circuit Courthouse; and, conveying the historical significance of the current Circuit Courthouse. The selected artwork will invite people to respect the seriousness of the court activities and distinguish this building as a special place.

The County is committed to the stewardship of our environment, and the selected artwork should demonstrate a commitment to responsible fabrication and resourcing, and passive or low-energy use. The artwork should be effectively integrated into the environment, and consider both available natural and artificial light sources, and viewing from multiple vantage points and elevations.

An Artist may apply for up to three artwork locations. Artists should identify in the transmittal letter which artwork location(s) and piece(s) of art they will propose to design, create, fabricate and install. No proposals are sought at this time.


  • February 25, 2019 – REOI posted
  • March 29, 2019 – Application submission deadline on
  • April, 2019 – Applicants selected for shortlist and notified
  • May, 2019 – Minimum of two semi-finalist Artists selected and notified for each of the artwork locations
  • June, 2019 – Semi-finalists Artists interviews; interviews are in-person or by WEBEX. One finalist Artist selected for artwork for each of the artwork locations
  • June, 2019 – Artists contracted
  • July, 2019 – Artworks project Kick-off meetings
  • September, 2019 – Concept Design Presentation
  • November, 2019 – Design Development Presentation
  • December, 2019 – Final Design Presentation (may be conducted by WebEx/conf. call), artwork design approved
  • January – March, 2020 – Construction Documents/Shop Drawing Phase
  • April – May, 2020 – Shop Drawings approved with permission to fabricate
  • June – December, 2020 – Fabrication with studio check-ins
  • January – June, 2021 – Artwork installation in coordination with building construction schedule
  • July 1, 2021 – Projected Artwork Ribbon-Cutting – Dedication

Selection Process
After evaluation of the Expressions of Interest, Artists will be ranked by the County’s Artist Selection Committee. A minimum of two top-ranked Artists will be interviewed for the artwork to be designed, created and installed at each site location described previously and identified. The selection of the top-ranked Artist will be based on this interview and the evaluation of qualifications.

  1. Artist Selection Committee and Art Advisors:  The Selection Committee is comprised of County and Judiciary employees. Art advisors will participate in the process to assist and advise the Artist Selection Committee. Art advisors will screen applications using the eligibility criteria. Next, art advisors evaluate applications using Artwork Intent & goals criteria stated previously. The art advisors will refer applications of eligible Artists to the Artist Selection Committee. The County Artist Selection Committee will score applications using the evaluation criteria, determine the short list of Artists to be interviewed and interview the short-listed Artists.
  2. Semi-Finalists Selection: The Artist Selection Committee will review submissions and select a minimum of two semi-finalist Artists for each of the three artwork locations. The semi-finalist Artists will be interviewed in-person at the County or by WEBEX. Semi-finalist Artists will individually present their background public art experience and approach to the project. The County will not reimburse travel costs for the interview.
  3. Finalist Selection: Following the semi-finalist Artists interviews, the Artist Selection Committee will select one (1) top-ranked Artist for each location and piece of artwork. The County will then undertake negotiations with that Artist. Should the County be unable to negotiate a satisfactory agreement with the top-ranked Artist, negotiations shall be formally terminated. The County shall then undertake negotiations with the second top-ranked Artist, and so forth. The Artist finalist will enter into a contract with the County that has two phases. Phase one of the contract will develop the concept design for the artwork for each location. When final design is approved, the Artist will proceed with phase two of the contract for final artwork design, fabrication and installation.

Selection Criteria
Artists will be selected based on experience and qualifications using the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated and assessed successful, innovative and effective approach to public art projects of a similar scope. Preference will be given to Artists that illustrate themes of jurisprudence and judicial art.
  • Experience working collaboratively with multi-disciplinary professionals and committees
  • The Artist’s experience and Statement of Interest align with the Howard County Circuit Courthouse artwork goals and site specificity of the project
  • The Artist’s experience successfully designing and implementing prior projects on time and within budget.

What to Submit

  1. Resume: 1 page(s) maximum
  2. Work examples: 1 – 12
  3. Artist Statement
  4. Letter of Interest
  5. References: 4

How to Submit

Submit requested information ONLINE ONLY via Submittable.

QUESTIONS?  Contact Dean Hof, Purchasing Administrator, (410) 313-4239 or email not later than 10 days prior to submission deadline. Technical questions regarding software online should be sent to Katie Wofford at 


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