Call Detail
Marlow Heights Community Center-Public Art Opportunity
Entry Deadline: 8/13/23
Application Closed
Work Sample Requirements
Images | Minimum:Min. 5, Maximum:Max. 10
Video | Minimum:Min. 0, Maximum:Max. 3
Total Samples | Minimum:Min. 5, Maximum:Max. 10
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: Regional
State: Maryland
Budget: $80,000-$150,000


The Project includes two separate components:

1) A free-standing sculptural element on the plaza which must fit within a 10’x10’ area and not to exceed 18’ in height. The selected artist for the sculptural element will design, fabricate and install the art feature, which may be glass, metal, stone, concrete, wood, mixed media or lighting suitable for a low-maintenance exterior application.

2) A functional bench enhanced by mosaic elements. Individual artists or artist teams will be selected to develop a proposal for the mosaic application to the bench. The foundation for the bench will be fabricated and installed by the project’s construction contractors and thus require close coordination with the Design/Construction Team members.

While there is no specific requirement regarding theme or subject matter, the artworks for the Marlow Heights Community Center should have the potential for becoming landmark identifiers for the surrounding community, and be suitable for display at a family friendly facility.

Artists may submit qualifications for either or both projects. However, artist candidates will be potentially selected as a finalist to execute only one of the projects. The selected artist candidates will be invited to develop and present their proposal to the Marlow Heights Design/Construction Team and community stakeholders. A stipend of $2,000 will be paid for the development of artist project proposals.


The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) is a bi-county agency established in 1927 and serves both Prince George's and Montgomery Counties in Maryland by providing long-range planning, park acquisition/development, and administration of the Prince George's County public recreation program.

The Prince George’s Department of Parks and Recreation is a well-respected leader in the field with an unprecedented six national gold medals for excellence. It operates and maintains more than 27,000 acres of parkland throughout the county, including land developed to provide parks, picnic areas, athletic fields, historic sites, community centers, and recreation facilities. In an effort to maintain the county's natural beauty, a large percentage of the land has been left undeveloped to serve as buffers and to provide natural open spaces.

With cooperation and input from diverse communities throughout Prince George's County, the Department operates a comprehensive park and recreation system that offers programs and facilities designed to meet the needs and interests of patrons of all ages. Some of the amenities and facilities provided by the Department include art and nature programs, fitness and sports programs, live performances, more than 90 miles of hiker/biker/equestrian trails, outdoor festivals, self-improvement classes, summer camps, teen and senior activities, arts centers, tennis courts, ice rinks, a golf course, tennis courts, an equestrian center, an airfield, an aviation museum, and more.


Marlow Heights is an unincorporated area and “census-designated place” (CDP) in Prince George’s County, Maryland. For mailing address purposes, the area is part of Temple Hills or Suitland, Maryland. It is located near the U.S. Census Bureau, Andrews Air Force Base, The Metrorail Green Line, and Capitol Hill. According to the 2020 census, the population of Marlow Heights was around 6,200 people comprising over 74% Black or African American residents and over 16% Hispanic or Latino residents. A major feature of the area was opened in 1967 with the two-level Iverson Mall, the Washington metropolitan area’s first enclosed mall.

The existing Marlow Heights Community Center is a 12,000 square foot facility located at 2800 Saint Clair Drive in Marlow Heights, Maryland. Built in the 1970’s, the current facility includes a community room, fitness room, game room, outdoor tennis courts, picnic areas, and a playground. On average it serves 75-80 people per day.

On September 18, 2013, the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) adopted Prince George’s County’s first comprehensive plan for parks, recreation, and open space. It is referred to as Formula 2040: Functional Master Plan for Parks, Recreation and Open Space. This Plan provides policies to guide the planning of future parks, recreational programs, and maintenance service facilities as well as the rehabilitation and modernization of existing facilities. 

A key recommendation of Formula 2040 is to move from the current model of building neighborhood-oriented community centers to constructing larger, multi-neighborhood-serving community centers or what is referred to in the Plan as “multigenerational community centers.” Multigenerational centers provide an array of programs, simultaneously, to serve the recreation and leisure needs and interests of an entire family. 

