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Public Art Sought for Rockville, MD Underpass

Posted by City of Rockville ; Posted on 
Public Art; Visual - DEADLINE :  
Public Art Sought for Rockville, MD Underpass




The City of Rockville, Maryland, in collaboration with WMATA’s Art in Transit Program and CSXT, is seeking an artist to create a site-specific artwork to beautify the underpass at Park Road.

BUDGET:  $100,000, all-inclusive

ELIGIBILITY:  Professional artists, no national or regional restrictions.

DEADLINE:  March 30, 2018

Site Information

The Park Road Underpass is near two residential neighborhoods, East Rockville and Lincoln Park, and is close to the downtown area known as Rockville Town Center.

East Rockville:  East Rockville is a residential neighborhood located in the northeastern section of Rockville, bounded by the Rockville Metro Station and Stonestreet Avenue corridor on the west, Veirs Mill Road on the south, First Street on the east, and the Lincoln Park neighborhood and Southlawn industrial area to the north. The community consists primarily of single-family homes and includes two small commercial centers, three parks and a forest preserve. Historic homes line Baltimore Road, but the majority of houses were built in the 1940s.

Lincoln Park: Lincoln Park is one of the oldest historically African-American communities in Montgomery County. Established in the 1850s, the neighborhood today is primarily a single-family residential community, composed of an eclectic mix of housing types. The Lincoln Park community is abutted on three sides by a variety of non-residential land uses and shares its southern border with the East Rockville community. The Metro line and CSX tracks separate the neighborhood from Rockville Town Center to the southwest, where residents can meet their everyday shopping and retail needs.

Rockville Town Center: Rockville Town Center is the city’s downtown and the seat of the county and city government. Rockville’s Town Center is a dynamic and thriving neighborhood with a hometown feel featuring fantastic amenities, unique, locally-owned shops and restaurants, and a pedestrian-friendly Town Square.

The project encompasses the concrete walls on each side of the Park Road underpass. Each wall is composed of two sections, one owned by WMATA and the other by CSXT. Rain falls through the tracks onto the concrete panels, causing vertical rust lines from the top to bottom of the underpass. There is an open area between the two WMATA tracks, as well as between the WMATA and CSXT tracks, which allows water penetration onto the walls. The city owns the lights and conduits in the underpass, and the lighting connects to city streetlights.

Artwork Requirements

CSXT supports beautification projects and is open to paint and colored lighting. Any paint or materials must be reviewed by their environmental group and follow their specifications. No attachments or drilling are allowed due to CSXT’s safety and maintenance requirements. A mosaic tile on an abutment, (lower height), but not on the bridge structure, may be considered.

WMATA is open to reviewing a variety of media, techniques and attachments proposed for its section of the wall. Upon review of their proposals, finalists will be informed of any applicable technical constraints and requirements in order to further develop a site-specific proposal.

The City of Rockville does not have any additional specifications.

Selection Process

Artists will submit materials documenting previous work for review.  The Art Review Panel reviews applicants’ portfolios and selects finalists (three finalists anticipated).  Finalists will be provided more detailed information on the project and a $1,000 stipend to develop a site-specific proposal.  The city will provide travel fees for finalists to present their proposals to the Art Review Panel, who will develop a recommendation for the selection of one artist.  WMATA and CSXT will review the site-specific proposal of the recommended artist for their agency’s approval, which will then be forwarded to the Cultural Arts Commission to make an independent recommendation.  The recommendations from the Art Review Panel and the Cultural Arts Commission are presented to the City of Rockville Mayor and Council for consideration and final award of the public art commission. NOTE: The selection of an artist’s design proposal is wholly within the discretion of the Mayor and Council of Rockville. The City of Rockville reserves the right to accept or reject any or all of the proposals for any or no reason, and is under no obligation to commission a work of art from any submitted proposal.


  • Application Deadline:  Friday, March 30, 2018
  • Finalists Announcement: Friday, April 27, 2018
  • Presentation of Proposals to Art Review Panel by Finalists:  Week of June 25, 2018

The City of Rockville reserves the right to adjust this timetable as required during this Call to Artists submission process.

How to Submit

All materials will be submitted online. Hand-delivered or mailed submissions will NOT be accepted. Only online submissions will be considered for review. Find details and application at

Interested artists MUST submit the following materials to be considered:

  • Up to 10 digital images along with a short application form, a one-page list of the images specifying the title, media, location and year created for each work of art, a bio/CV, and brief artist statement.
  • A list of no more than five recent public art commissions, and a reference/contact person and their phone number for each project.

QUESTIONS?  Contact Arts Programs Supervisor Betty Wisda at 240-314-8681 or; review full RFQ at


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