NASAA Notes: December 2018

December 5, 2018

Maryland: Public Art Across Maryland

Proposed artwork for Idlewild Park basketball court. Courtesy of Shelton Hawkins

Public art—which celebrates the uniqueness of place, creates memorable experiences and cultivates community pride—is the focus of a special year-long initiative the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC) launched in honor of its 50th anniversary. Through its Public Art Across Maryland program, MSAC awarded matching grants of $5,000 to 12 counties across the state to fund the installation of original, site-specific pieces of art that celebrate creativity in Maryland. Funded projects, which must be completed by July 2019, include murals, sculptures and functional artworks such as benches, bike racks, bus shelters and a painted basketball court. Several of them were designed by emerging artists undertaking their first public art commission. MSAC provided extensive technical assistance to counties applying for a grant and administering their award. For example, it helped issue calls for proposals and is currently working with commissioned artists to advance their artwork from concept to fabrication. MSAC also paid for software that participating counties used to facilitate their public art proposal submission process. Contact MSAC Public Art Program Director Liesel Fenner for more details.

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