Howard County Arts Council 

All digital applications must be submitted by midnight, EST on the date of the deadline unless otherwise noted. If you have any questions or technical difficulties please contact us at or (410)313-2787. 

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Head StART in ART: Program Description 

The Howard County Arts Council (HCAC) partners with the Ellicott City and Old Cedar Lane Head Start Centers on artist- in-residence programs for children ages 3-5 enrolled in Head Start.  This partnership, Head StART in ART, provides these children with an in-depth, hands-on artistic experience and ensures access to the arts that they might not otherwise have. The program will include 6-8 artists of different disciplines, offering a wide variety of new experiences for the children. The opportunity for such experiences during these formative years can have a direct impact on a child's development, as well as future appreciation of and involvement in the arts. HCAC coordinates, administers, and funds the project. HCAC begins by selecting an artist who is experienced in conducting school residency programs, particularly for young children, and then works closely with the artist and the Head Start staff to create a thematic program that is both enriching and developmentally appropriate.  The children work with the artist and create something of which they, their parents, and teachers can be proud. 


Teaching artists in a variety of arts disciplines are sought for residencies in support of Pre-K curriculum in the Ellicott City and Old Cedar Lane Head Start Centers (ages 3-5).   

Selected artist(s)/residencies: 

  • Serve between 3-6 classes, 20-25 students per class, possibly over an extended period of time
  •  May be scheduled with the Center anytime between October-May during the school year
  •  Culminate with a performance (for performing arts) or exhibit (for visual arts) that parents may attend


Selected artists must have previous experience working with children, Pre-K preferred. 

If selected artists have not been fingerprinted and have background checks on file, they should be prepared to do so. 

To Apply

Please submit:

1) Your proposed residency, including timeline, unit plan, materials list, perceived outcomes and goals as related to MSDE standards for Pre-K.

2) Resume

3) Three references

4) Samples of student work

5) Fee structure

The Howard County Arts Council (HCAC) manages two galleries at the Howard County Center for the Arts with over 21,000 square feet of exhibit space. The HCAC gallery program was established to enhance the public's appreciation of the visual arts, provide a venue to exhibit the work of local, regional, and national artists in a professional space, and provide leadership in the arts by presenting a broad spectrum of arts in all media from both emerging and established artists.

HCAC presents 11-12 exhibits per year of national, regional, and local artists, including two-person, small and large group, juried, curated, and community shows. HCAC rarely exhibits solo shows.

To apply, please submit the following:

1. Contact Information, including artist or curator name

2. 10-20 digital images representative of the work to be included in the exhibition. Files
should be named to correspond to image list. Entries must be JPG or JPEG files, each no larger than 1 MB. If submitting time-based work, work must be submitted as .avi, .wav, .mov, or .m4a files. HCAC has limited technology for use in the gallery, so any special technology needs should be addressed in the proposal. The images should be named using the “LastName_FirstName_01.jpg” format, where the numbers (01, 02, 03, etc…) correspond directly to your image script.

3. Image List which contains artist's name, title, medium, year completed, and dimensions for each piece. The image list should correspond directly to your application images. So, if you have an image named “Doe_Jane_01.jpg” then your image script should have an entry for “01” with that image’s title, medium, dimension, and date. The image script should be a Word document or PDF. Do not send Powerpoint presentations, movies of any kind, or slide shows.

4. Resume which lists education, exhibitions, awards, publications, etc.

5. Artist statement or description of your artistic goals and recent work.

Individual curators: in addition to the above, individual curators should include a brief decription of the proposed exhibit and identify the artists invited to participate. Provide information describing your curatorial experience, organizational skills, and samples of written materials used to organize a previous show (letters, marketing, etc).

Organizations: in addition to the above, provide your organization's mission statement and describe your programs and services that meet that statement. Include a brief description of the proposed exhibit and state how it furthers your mission and goals.

The Howard County Arts Council (HCAC) is seeking up to 12 artists to participate in its Seventh Annual Juried Public Art Competition for a temporary outdoor exhibit from August 2019-July 2020. HCAC’s goal is to make art more accessible to the entire community by placing sculpture at sites throughout Howard County. The sculpture will serve as major visual anchor points that will enhance and activate community spaces and generate interest in public art.

HCAC will administer the selection process and provide an identification plaque for each work and promotional support for the exhibit. HCAC staff will serve as liaison with site administrators. Sale of artwork will be encouraged; a 20% commission of work sold as a result of the exhibit will go to HCAC. Work must remain on view for the duration of the entire exhibit.

