Project/Facility: State House Trust/Maryland State House, Annapolis, Maryland

Client/User Agency: Commission on Artistic Property (of the Maryland State Archives) and the Maryland Public Art Commission (of the Maryland State Arts Council)

Project Budget: Not-to-Exceed $500,000 Proposal 

Stipend: $5,000 to each of the four semi-finalists Issue 

Date: June 25, 2024

Project No: BA-491-250-001

Application Deadline: Friday, August 9, 2024  (Background info only, no artwork proposals)

To apply: click here How-to-Apply Webinar: Thursday, July 11, 2:00 - 3:00 pm; To register: Click here

Project Overview

The State House Trust, the Commission on Artistic Property (of the Maryland State Archives), the Department of General Services, and the Maryland Public Art Commission (of the Maryland State Arts Council) are pleased to announce a Request for Qualifications from artists, or teams of artists (hereafter, “artists” shall mean individuals and/or teams of artists) with experience in figurative sculptural artwork to design and create a memorial to honor Black Patriots who served in the American Revolutionary War. Once identified, qualified artists will then be invited to submit proposals to be considered for commissioned work to create a monument that will be located on the grounds of the Maryland State House. 

The Monument to Honor Black Patriots aims to honor and acknowledge the overlooked history of the African American community in early Maryland, the majority of whom were free Blacks. The monument will communicate that the history of African Americans in Maryland begins with the free and indentured Black passengers on the Ark and the Dove’s original 1634 landing.

Over 150 Maryland African Americans, a minority of whom were enslaved people, are known to have enlisted and served in the Revolutionary War. Their existence and contribution have been largely unknown in Maryland's public history. With the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 2026, and in coordination with the MD250 Commission, Maryland has the opportunity to honor these soldiers and their military service to the creation of this nation. The concept for such a memorial artwork was initially proposed by Steven X. Lee the author of ‘The Story of Mr. Thomas Carney - A Maryland Patriot of the American Revolutionary War.’ Carney was one of many Maryland African Americans, who enlisted and served in integrated units during the Revolutionary War. Just like their white counterparts, the Black Patriots traveled with an army that included free and enslaved women and children who were integral to its functioning. Their contributions have been overlooked in historical narratives. Their legacy is but one of the omitted chapters in the heritage of early Maryland’s extensive Black community. 

The purpose of the sculpture is to honor these unsung Patriots who were members of the Continental Army community and to expand public understanding of the people who contributed to the fight for American independence. This monument should celebrate the contributions of Maryland’s free Black population to our State and Country through figurative depictions and the selected artist's interpretation.

Artwork Location:

The monument is to be placed on the exterior southeast lawn in front of the State House, the original 18th-century entrance to the building. The scale of this monument should be appropriately proportioned to respect the historic façade of the building, and not obscure the view onto, or from, the southeast portico. The monument will be located in proximity to the Old Treasury Building (the oldest public building in Annapolis, built 1735-36) as well as to the tree honoring Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., planted in 1984. The Maryland State House was built in the Georgian style. The proposed artwork should take into account the existing landscape and the scale of the building. There must be ADA access to view and experience the artwork. Artwork materials must be durable to withstand the elements and be low maintenance.
 

The Maryland State House in Annapolis is the oldest state house in the country still in continuous legislative use. It was designated a National Historic Landmark on December 19, 1960. In the State House, the General Assembly convenes annually from January to April. Legislative chambers for the Senate of Maryland and the House of Delegates, as well as historic period chambers (including the Old Senate Chamber and Old House of Delegates Chamber), executive offices, and exhibits are located in the building.
 

More information about existing monuments and memorials on the Maryland State House grounds can be found here: https://msa.maryland.gov/msa/mdstatehouse/html/memorials_main.html

Design Considerations:

*Please note that only semi-finalist artists will be expected to submit proposals:

The final monument concept and final artwork must: 

  • Be original, unique, and appropriate for the location
  • Relate to the project overview outlined above
  • Include figurative elements
  • Be structurally sustainable, theft and damage-resistant 
  • Be made of durable materials, reduced costs of maintenance
  • Be accessible to viewers experiencing the Monument at a close proximity
  • Consider sight lines and viewing from, and beyond, the Maryland State House grounds

Existing Conditions

Monument location site plans as well as photos are attached in the Addendum. Relevant construction documents depicting existing conditions will be provided to the selected semi-finalist artists to assist with the technical development of their proposals.

