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Call for Artists: Underpass at Park Road Art Project

Type: Awards, Grants, Fellowships [View all]
Posted by: City of Rockville, WMATA’s Art in Transit Program and CSXT
Deadline: Fri, March 30th, 2018

The City of Rockville, in collaboration with WMATA’s Art in Transit Program and CSXT, is seeking an artist to create a site-specific artwork to beautify the underpass at Park Road.  The project encompasses the concrete walls on each side of the underpass. Each wall is composed of two sections, one owned by WMATA and the other by CSXT. Rain falls through the tracks onto the concrete panels, causing vertical rust lines from the top to bottom of the underpass. There is an open area between the two WMATA tracks, as well as between the WMATA and CSXT tracks, which allows water penetration onto the walls. The city owns the lights and conduits in the underpass, and the lighting connects to city streetlights.  
The Park Road Underpass is near two residential neighborhoods, East Rockville and Lincoln Park, and is close to the downtown area known as Rockville Town Center.  

East Rockville is a residential neighborhood located in the northeastern section of Rockville, bounded by the Rockville Metro Station and Stonestreet Avenue corridor on the west, Veirs Mill Road on the south, First Street on the east, and the Lincoln Park neighborhood and Southlawn industrial area to the north. The community consists primarily of single-family homes and includes two small commercial centers, three parks and a forest preserve. Historic homes line Baltimore Road, but the majority of houses were built in the 1940s.   • Lincoln Park is one of the oldest historically African-American communities in Montgomery County. Established in the 1850s, the neighborhood today is primarily a single-family residential community, composed of an eclectic mix of housing types. The Lincoln Park community is abutted on three sides by a variety of non-residential land uses and shares its southern border with the East Rockville community. The Metro line and CSX tracks separate the neighborhood from Rockville Town Center to the southwest, where residents can meet their everyday shopping and retail needs.

Rockville Town Center is the city’s downtown and the seat of the county and city government. Rockville’s Town Center is a dynamic and thriving neighborhood with a hometown feel featuring fantastic amenities, unique, locally-owned shops and restaurants, and a pedestrian-friendly Town Square.


The City of Rockville is collaborating with WMATA and CSXT on the Park Road Underpass project and as such will need to be designed in keeping with these agencies’ specifications. 

CSXT supports beautification projects and is open to paint and colored lighting. Any paint or materials must be reviewed by their environmental group and follow their specifications. No attachments or drilling are allowed due to CSXT’s safety and maintenance requirements. A mosaic tile on an abutment, (lower height), but not on the bridge structure, may be considered.
WMATA is open to reviewing a variety of media, techniques and attachments proposed for its section of the wall. Upon review of their proposals, finalists will be informed of any applicable technical constraints and requirements in order to further develop a site-specific proposal.


City of Rockville: The Mayor and Council of Rockville have developed Priority Initiatives that serve as their work plan for their current term. Beautifying the concrete walls under the railroad tracks at Middle Lane and Park Road is one of these Priority Initiatives. Rockville’s Art in Public Places program was established in 1978 to enhance the physical environment of the City and to promote the general welfare of its residents. 

WMATA: Through its Art in Transit Program, WMATA works with artists, community groups, government agencies and businesses to install artwork that captures the spirit and vitality of the region, making travel by Metro more attractive and inviting. Artwork on display at Metro stations demonstrates Metro’s commitment to innovative design and high-quality public art. 

CSXT: CSXT understands the desire of communities to improve the appearance of bridges and other structures. CSXT has worked with many public agencies on various beautification projects, including painting of overhead and undergrade bridges.


Open to all artists. This Call for Artists is a national call.


The all-inclusive budget is $100,000. Funds must cover design work, engineering, fabrication, delivery, site preparation, installation of the work at the site, as well as other associated expenses including liability insurance, worker’s compensation insurance, all necessary travel, and the artist’s fee.  

Selection Process

1. Artist submits materials of previous work for review. 2. Art Review Panel reviews applicants’ portfolios and selects finalists.  This panel is composed of representatives from the: a. East Rockville Civic Association b. Lincoln Park Civic Association c. City of Rockville’s Cultural Arts Commission d. VisArts e. WMATA  f. CSXT g. Americans for the Arts 3. Selection of three finalists based on each artist’s portfolio is anticipated. 4. Finalists will be provided more detailed information on the project and a $1,000 stipend to develop a site-specific proposal. 5. Site-specific proposals are presented to the Art Review Panel. The city will provide travel fees to present proposals. More information will be provided to the three finalists at the time of their selection. 6. Art Review Panel develops recommendation for selection of one artist. 7. WMATA and CSXT review the site-specific proposal of the recommended artist for their agency’s approval. 8. Upon receipt of the approvals of WMATA and CSXT, the Cultural Arts Commission is presented the recommended site-specific proposal and makes an independent recommendation. 9. Recommendations from the Art Review Panel and the Cultural Arts Commission are presented to the City of Rockville Mayor and Council for consideration and final award of the public art commission. NOTE: The selection of an artist’s design proposal is wholly within the discretion of the Mayor and Council of Rockville.  The City of Rockville reserves the right to accept or reject any or all of the proposals for any or no reason, and is under no obligation to commission a work of art from any submitted proposal. 10. Selected artist is contracted through the City of Rockville.


Application Deadline - Friday, March 30, 2018 
Finalists Announcement - Friday, April 27, 2018 
Presentation of Proposals to Art Review Panel by Finalists - Week of June 25, 2018 

The City of Rockville reserves the right to adjust this timetable as required during this Call to Artists submission process.

Application procedures

All materials will be submitted online (please follow instruction below).  Hand-delivered or mailed submissions will NOT be accepted. Only online submissions will be considered for review.  Additionally, interested artists MUST submit the following materials to be considered:

• Up to 10 digital images along with a short application form, a one-page list of the images specifying the title, media, location and year created for each work of art, a bio/CV, and brief artist statement. • A list of no more than five recent public art commissions, and a reference/contact person and their phone number for each project. • All artists interested in being considered for the project must apply through this online form.

Submissions must be complete by 11:59 pm EST on Friday, March 30, 2018.

For more information:
Learn More About the Underpass at Park Road Art Project

Contact Arts Programs Supervisor Betty Wisda at 240-314-8681 or  

To apply:

Posted on Tue, February 27th, 2018
Expires on Fri, March 30th, 2018

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