Call for Artists: Ernest Maier Bladensburg Mural

By Editorial Team on April 26, 2021

Deadline: Mon, 10 May 2021

Ernest Maier Mural Site.
Deadline: May 10, 2021 by 5pm

On behalf of Ernest Maier, the Hyattsville Community Development Corporation (Hyattsville CDC) is seeking an artist, designer, or team to design and execute a mural upon the southern, street facing wall of the property located at 4602 Annapolis Road, Bladensburg, MD 20710. This project will be conducted in close collaboration with the Hyattsville CDC and Ernest Maier, as detailed further below.

This project is part of a series of creative place-making enhancements Ernest Maier is pursuing to beautify its Bladensburg properties through the application of public art. For over 80 years, Ernest Maier has been a fixture along Annapolis Road in the Bladensburg community. Throughout that time, its history has been marked by innovative expansions to enable the business to continue to serve its community and its employees. The company has grown from manufacturing cinder blocks in the early years to now producing and distributing a broad range of concrete block and masonry products throughout the region. Ernest Maier maintains its interest in the future of construction—particularly through building more sustainably and resiliently—all while supporting its 400 employees, many of whom live in the Bladensburg community.

As Ernest Maier was growing and evolving on Annapolis Road, the Town of Bladensburg also experienced its own historical progression. The town had served as a key staging area during the War of 1812, but following the post-World War II growth and redevelopment, some its historic character was starting to fade. Thankfully, through the emergence of a national (and then locally adopted) commitment to historical preservation, attention towards the Town’s heritage resurged. The town has continued to steadily reconfigure through the melding of the new cultures and peoples that joined into the Town. As a majority-minority municipality in a majorityminority county, the Town readily celebrates and promotes the diversity of its populous.

In order to build upon the intricate and interwoven history of its home, Ernest Maier is engaging the Hyattsville CDC to implement a public art program that will contribute to an effort of creative place-making in Bladensburg by celebrating the company’s shared history with the Town.

Emphasis in this Call for Artists will be on demonstrable ability to design an aesthetically unique mural that responds to the following core theme: commemorating shared history through expansions of identity, the use of ingenuity, and recognition of diversity as a core, community strength.

This theme has been developed consistent with Ernest Maier’s values and is based upon and informed by its industrial history and the role it has played in the larger historical context of the Bladensburg community. Designs should utilize narrative elements and patterns of local import that reflect or articulate the cultural values of the Bladensburg community while honoring the role and identity of the art’s sponsor.

A small selection of murals that present historical narratives with iconic or vernacular style, and that were executed with a varying range of budgets, can be found in the following Package for reference, context, and comparison.

Additional design considerations:

  1. Submitted designs must showcase original artwork.
  2. The art shall be a new, original design, or a sufficiently departing variation on an existing work’s thematic basis and may not be on display in other public art programs.
  3. Artwork will be deemed inappropriate which portrays: content which violates copyright or other known legal ownership interest, profanity, obscenity, indecency, violence, pornography; discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, age, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or nationality; defamation or personal attacks.
  4. Artwork must be executed using durable materials suitable for permanent outdoor installation and able to withstand the effects of sun, rain, salt spray, wind, and other weather-related effects and must be able to withstand a reasonable degree of physical contact without degradation.

While we are not asking for realized designs at the first stage of review, we do request submission of a simple thumbnail concept sketch, a seeding impression, in order to better convey how the artist might approach a design, given the design goals delineated; and as a demonstration of the artists’ initial thoughts about the project. In terms of sizing, a sketch of 20” x 5.5” would be proportional to the size of the mural space itself. However, a simple sketch of 8.5” x 11” will be acceptable as well. The inclusion of a highly rendered concept sketch will be grounds for exclusion from consideration.

The field of submittals will be narrowed by a juried review to the selected project artist/team, who will refine their conceptual design sketch(es) to a more thoughtfully realized final draft to receive approval before the implementation stage begins. The selected artists/team will work to refine the design with a selected group of project stakeholders in a facilitated meeting to elicit input, design feedback, and absorb a community zeitgeist that will enable refinement of the evolving design concept to its final, approved configuration.