Artwork Budget & Contracting

Up to four semi-finalist artists will be selected and will each receive a $5,000 stipend that covers travel to the site for a site tour, concept proposal including budget and schedule, an in-person proposal presentation to the Monument Advisory Committee and any and all other costs associated with developing the artist’s proposal. One finalist will be selected for the commission. 

It is the State’s intent to develop this project for a maximum budget not-to-exceed $500,000. The proposed budget includes the artist fee and project management, overhead expenses (sub-consultants, travel/lodging, etc.); design development drawings, including revised budget and schedule; artwork fabrication shop drawings and specifications stamped by a MD licensed engineer; artwork materials (including base(s) if applicable) and fabrication; artwork transportation to site and installation; two community engagement presentations; licenses, insurance and any and all other costs as required to furnish and install the proposed artwork resulting in a complete and fully functional installation. 

The finalist artist’s concept, budget and schedule will be reviewed and approved before awarding of the final contract. The Department of General Services project manager will review the artist’s proposal and budget before final contract to establish the feasibility of implementing the proposal and to determine what additional services may be necessary, if any, to address potential impacts of integrating the proposed Monument into the fabric of the State House Grounds. The project manager will work with the winning artist to align the contract scope of work with the artwork proposal. 

The contracted artist is expected to visit the State House a minimum of four times for: design development kick-off,  pre-construction site visit, artwork installation; and artwork dedication at a date to be determined between July 4, 2026- August 29, 2026. The artist will be expected to conduct two community engagement presentations during implementation and following installation in collaboration with the Monument Advisory Committee. Additional visits may be necessary depending on the specific needs of the project as required to ensure the successful installation of the artwork. The cost for all such anticipated visits shall be included in the artist’s proposal budget. Any expenses that exceed the contracted amount will be the artist’s responsibility. The artist will be responsible for submitting an artwork maintenance manual upon completion.

The State House Trust will develop signage for the artwork as part of the State House’s interpretive signage in consultation with the artist. The plaque will be funded by the State outside of the artist’s budget.

Contract

The selected artist will contract directly with the Department of General Services. The artist must register as a Maryland vendor and adhere to all applicable licensing and tax requirements for the duration of the contract. The artist will work with the DGS Project Manager, curatorial staff of the Maryland Commission on Artistic Property and Maryland State Arts Council public art project team to oversee all aspects of the artwork from design development through project implementation and installation. 

Artist Selection Process 

Eligibility

This opportunity is open to artists who will conceive a concept and design for the artwork. Identification of fabricators is not necessary at this stage. Semi-finalist artists will have an opportunity to identify the fabricators they intend to work with in Round 2 of the Selection process (see page below). Applications from fabrication studios and foundries without a lead artist identified will not be considered.

All professional artists or artist teams living in the United States may apply.  If artists apply as a team, the team should be listed on the application, specifying a team leader to receive notifications.  Artists currently enrolled in a university or college degree program are not eligible to apply.  Employees or appointees of the State House Trust, The Maryland State Archives, the Maryland Commission on Artistic Property, the Maryland Public Art Commission, the Maryland State Arts Council, and the Maryland Department of General Services, Maryland Department of Planning and Maryland Historical Trust are not eligible to apply.

Application Requirements:

All applicants must submit the information listed below. Artists may apply as teams who submit a joint application in the Submittable.com application portal. 

  • Contact Information (If applying as a team or on behalf of someone else, please submit the application under the name/account of the “lead artist”.) 
  • Artist Resume/CV  Five pages max. (If applying as a team, please combine all team members’ CV’s into one PDF to be uploaded) 
  • Ten (10) Artwork Samples:

Artwork samples may be submitted as a jpeg or video file, but the majority of samples should be still images. Video files should not be longer than 3 minutes each. Samples may include multiple images of the same artwork from different angles or highlighting specific details, but it is recommended applicants avoid submitting collaged or composite slides of multiple images. Proposal renderings for projects that have been designed but not fabricated/installed may be included, but labeled ‘not built’ under metadata.  

