Montgomery Planning Seeks Creative Mural Ideas from Local Artists for External Wall at New Wheaton Headquarters

November 24, 2020

Wheaton HQ aerial

Artists can submit qualifications online until December 4, 2020; finalists will win a $500 award and a chance to win the art commission after an online public vote.

WHEATON, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), invites artists or artist teams to submit their qualifications for a mural to be painted on an external wall at the new Wheaton Headquarters (WHQ) building (2425 Reedie Drive, Wheaton, MD). Digital portfolio images, qualifications, a statement of interest and completed applications are due via an online portal by 5 p.m., Friday, December 4. The request for qualifications process will result in up to five finalists selected by M-NCPPC and county staff. The budget for the mural project is $25,000 and is being funded by a donation from Stonebridge Development, the developer of the WHQ building.

“Public art plays so many important roles in our community. It helps with beautification of our public spaces, it can tell the story of the people who live and frequent an area and can be a point of inspiration and attraction,” said Planning Director Gwen Wright. “As people who will be working in this building and are dedicated to helping Montgomery County become a hub for arts and culture, our staff is excited to see what our innovative and artistic residents will come up with to reflect the vibrancy and uniqueness that defines Wheaton.”

Submit your qualifications for the Wheaton Headquarters Mural Project.

Project details

The goal of this project is to comply with the Wheaton Sector Plan and to create an evocative painted image that celebrates the character, culture, history and unique sense of place found in Wheaton. It must also incorporate and celebrate the Montgomery County Parks and Planning Departments. The mural should be colorful, exciting, welcoming and reflect the best qualities of Wheaton and Parks and Planning.

Representatives from the Montgomery County Planning and Parks Department, the Wheaton Arts & Entertainment District and Stonebridge Development will select up to five (5) artists or artist teams from the submissions. These finalists will each receive an honorarium of $500 and will be asked to submit a color-sketched proposal to scale with a budget for completing the mural. The Artist Selection Committee will review the rendered proposals and then share them online for the public to vote for a winner by March 5, 2021. The mural must be completed by July 2021.

The mural will be located on the north-facing concrete block wall, adjacent to an existing surface parking lot between Triangle Lane and Grandview Avenue. This wall is highly visible from both retail streets and from the north of the site. Short-term visitors patronizing the local retail establishments will use the parking lot adjacent to this mural location. The Montgomery County Department of Transportation owns the parking lot and M-NCPPC owns the building.

north-wall-mural

The mural will be applied to the north wall of the M-NCPPC Wheaton Headquarters shown above.

Proposal requirements

The Artist Selection Committee for the project is looking for artists or artist teams who are 18 years or older and live and work in the Maryland/Washington, D.C., area. Submissions should celebrate the character, culture, history and unique sense of place found in Wheaton.

The selection committee will review the submitted qualifications and pick up to five artists or artist teams from the submissions. The finalists will receive a $500 honorarium and will be asked to submit a color-sketched proposal to scale, with a budget for completing the mural. The final submissions will be shared online in February with the public who will vote on the winner by March 5, 2021. The mural must be completed by July 2021.

In addition to looking for originality, artistic excellence and innovation, the Artist Selection Committee is seeking applicants who have previous experience working on murals or large-scale artwork.

Learn more about the mural submission procedures and access the application form.

About the Wheaton Headquarters Building

The 14-story building, owned by M-NCPPC, is one of the first LEED Platinum-certified government-owned office buildings in Maryland. The building includes a 200-seat auditorium for Planning Board meetings, a new town square and an underground public parking garage. It is home to six Montgomery County departments including:

  • Montgomery County Department of Permitting Services (MCDPS)
  • Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (MCDEP)
  • Mid-County Regional Services Center – Wheaton Urban District
  • Community Use of Public Facilities (CUPF)
  • Montgomery County Health and Human Services (HHS)
  • Montgomery County Department of Recreation (REC)

Approximately 900 government employees are relocating to the WHQ. The mixed-use building with ground-floor retail and upper-floor offices faces a landscaped plaza and the new town square. The large, entrance lobby is framed in glass and illuminates the new plaza at night. The two-story lobby space will be open to the public once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, and used for displays, celebrations and other events. It also includes an information desk and publicly accessible grand staircase leading to the Planning Board auditorium on the second floor. A living wall of greenery extends on one side of the space to represent the building’s environmentally sensitive LEED-Platinum design.

The adjacent town square includes public space with a bandshell and amphitheater for people to gather and enjoy programming throughout the year. It also includes a new public art sculpture that celebrates the unique character and history of Wheaton.