The jury process will functionally render initial jury feedback and proposed refinements to the originally submitted design concept. The selected artist/team will be subject to submitting a draft final design subject to one major revision, if needed, and one minor set of site-determined adjustments before the artwork is fit for final acceptance.

The selected final artist/team will receive a commission of $17,250. The stipend is to be all inclusive of fees and costs.

The selected artist/team is responsible for maintaining a budget, keeping to the installation/execution schedule, documentation of the executed work, transportation and execution, and insurance.

The placement of the mural will be along the southern wall of the property, located at 4602 Annapolis Road, Bladensburg, MD 20710, within the lighter colored blocks: see the attached site images in the Package.

This space has a width of approximately 54’ and a height of approximately 15’. A black or white framing border around the mural will be considered, depending on the final design.

Once selected by the jury, a detailed timeline will be developed with the selected artist for final design delivery and mural execution.

Final jury notification of the awarded artist/team is anticipated no later than May 21, 2021. A finalized design will be due by June 11, 2021. The mural execution will begin immediately after issuance of a notice to proceed mid-June, 2021 and be completed before July 31, 2021.

A jury/selection panel will review all proposals. Panelists will include representatives of Ernest Maier, Bladensburg community leaders, and local artists. The jury’s proceedings will be facilitated by the Hyattsville CDC Executive Director, Stuart Eisenberg.

Selection criteria will include:

  • Qualifications and professional experience of the artist/team;
  • Quality of previous works;
  • Excellence and appropriateness of artist expression to the proposed project;
  • Outstanding potential of the artwork concept; and
  • Demonstrated and assessed ability to successfully execute the project under the criteria developed, while meeting the budgetary constraints, and within the identified performance period.

Once completed and accepted, the mural itself will be owned and maintained by Ernest Maier. The intellectual property comprised by the design work will remain the artist’s own but with minor use stipulations to ensure the design remains identifiable solely with Ernest Maier.

Both Ernest Maier and Hyattsville CDC will enjoy a minimally limiting license for the right to use and reproduce images of the artwork for their own illustrative or promotional purposes and benefit, without cost and further permission from the designer.

Included in the Artist’s contract will be the provision that the “Artist shall provide the Hyattsville CDC with a written Bill of Sale” conveying title of the artwork to Ernest Maier, and a sworn statement that the work is free of liens, claims or other encumbrances. Such documents shall be in a form acceptable to Ernest Maier and the Hyattsville CDC.

Respondents should submit the following materials by Monday, May 10, 2021, in order to be considered for final selection. Send all materials digitally via e-mail to the Hyattsville CDC’s EMail Inbox:

  • Your proposed concept sketch (10MB max per PDF/JPG/GIF/TIF/PNG image);
  • A maximum of 5 images of previous work (10MB max per PDF/JPG/GIF/TIF/PNG image);

In PDF or Word format:

  • Artist/Team Name, Point-of-Contact name, mailing address, telephone number, e-mail, address, and website;
  • A one-page résumé or curriculum vitae;
  • At least three current, verifiable references;
  • A one-page artist’s statement;
  • A brief written expression of interest that articulates your motivation in responding to the Call for Artists: no more than one page in length ; and
  • A list of your images with your filename, title of artwork or description, media, size. Please write your filenames as follows: teamname_imagenumber_title.

Please e-mail all application materials to our e-mail inbox:
Subject: Artist Name – Ernest Maier Bladensburg Mural

Receipt of submittals will be acknowledged, but cannot be returned. Hyattsville CDC reserves the right to amend the project scope and character as it develops, and will provide notice to all parties of interest. Hyattsville CDC reserves the right to reject any and all Call for Artists submissions and further reserves the right to re-issue the Call for Artists. Hyattsville CDC reserves the right to correct inaccurate awards. This may include, in extreme circumstances, due to the late receipt of disqualifying information, revoking the awarding of a finalist already made to a respondent and subsequently awarding the opportunity to another respondent. Such action on the part of Hyattsville CDC shall not constitute a breach of contract on the part of the Hyattsville CDC once the Hyattsville CDC has made this determination.

Please send any questions and comments to:
Marty McGowan, Program Manager
Hyattsville CDC

(301) 683-8267
4314 Farragut St.
Hyattsville, MD 20781