Grant Awards:
HCAC will provide up to 12 artists with a $2,500 grant to cover the temporary loan, insurance, installation, de-installation, and repairs to the sculpture. If multiple pieces are selected from one artist, a separate grant will be awarded for each piece. Selected artists will receive two grant payments: one after the contract is signed and the sculpture is installed, and the other after the sculpture is de-installed and the site is returned to its original condition.

The competition is open to all professional visual artists, aged 18 and older, with public art experience commensurate with this project's scope. HCAC board, staff, and their immediate family members, and selection panelists and their immediate family members are not eligible to participate. In addition to finished pieces, proposed work will also be considered (based on previous examples of public work).

For full details, please read the entire RFP found here. All application materials should be submitted online or delivered to Howard County Arts Council by 11:59PM, March 1, 2019.

Complete RFP for private sites can be found here.
Complete RFP for public agency sites can be found here.

Project Description:
The Howard County Arts Council (HCAC) is seeking up to 12 publicly accessible sites to host sculpture for a temporary outdoor exhibit from August 2019–July 2020 as part of ARTsites, HCAC’s annual juried public art competition. Selected sites can be public or privately owned, and will choose and display one sculpture each. HCAC’s goal is to make art more accessible to the entire community by placing sculpture at sites throughout Howard County. The sculpture will serve as major visual anchor points that will enhance and activate community spaces and generate interest in public art.

A selection panel made up of HCAC representatives, public art professionals, and at least one professional with expertise in planning and zoning, architecture and design, or construction, will be convened to review the applications and select artist finalists and sites. The panel will provide a pool of selected sculptures to representatives from participating sites; those representatives will choose the sculptures for their sites from the pool.

The competition is open to all professional artists, aged 18 and older, with public art experience that is commensurate with this project’s scope. HCAC will provide a grant to each selected artist to cover the temporary loan, installation and de-installation of the sculpture.   HCAC will provide a name plaque for each work and publicity materials. HCAC staff will serve as a liaison with artists and site administrators. Sale of installed works will be encouraged; a 20% commission of work sold as a result of the exhibit will go to HCAC. Work must remain on view for the entire duration of the exhibit.  


  • All community, commercial and public sites in Howard County are eligible; HCAC’s goal is to place sculpture at sites throughout the county.
  • Sites that experience high levels of pedestrian traffic are recommended.
  • Sites must be visible and accessible to the public.
  • Sites that have courtyards or other paved pedestrian spaces conducive to the display of outdoor      sculpture or sites willing to install a concrete pad will be given preference; some work may be appropriate to place on lawns. 
  • Sites should be publicly accessible 24 hours per day or, if they are sited in a park or similar site, be accessible during normal hours of that site’s operation.
  • Sites that contain commercial or political advertising (other than the name and location of the business), or would impede pedestrian traffic, or create a safety or traffic issue will not be considered.

Site Responsibilities:

  • Privately owned sites must carry General Liability Insurance in the amount of $2,000,000, personal property insurance covering vandalism or theft, and provide proof thereof.
  • Appoint a site administrator who will provide logistical and administrative support during installation, de-installation, and the duration of the exhibit.
  • Monitor the work and notify HCAC immediately of any damages or vandalism.
  • Install a concrete pad or other anchoring construction if the sculpture the site selects requires it. 
  • Install the name plaque provided by HCAC in the area that the sculpture is sited. 
  • Enter into an agreement with HCAC regarding these requirements and willingness to host the sculpture for the duration of the exhibit.
  • Have representatives available to attend meetings as necessary and be available for publicity purposes.

Guidelines for Sites to Consider:
Public art should ideally

  • Be placed at a site where it will enhance and activate the space or at least not detract from it (e.g. creating a “blind” spot).
  • Be sited where it will be highly visible, in a location that experiences high levels of  pedestrian traffic, or creates a place to congregate.
  • Be placed at a site where it is not overwhelmed by, nor competing with, the scale of the site or adjacent architecture, large retail signage, billboards, etc.
  • Not block windows or entranceways, nor obstruct normal pedestrian circulation in and out of a building, nor be a safety hazard.
  • Not be placed at a site if the landscaping and maintenance requirements of that site cannot be met.

Artist Responsibilities:
Artists selected to exhibit their sculpture will be responsible for:

  • Signing a contract with HCAC and site. 
  • Transportation and installation of the sculpture.
  • Maintaining general liability insurance during the installation process and any applicable insurance limits for themselves or any subcontractors including, but not limited to, worker’s compensation, automobile, etc. during the installation of the artwork. 
  • Being available for public information, interviews, etc.
  • Removing work promptly at the end of the exhibit. 