Artwork Samples must include metadata to communicate the artwork to the committee. Please add metadata in the “Artwork Description” area and include all relevant information: scale/dimensions, materials, year completed, artwork budget, location, commissioning organization, etc… Additionally, include any collaborators and specify their role in the project (i.e. Lead Artist, Assistant, Fabricator…). 

  • Statement of Interest: This is an opportunity for the artist or team to address their interest and approach to this particular commission opportunity and why their experience and background aligns with the proposed Monument to Black Patriots. 
  • Artist or artist team must agree to the following:
  1. Commit to work within the proposed project budget and schedule
  2. Commitment to fabricate the artwork domestically to enable the project team to conduct a site visit(s).      

Artwork proposals are NOT accepted at this time. Applications including visual or written proposal ideas for the Monument to Honor Black Patriots who served in the Revolutionary War will be removed from the review. Incomplete applications may be returned or rejected.

Selection Process:

Eligibility Review: 

All applications received will be reviewed by staff for completeness and eligibility based on the submission requirements and the unique contexts of this project as described above.  Applicants must be a resident of the United States or a U.S. Territory. Students in high school, undergraduate or graduate degree programs at the time of application are not eligible to apply.
 

Selection Criteria:

Artist(s) includes contact information, artist resume/CV, Ten (10) artwork samples, statement of interest, ability to fabricate the artwork domestically, and ability to meet project schedule in their application.

Round 1:

All applications deemed eligible by staff will be advanced to the Monument Advisory Committee for review and scoring based on the Selection Criteria below. The Monument Advisory Committee will choose up to four applications to be advanced as semi-finalists.

Round 2:

Up to four semi-finalists will be selected by a selection committee and invited to develop artwork concept proposals. Semi-finalists will participate in an in-person site tour, then prepare artwork concept proposals. Artists return to present their proposals individually and privately to the Monument Advisory Committee. Upon selection of the semi-finalists, each will be awarded a stipend of $5,000 to cover time, effort and concept proposal expenses in developing the Monument proposal. The proposal may include but not be limited to: artwork maquette, renderings (hand-drawn or digital) that illustrate and communicate the scale of the artwork concept on the proposed site, budget and project schedule with commitment of proposed fabricator and/or contractors including installers. The artist must also propose a plan of community engagement presentations during design and following installation.
 

Round 1 and 2 Selection Criteria:

  1. Demonstrated experience through past works reflect originality, technical skill including figurative artwork, sensitivity to site and knowledge/experience of materials and fabrication methods suitable for a permanent installation in a public environment.
  2. Statement of Interest demonstrates a personal connection to creating an artwork that honors Black Patriots who served in the Revolutionary War.
  3. The artist’s application materials communicate a rich understanding and connection to the subject matter and themes this Monument seeks to honor and the goals expressed in commissioning this new work for the State House grounds.

Finalist: 

The Monument Advisory Committee will recommend one finalist to the State House Trust for the commission. The selected artist will enter into a contract directly with the Department of General Services, which is responsible for managing the Monument project. The artist’s contract must be approved by the Maryland Board of Public Works before work can commence.
 

The selected artist or team must register as a Maryland vendor and pass the tax clearance and adhere to all applicable state permitting and licensing and tax requirements for the duration of the contract.

Final Proposal Selection Criteria

  • Artwork Concept: The proposed concept reflects original figurative artwork, authenticity, evokes response or inquiry, addresses the artwork themes and goals in the RFQ, and appropriately considers siting, scale, materials, its relationship to the historic State House and integration with the landscape while remaining complementary to the existing character of the State House grounds.  
  • Engagement: The artist describes a plan for community engagement presentations.
  • Feasibility: Proposed budget is clear, specific, and detailed, indicating the artwork can be fully implemented within the advertised budget. The schedule is clear, specific, and detailed, indicating the artwork can be fully implemented and in alignment with the stated timeline. Total budget is within the intended budget goal of the project.
  • Durability, Permanence, and Safety: The artwork is materially and structurally sound. Artwork is resistant to theft, vandalism and is low maintenance. Artwork does not create unsafe conditions nor utilize unsafe materials. The concept is able to adhere or adapt to ADA guidelines and applicable building code requirements.