In 2019, a feasibility study was conducted to look at the Marlow Heights site and future needs. The study confirmed that a multigenerational community center was not a viable choice due to the limited size of the site. Thus, it was recommended that the existing facility be demolished and replaced with a new facility to better meet the needs of the community. 

The Marlow Heights Community Center Replacement project involves the design and construction of a new approximately 21,000 square-foot community recreation facility. The community center will include a gymnasium, a fitness center, a multipurpose room, a group fitness studio, and a community meeting room with a warming kitchen.


Art Opportunity #1 – Free Standing Artwork

• $150,000

Physical Description:
• The proposed location of this outdoor artwork will be within a 10 foot by 10 foot concrete area near the main front entrance to the building.

Structural Requirements:
• The structural design of the footing and foundation system for the sculpture, as well as other gravity and lateral loads shall be the responsibility of the artist. Cost for the artwork footings and foundation system shall be included in the artwork budget.

• If there are any lighting requirements for the artwork, the Artist will be responsible for identifying the requirements and furnishing them to the Design/Construction Team for coordination.

• If there are any power or control requirements for the artwork, the Artist will be responsible for identifying the requirements and furnishing them to the Design/Construction Team for coordination.

• It is required that the artwork not exceed 18 feet in height, and not exceed the parameters of the 10 feet by 10 feet square. In addition, it is recommended that the artwork avoid pedestrian sight line obstructions to vehicular traffic and building signage.

Art Opportunity #2 – Mosaic Application to Bench

• $80,000

Physical Description
• Concrete bench with mosaic overlay on top seating area and supporting structure.

Structural Characteristics:
• Curved concrete bench 18 inches high by 38 feet long x 1 foot 8 inches wide.
• Approximately 38’ linear feet of surface area
Supplemental Structural, Reinforcing, and/or Blocking
• ¼” inset on north vertical surface to be prepared for mosaic installation
• The surface area for the mosaics is as follows:
 SEAT 36 feet long by 17 inches wide by 1/4 inch deep with a 1 foot border on both sides to frame the piece and 1.5 inch border on both sides to protect the edge. (51.12 square foot surface)
 RISER 36 feet long by 14 inches high by 1/4 inch deep. This accounts for 1 foot on either end as a frame and a 3 inch toe kick as well as the 1 inch deep overhang on top. (41.76 square foot surface)

• If there are any lighting requirements for the artwork, the Artist will be responsible for identifying the requirements and furnishing them to the Design/Construction Team for coordination.

• If there are any power or control requirements for the artwork, the Artist will be responsible for identifying the requirements and furnishing them to the Design/Construction Team for coordination.


Currently, the project is approaching the initiation of the construction phase with final completion scheduled for August, 2024. All selected project Semi-finalists will be given an updated project timeline for key Public Art Benchmarks to be coordinated with the overall construction project schedule.

Application Requirements

The following information must be included in the online application:

• Contact Information for Artist or Lead Artist (as applicable for a Team)
• Statement of Interest: Indicate which opportunity, or both, for which you are interested in applying. Explain your interest in this project opportunity, specifically how you would approach or respond to approaching a theme and/or goal for this project.
• Work Samples: Please supply up to 10 images of existing relevant artwork original to you or the members of your team. Please be sure to include all relevant description information for each artwork depicted, including size, material, year completed, budget and location. Work samples may include additional images of the same work from different angles or highlighting details.
• Artist Resume/CV: Resume of the individual artist; artist teams should include resumes of all participating artist team members as part of the submission.

Please Note: No actual artwork proposals are expected at this stage of the selection process.

Eligibility Criteria

Professional artists and design professionals that are resident of, or maintain their studio in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and/or Virginia are eligible to apply. Applicants must be at least 21 years of age old or older. Applicants must indicate whether they wish to be considered for either Art Opportunity 1, Art Opportunity 2, or both. Applicants must also indicate in their application any artistic experience in the media applicable to either of the art opportunities or both. Artists or artist teams must demonstrate past experience with having successfully executed public art projects.