Participating artists retain sole ownership and copyright of the artwork, but must agree to grant HCAC and participating site a royalty-free, world-wide perpetual license to use any depictions of the work for educational, documentary, and non-commercial promotional purposes.

Artist and Site RFPs posted                           December 2018
Proposals due at HCAC                                 March 1, 2019
Sites notified                                                   March 2019
Artwork selection meeting                             March 2019*
Artists notified                                                 April 2019
Contracts due                                                  May 2019
Artwork installed                                             August 1-15, 2019
Artwork de-installed                                       July 15-30, 2020
*This meeting date will be set by HCAC and all sites will be notified of the date and time after the proposal deadline. Accepted sites will need to send a representative to this meeting to select the artwork for their site.

NOTE: HCAC reserves the right to refuse any or all submissions, sites, and any finalists; to waive informalities in proposals or procedures; to withhold the selection award should it be determined that the site or submissions are not adequate, or for any other reason prior to a written contractual arrangement. HCAC also reserves the right to re-issue the call for entry, which may revise selection timeline, or ask sites to submit proposals for review. HCAC reserves the right to accept or reject, at any time, any or all proposals or any part thereof submitted in connection with this call for entry, to waive any defect or technicality, and to advertise for new proposals, where the acceptance, rejection, waiver or advertisement would be in the best interest of HCAC, or to terminate the selection process at any time for any project. If, regardless of the reason, the contract for the project is not executed within thirty days after submittal to the site, HCAC reserves the right to withdraw the selection of the site. HCAC reserves the right to negotiate unacceptable provisions incorporated within an otherwise acceptable proposal. A proposal which is late, incomplete, unclear, conditional or which contains irregularities of any kind, may be rejected without evaluation. Submission of an application constitutes an understanding and agreement of the conditions set forth herein.
Complete applications will be forwarded to the selection panel for consideration. Handwritten statements will not be accepted.  

Sites interested in applying for the project must submit the following:

  • Attached Submission Form, filled in completely. If submitting for multiple sites, fill out a separate form for each site. 
  • Photograph(s) and/or scale drawing of each proposed site.

All application materials should be submitted online or delivered to Howard County Arts Council by 11:59PM, March 1, 2019.

About the Event & Exhibit:

Artists will paint in the historic district of Ellicott City, Maryland for three days in late June, creating work that will be shown in a six-week exhibit at the Howard County Art's Council's Gallery I. Artists who are not juried into the exhibit may still participate in the Open Paint and in an exhibit at the Howard County Welcome Center. Participating artists will also enjoy a welcome reception, an exhibit reception, and juror's awards. For more information, please visit our website.


All artists working en plein air, in oil, acrylic, pastel, or watercolor, aged 18 years and older, are eligible to apply.

Entry Fee:

A non-refundable entry of $30 is due with entry. All fees go toward awards and costs for the event. Submit fee here.


A 20% commission will be retained by HCAC on all sales of artwork included in the exhibit, as well as any sales during the plein air event. Work is not required to be for sale. 


A minimum of $3000 in cash awards will be presented by the juror, including the $2000 Gino Award, named in honor of Gino Manelli (1915-2010), an avid artist and cyclist who established his art studio in Ellicott City in 1966. Over a 70 year artistic career, Gino created landscapes, portraits, and still lifes in a range of media and styles with dramatic color use and a dynamic palette knife, creating emotional, engaging artwork. His work is in galleries in the United States and Europe. 


The decision of the juror is final. All accepted work must remain in the gallery for the duration of the exhibit. HCAC reserves the right to photograph artwork and artists for publicity and educational purposes  and to use images of submitted work for the same purposes. HCAC reserves the right to reject work not suitably presented. All work must be  original, no reproductions (including giclee, commercially printed, or computer generated reproductions of paintings, drawings, etc.) Submission of an entry constitutes understanding and agreement with all conditions mentioned in the prospectus.

To enter, submit the following:

1. $30 entry fee - submit here

2. Complete online application, including up to four (4) images. Submit digital files in .jpg format only. Label files with the last name and corresponding entry number (Smith_1.jpg). Files should be less than 1 MB. Submissions can also be sent on a CD or emailed with the entry form information to Entries must be submitted digitally by 11:59 PM on 4/19/19. 

Howard County Arts Council