Project Schedule 

Artist Selection: 6/25/2024 - 1/3/2025 

  • Applications Due: Friday, August 9, 2024
  • Applicants Notified of Selection Status: Week of September 23, 2024
  • Site Visit Date: Week of November 4, 2024*
  • Proposal Presentation Date: Friday, January 3, 2025*
  • Finalist Artist Contract & Procurement Approvals: January-March, 2025
  • Design Development - Shop Drawings: March-June, 2025
  • Fabrication - Installation: July 2025-July 2026
  • Dedication: July- August 2026

*Semi-finalist artists selected must be available to visit and tour the campus, and then interview in-person with the Artist Selection Committee. Applicants please mark your calendar.

Monument Advisory Committee Representation 

The committee established to review applications and recommend an artist to the State House Trust for the Monument Commission includes representatives from the following:
 

  • Maryland Commission on Artistic Property
  • Maryland Public Art Commission 
  • Designees of the State House Trust to include the Executive Cabinet; General Assembly; and the Maryland Historical Trust
  • Public Member

Project Management

The selected artist will work with the Department of General Services’ Project Manager to finalize the siting of the artwork within the proposed site to ensure a cohesive project.

Staff of the Department of General Services, Maryland State Archives, Maryland Historical Trust, and Maryland State Arts Council Public Art Program, are responsible for project administration and management, and will administer the work of the Monument Advisory Committee. The monument will be incorporated into the overall interpretation of the State House and its grounds, in compliance with the guidelines of the State House Trust to ensure the integrity of this National Historic Landmark.

About The State House Trust

The State House is administered by the State House Trust. The Trust was created by the General Assembly in 1969 to oversee the area inside State Circle in Annapolis, including the State House (Chapter 199, Acts of 1969) and Lawyer’s Mall. This oversight extends to the use of buildings and grounds and any exhibits on display. The Trust supervises all improvements, alterations, additions, landscaping, and repairs within the area.

The Trust consists of four ex officio members (or their designees) who serve as trustees. Members of the Trust may appoint from one to three nonvoting associate members who are qualified by experience and interest in historical preservation.

More information about the Maryland State House and the State House Trust can be found here: https://msa.maryland.gov/msa/mdstatehouse/html/home.html

The Maryland State Arts Council Artwork Commissions Program 

MSAC’s Artwork Commissions program is the state’s Percent-for-Art program and allows independent artists and artist-led teams to apply to be included on a Public Artist Roster for a two-year cycle, or to apply directly to an open Call to Artists when one is issued. Artists are selected for projects by an Artist Selection Committee specific to the project. MSAC manages the process from artist selection, through design, fabrication, and installation. Finished work becomes part of the state’s public art collection.

The Maryland Commission on Artistic Property

The Maryland Commission on Artistic Property is the official custodian of all valuable paintings and other decorative arts owned by or loaned to the State. The Commission provides for the acquisition, location, proper care, custody, restoration, display, interpretation and preservation of these paintings and decorative arts. It is a unit of the Maryland State Archives. 

More information about the Commission can be found here: https://msa.maryland.gov/msa/speccol/sc1500/sc1545/apc_web/index.html

Questions and Inquiries:

Nora Howell

Public Art Project Manager

Maryland State Arts Council 

401 E. Pratt Street, Ste 1400 

Baltimore, MD 21202

Nora.Howell@maryland.gov

410-938-1695

Addendum

Site Photos


 

Existing site for proposed location of Monument (background scaffolding scrim depicts photo of State House)


 


 


 

View of proposed Monument location from left 


 


 

View from State House Circle at Francis Street looking up towards the State House and the 

proposed Monument location in front of the portico.


 


 


      Area of opportunity


 


 


 


 

Maryland State Arts Council