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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). ESJP is the Project Company contracted by the County in October 2018 to design, build and maintain the new courthouse. At a minimum, the scope of services will require:  collaboration with the lead designer selected for the building project; development of preliminary and final concepts; fabrication of the artwork; participation in meetings and conservation reviews as necessary; and coordination/installation of the artwork at the project site.  

The County’s Artist Selection Committee will be advised by art advisors.  By the end of an Artist’s design development phase, the County’s project team and the Artist will describe its coordinated approach and schedule for fabrication and installation of the artwork(s).

The County working with ESJP will be responsible for designing and installing foundations and supporting minor structural enhancements and supplemental lighting (if required) in consultation with the Artist. The County will work with the Artist and ESJP to provide a crane if one is needed for artworks installation. The Artist shall be responsible for all other aspects of installation.

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. This REOI does not request preparation of a proposal. To see available artwork locations, click here.

Permanent public interior and exterior Artwork pieces are planned. 

This REOI will result in selection of finalists using qualifications-based selection procedures.  Final selection of the top-ranked Artists will be made by the County with advice from its art advisors. 

Project Site/Facility Background: 

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 https://www.howardcountymd.gov/howardcourthouse 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.


All professional Artists in the United States may apply. If Artists are applying as a team, the team should be declared on the Application Form, specifying a team leader to receive notifications. Four references, including names and contact information, are required. Additionally, the Artist must meet at least three of the following four criteria to be considered for this commission:

• The Artist has completed public art commissions.

• The Artist has received awards, grants or fellowships.

• The Artist has had work exhibited in museums or galleries.

• The Artist has demonstrated artistic merit, excellence and innovation through past work.

Artists currently enrolled in any university or college degree program are not eligible to apply. Incomplete or nonresponsive online applications will not be evaluated. Eligibility will be used as the first cut in evaluating Artist’s consideration for this commission.

Artwork Intent & 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 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.  The selected artwork will invite people to respect the seriousness of the court activities and distinguish the building as a special place.

Artwork intent and goals will be utilized as the basis for the second cut in evaluating Artist’s consideration for this commission.

Budget Details:

County funding for this Artworks project will not exceed $460,000. The artwork budget dollar amount includes: Artist fees; materials; applicable State sales taxes; labor of the Artist(s) and assistants and technical sub-consultants including conservators; studio and operating costs applicable to this project; documentation; insurance; travel costs for the Artist to visit and research the site and participate in meetings; the presentation of the design proposal to the County; fabrication of the artwork, transportation of the artwork to the location; and any costs incurred by the Artist for installation and activation of the public artwork at the location. Any expense that exceeds the contracted amount shall be the Artist’s responsibility, necessitating redesign at no cost to the County and minimizing any schedule impact.  No additional and/or contingency funds will be available. The County will waive County permitting fees. Reasonable installation costs required for foundations and supporting structure and equipment to install artwork (i.e., a crane) will not be part of the $460,000 maximum budget and will be paid by the County through the County’s contract with ESJP. The not-to-exceed budget for artwork in each location is listed below. The final budget will be set when contracts are awarded. 


The proposed artworks will be sited on three separate locations both outside and inside of the building and site. Please see the complete REOI and addendum 1 + addendum 2 for details about locations and budgets for each site.

For all of the art sites, electricity can be provided for integrated lighting components; however, no digital media technology may comprise the artwork. The artwork will receive diffused natural light from a large glass wall area at the entrance and across the front of the new building. Given the exposure to the public and natural light sources, color safe materials should be used. The building construction budget will cover reasonable supplemental lighting for the artwork and minor structural enhancements (if required) in consultation with the Artist.



The Artist will contract directly with the County and work with the public art project team to oversee all aspects of the artwork from design through project implementation, fabrication and installation. A sample version of the County’s standard service contract is posted as an attachment to this REOI here.  A contract will be executed between the County and the selected Artist for selected artwork at each location upon approval of the final design. 


Application Process: Artists apply online utilizing www.hocoarts.submittable.com Applications must be submitted no later than March 29, 2019 by 4:00 PM EST. 

Online application shall include:

Application Form

Statement of Interest to create a public artwork for the new Howard County Circuit Courthouse and the specific location(s) the Artist is interested in as well as how the Artist’s public art experience benefits this project. 

Eligibility Statement explaining how the Artist’s experience complies with at the least three of the four criteria for eligibility.

Resume or CV Résumé (maximum three pages/750 words) (artist or each artist if a team is submitting), which should include any previous public commissions, exhibitions history, museum collections that include Artist’s work, as well as a list of awards, honors and grants. 

References include four (4) art and/or design professionals who have detailed knowledge of the Artist’s work and working methods. Provide contact name, address, telephone number, and e-mail for each reference consisting of two commissioning agencies and two design professionals (i.e., architect, engineer, graphic designer, etc.). At least two references should be able to describe the Artist’s ability to manage fabrication and installation of the artwork.  A letter of reference from each commissioning agency and design professional is encouraged. 

Image Annotation Sheet: please include Artist name(s) at top of page.

Please upload a reference sheet listing jpeg images. NO composite images. One image per jpeg. Include the following for each artwork:

1. Title

2. Artist. List all authors of the work

3. Year work was completed installed, or dedicated

4. Location. Please be specific, ex "Maple Park Playground" include City and State

5. Commissioning Agency (if applicable)

6. Total artwork budget. Do not include larger site construction budget

7. Materials

8. Dimensions and/or description of scale (i.e., one city block).

9. One sentence description of the artwork

Twelve (12) JPEG Images.  One image per JPEG. No composite-collage grouping of images on one slide. Selected images must include at least two projects of installed work. Image and file size requirements are listed on the website:  www.hocoarts.submittable.com

Page Limit. No more than six (6) typewritten pages (minimum font size 11 point) are allotted for the Statement of Interest and Eligibility Statement, plus the résumé and contact information may be submitted.  The transmittal letter, which shall be limited to one page, shall not be used to circumvent or supplement the above limit. Please identify in the transmittal letter the specific artwork and location for which you are applying. Failure to comply with the page limit will result in rejection of the Expression of Interest.


After evaluation of the Expressions of Interest, Artists will be ranked by the County’s Artist Selection Committee. For details about artist selection committee, art advisors, the selection process, and evaluation criteria, please read the full REOI and addendum 1 + addendum 2.

Project Timeline

February 25, 2019 REOI posted

March 29, 2019 Application submission deadline on www.hocoarts.submittable.com 

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

Questions and Inquiries: Questions concerning this REOI must be directed to Mr. Dean Hof, Purchasing Administrator, telephone number (410) 313-4239 or email dhof@howardcountymd.gov not later than 10 days prior to bid opening.  Mr. Hof, Office of Purchasing, is the sole point of contact for this solicitation. Technical questions regarding submittable.com software online should be sent to Katie Wofford at grantsandprojects@hocoarts.org