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Art Bank Application Process


The Washingtonia Collection

The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (CAH) is the official District government agency for arts and culture. Established in 1968, CAH’s primary mission is to provide grants, professional opportunities, educational enrichment, and other services to individuals and nonprofit organizations throughout the District of Columbia. In support of visual artists and art galleries in Washington DC, CAH purchases fine art from metropolitan artists annually to grow the Art Bank Collection. Artwork in this collection is owned by CAH under the District’s Art in Public Places Program and loaned to District Government agencies for display in public areas and offices of government buildings. The Art Bank Collection which started in 1986 has over 2,700 artworks in the collection and on display in over 150 District government locations

Within the Art Bank Collection, there exists a special branch called The Washington Collection, comprised of works created solely by residents of the District of Columbia. Established in 2016, The Washingtonia Collection expands biannually, through thematic calls to artists. This year marks the second acquisition cycle.


CAH seeks artwork that reflects the concept of HOME.

A wide spectrum of people, places, and things call this city “home”: multigenerational native Washingtonians, those beginning new careers and families establishing new roots, internationally diverse populations, unique cultural collectives, and an array of festivals, landmarks, flora and wildlife. Words of inspiration include but are not limited to: hometown, homemade, home rule, homegrown, etc. We invite artists to approach the idea of home from all imaginable perspectives in relation to the District.

Considering that the District of Columbia is also home to iconic musical figures including Marvin Gaye, Duke Ellington, and the creator of our indigenous musical form known as Go-Go, Chuck Brown, CAH also seeks artworks (paintings, photography, sculpture, etc.) inspired by the musical legacy of the District. Inspiration can include aspects of jazz history, classical performance, soul and funk presences, punk eras, and Go-Go culture along with its iconic musicians, styles, and historic venues.


The FY18 Washingtonia Collection is open to artists who reside full time in Washington, DC. Art Galleries must be registered in the District of Columbia and fall under the same guidelines as above where represented artists must live or work within these parameters for compliance.

Eligible artwork must be created no more than (2) years prior to the date of submission.

Artwork will be evaluated in the following three categories:
1. Aesthetic/Conceptual Strength
2. Well-Established District Exhibition History or Exceptional Emerging Artist
3. Representative of Cultural Diversity

How to Apply:
The online application to submit an application for both individual artists and galleries can be found here: Apply for Grants.

1. From the Apply for Grants page, please select the Grant Application Portal to register:

• To reset the password select “Forgot your password?”

2. Once logged in, applicants must select the desired grant program(s);

3. Complete the application questions;

4. Upload all required documents, supplementary material, and images of artwork; and,

5. Submit the application by 4:00pm on the grant program’s deadline date.

Each individual application is allowed to submit up to five works of art for consideration. Art galleries are allowed to submit up to ten works of art from any combination of two or more represented artists. Applicants are allowed to submit artwork(s) in a series. However each artwork within a series will be counted individually as part of the allowable maximum for portfolio submission from individual artists (five) and art galleries (ten).

Artwork must be created using archival materials and be no larger in size than 96” in any direction. The overall weight of artwork shall not exceed 100 lbs. All artwork submitted must be available for purchase and available for an in-person review upon Finalist notification; see the Calendar Dates section below for more information.

Incomplete or late applications will be forfeited and not accepted. Each application must include the following information and upload the necessary documents into the application to be considered:

  • Artist Information: Provide full name, current resident address, contact information
  • Artist Statement: Please describe the thematic premise of the work(s) presented in your application, including providing insight into your art-making process. Upload as PDF only.
  • Artist Resume: Provide a current list of exhibitions; publications; commissions; collections; and education as a PDF only.
  • Images: Upload high quality JPEG image files to the Media Viewer and enter the artwork title into the upload description box. Once file is uploaded, provide title, media type, year created, edition (if applicable), retail price, and a brief description of the concept behind each artwork. Individual Artists are allowed up to five artworks and Art Galleries are allowed up to ten artworks. The order of uploads must match the image list provided.
  • Image List: Submit a PDF document which includes Title; Year; Medium; Dimension; Retail Price; and Discount Price if applicable (30% discount over $5,000) of each work uploaded.
  • NEW- Upload a current W-9 https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw9.pdf
  • NEW- Upload an ACH Form signed by a bank representative in order to register for Direct Deposit. Registration is highly recommended. https://dcarts.dc.gov/node/791382
  • NEW- Applicants are required to upload the completed Certificate of Clean Hands document
    • Certification of Clean Hands: This document describes the necessary steps to obtain a Certificate of Clean Hands from the DC Office of the Chief Financial Officer - Office of Tax and Revenue. http://dcarts.dc.gov/node/1120604
  • NEW- Applicants are required to upload signed Statement of Certification
    • Statement of Certification: To ensure applicant has met and will maintain all qualifying criteria for certification throughout entire duration of award http://dcarts.dc.gov/node/1113324
  • NEW- Applicants are required to upload signed Arrest and Conviction Statement
    • Arrest and Conviction Statement: To affirm statement of any applicable indications, charges and/or convictions arising directly or indirectly from the conduct of the applicant or organization http://dcarts.dc.gov/node/1113311

FY18 Washingtonia Collection Calendar Dates:

Friday, June 23 (4 PM): Deadline for submissions
June 30 - July 28: Art Selection Panel online application review period
August 2 and 4: First Round of Panels Convened
August 8: Applicants notified of finalist selections and instructed to deliver specific works for further review
August 21 and 22 (from 2 - 5 PM): Finalists deliver selected artworks to CAH
August 31 and September 1: Art Selection Panel in-person review of artwork to make final recommendations for FY18 acquisitions
September 18 and 19 (from 2 - 5 PM) Artists must retrieve artwork(s) not selected

Selection Process:

CAH selects annually an Art Selection Panel who will review each application and make preliminary selections of Finalists. Once notified by CAH, Finalist applicants must deliver artwork identified for final review by the panel. Artwork must be delivered to the CAH office located at 200 I Street, S.E. Suite 1400 on Monday, August 21 or Tuesday, August 22, between the hours of 2 – 5 PM each day. Final notifications of Finalists will be contacted by Monday, September 11, 2017.

After final selections are announced any artwork not selected for purchase is required to be picked up by the applicant on Monday, September 18 or Tuesday, September 19, between 2 – 5 PM each day. CAH reserves the right to negotiate the final purchase price or decline to purchase any work recommended by the panel. Artist is not required to frame work, CAH will frame all purchased artworks if applicable.

For additional information or questions about The Washingtonia Collection Call please contact:

Zoma Wallace, Art Bank Coordinator
[email protected]| (202) 724-5613


Ron Humbertson, Art Collections Registrar
[email protected] | (202) 724-5613