Commission on the Arts and Humanities

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2013 Call to Artists - Art Bank


The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH) is the official District government agency for arts and culture. Established in 1968, DCCAH’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 the Washington metropolitan area, artwork is purchased each year to expand the District’s Art Bank Collection, a growing collection of moveable works funded through DC Creates! Public art works in this collection are owned by DCCAH under the District’s Art in Public Places Program and loaned to other District government agencies for display in public areas of government buildings. A segment of the collection is devoted to works that visually document Washington, highlighting the beauty and charm of our residents, neighborhoods, parks, avenues, and local landmarks. Washington’s collection helps preserve the city’s past and is an important legacy for future generations.  Currently, close to 2,600 artworks are on display in over 150 District government agencies. This program provides an opportunity for artists to have their artwork acquired and exhibited in public spaces as part of our continued commitment to support our vibrant artistic community.


The Commission is seeking two and three-dimensional works of art including prints, drawings, mixed media compositions, paintings, photographs, ceramics, and moveable sculptures. To expand the District’s collection further into new media forms of contemporary art, we strongly encourage video artists and other technological innovators to submit as well. Artists are also encouraged to submit works in series. Representational, conceptual, and abstract works will be equally considered.

Each artist is allowed to submit up to 10 images for consideration and all artwork submitted must be available for purchase and review upon submission (see calendar for dates). Artwork must be created with archival materials and be no larger in size than 96” in any direction. Weight shall not exceed 100 lbs.

Selection Process

The Art Advisory Committee will review submitted images and make preliminary selections on Friday, August 2, 2013. Once notified, artists must deliver works identified for possible purchase to DCCAH for a final review by the selection committee no later than Friday, August 30, 2013. After final selections are made, artists must retrieve works not selected by September 26, 2013. DCCAH reserves the right to negotiate the purchase price or decline to purchase any work recommended by the committee. As a government agency, we ask all artists and galleries for a 30 percent discount from retail value. DCCAH will frame all purchased artworks with archival materials. 

Artist Eligibility

This call is open to all artists who reside or maintain studio space in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. However, preference will be given to District residents.


  • Friday, July 19, 2013 at 11:59PM:   Application deadline
  • Friday August 2, 2013:   Panel review of submissions to select semi-finalists
  • Week of August 19-23, 2013:   Notifications to Artists
  • Week of August 26-30:   Semi-finalists required to deliver selected artworks to DCCAH
  • September 6, 2013:   Panel review of semi-finalist to make final selections
  • Week of September 16, 2013:   Notifications to Artists
  • Week of September 23-26, 2013:   Artists required to retrieve works that are not selected

For more Information contact:

Zoma Wallace, Art Bank Coordinator
DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities
[email protected]
(202) 724-5613

Online Application Checklist

  • Artist information: Full name, Mailing Address, Contact Information
  • Current Artist Resume
  • Up to 10 digital JPEG images of artworks that are for sale
  • Image List (title, medium, dimensions, and retail price). Numerical Order of the list must correspond with the Viewing Order of uploaded images.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I send slides or CD?

All applications are to be submitted digitally through http://dcarts.slideroom.com. Images on CD-R or in slide format will not be accepted.

Can I submit my images via email?

No. Any images received via email will not be considered. If you need technical assistance please contact the helpdesk at [email protected]

Can I hand-deliver or email my application materials to the DCCAH office?

No, only applications submitted through http://dcarts.slideroom.com will be considered. All applications must be received online by Friday, July 19th at 11:59 pm. This is not a postmark deadline, and there are no exceptions. Late applications will be disqualified.

My work is already in the Art Bank Collection. Am I still eligible to apply?

Yes, it is equally desirous of DCCAH to continue collecting from both new and returning artists each year.

Should my work be framed upon delivery for selection?

No, please do not frame your work if they are not framed already. DCCAH will frame all selected works after purchase, and will return frames to artists whose work arrives framed.