Public Art

Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts, 10 E. Baltimore St., 10th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21202

Public Art enhances the cityscape, quality of life and artistic and creative climate in Baltimore. It often encourages civic pride, provides opportunities for enrichment and sometimes sparks cultured debate. Public Art also supports our city's artists and promotes an awareness of the visual arts in the public environment.

Baltimore was the second city in the country to pass a 1% for Art law in 1964. The Percent-for-Art model requires that the City allocate 1% of all Capital construction costs to go towards public artwork.  This model, is a common form of funding public art programs across the United States.  In 2007, Baltimore renewed it’s commitment to the Public Art program by updating its ordinance to require “at least 1% of eligible funds be used for the selection, acquisition, commissioning, fabrication, placement, installation, display and maintenance of public fine artwork; and the establishment of a nine member Public Art Commission.

As the City’s Art’s Council, the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts works with all City Agencies and the City’s Capital Budgeting Process to administer to the Percent- for- Public Art Program and staff the Public Art Commission.

Follow these links to the Percent-for-Art section of the City Code and the City's Public Art Guidelines.

Public Art Opportunities

Please visit our Calls for Artist page to see all current opportunities for artists to apply for upcoming public art projects. 

General Information

Public Art Commission
Call for Artist
Public Art Guidelines 
Gifts of Public Art Policy

For more information on Baltimore's 1%-for-Art Program and artworks currently in the collection or to sign up to receive e-mail notifications on upcoming art projects, please contact Ryan Patterson or Kim Domanski at 410-752-8632.

Map of City Funded Public Art and Murals

BOPA staff is currently constructing a collection management database that will provide the public access with the most up to date locations and records for the City’s entire collection of historic monuments, public art and murals. 

In the meantime, you can find the locations of most of the City’s public art commissions on this map assembled voluntarily by Johann Liang using the City’s Open Baltimore database. 

https://www.empiricalanalysis.net/sd_projects/publicArtAndMurals.html

If you have any questions about this map or any public artwork in the City’s collection, you may contact Ryan Patterson, Public Art Administrator, at rpatterson@promotionandarts.org

Recent Projects and Artist Selections

  • The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA), in collaboration with the Enoch Pratt Free Library and the Baltimore City Department of General Services celebrate the dedication of Waverly Griots, the latest artwork commissioned through Baltimore’s Percent-for-Public Art program.  Waverly Griots is a typographic sculpture created by Ebon Heath. A dedication for the artwork was held on Friday, December 9, 2016 from 6 to 8pm at the Waverly Branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library, 400 E. 33rd St., Baltimore, MD 21218. View the facebook event here. For more information, view the press release here
  • Sagamore Development Company and The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA) announced that Dean Brown’s “Cleat Bench” has been selected as the winning design proposal for the “Next Great Baltimore Bench.” Brown is a 25-year-old South Baltimore resident, and a designer for Baltimore-based architecture planning firm Design Collective. For more information, view the press release

 

Monumental Sites

The removal of Baltimore’s Confederate monuments has captured the attention of the public and inspired artists and others to propose ideas for what might happen next at the four sites left behind. In response, the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts has created an online portal, “Monumental Sites,” to serve as a central repository for the public’s suggestions and ideas.

CRITERIA:

  • Context: Creative Ideas and Responses may take into account the past, present, and future events of the monument locations, and the presence and narrative of the monuments relationship to the City.
  • Implementation: How easy is it to put your idea in place?
  • Time: How long will your artwork or idea be on the site? What is the length of the performance?
  • Budget: What is the estimated cost to put your idea in place?

SUBMITTING YOUR IDEA:

  • Please provide a written description of your idea related to the pedestal or monument site. Your description should describe what you are proposing, it’s placement and how it will be installed on-site.
  • Word limit: your text must be no more than 500 words.
  • Optional: Drawings or site plans are encouraged but not required.
  • SUBMIT YOUR IDEAS ONLINE HERE

While the submission process in no way guarantees that any of the proposals will be implemented, the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts is committed to archiving all submissions and may choose to display proposals either online or through a physical exhibition.

For any questions about this application process, please feel free to contact BOPA’s Public Art Administrator, Ryan Patterson at rpatterson@promotionandarts.org

Media inquiries should be sent to Tracy Baskerville at tbaskerville@promotionandarts.org.

Gifts of Public Art

Most new interior and exterior public artwork in Baltimore City is commissioned through the Percent-for-Public Art program. Unsolicited proposals for new sculpture or monuments paid for privately are considered "Gifts of Public Art"

The City's Gift of Public Art Policy outlines the basic procedure an individual or group can follow to propose donating an artwork. This policy applies to those groups proposing new artwork or monuments paid for by a group or individual acting as a benefactor and intended to be placed permanently on City Property and become part of the City's Public Art Collection.  

While the City is highly appreciative of donations of artwork, it is not always able to accept these proposed gifts and the responsibilities associated with owning an artwork. In addition to the cost of fabricating and installing the artwork, the City requires that donors commit to funding regular maintenance of the work and grounds that surround the piece, as well as a commitment to conserve and protect it.

For more information or to discuss a proposed gift, please feel free to contact BOPA’s Public Art Administrator, Ryan Patterson at rpatterson@promotionandarts.org.