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Art Bank 2014 - Call to Artists


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 2,700 artworks are on display in over 150 District government locations. 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 application for both individual artists and galleries can be found here:


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. Work within a series will be counted individually as part of the allowable maximum for portfolio submissions from individual artists (10 works) and galleries (20 works). Representational, conceptual, and abstract works will be equally considered. This call is open to all artists who reside or maintain studio space in the Washington, DC metropolitan area; including surrounding areas in Maryland and Virginia.

Each individual 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). Galleries are allowed to submit up to 20 images of any combination of two or more represented artists. 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 Wednesday, June11th. Once notified, artists must deliver works identified for possible purchase to DCCAH for a final review by the selection committee on June 24th and 25th, between 2-5PM. After final selections are made, artists must retrieve works not selected by Friday, July 11th. 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% discount from retail value for works valued over $5000. 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; including surrounding areas in Maryland and Virginia. However, preference will be given to District residents. A separate application is available to Washington, DC galleries to submit on behalf of metropolitan area artists only. Both applications can be found at


May 23rd, 2014 at 11:59PM Application deadline
June 11th, 2014 Panel review of submissions to select semi-finalists
June 13-17, 2014 Notifications to Artists
June 24th and 25th, 2-5PM Semi-finalists required to deliver selected artworks to DCCAH
June 26th and 27th Panel review of semi-finalist to make final selections
June 30th-July 3rd Notifications to Artists
July 7th -11th Artists required to retrieve works that are not selected


For more Information contact:

Zoma Wallace, Curator & Art Bank Coordinator
DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities
(202) 724-5613


Ron Humbertson, Art Collections Management Specialist


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, year, medium, dimensions, and retail price/discount price if applicable). Numerical Order of the list must correspond with the Viewing Order of uploaded images.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I send slides or CD?

No. All applications are to be submitted digitally through 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

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

No, only applications submitted through will be considered. All applications must be received online by Friday, May 23rd 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. If already framed, the work is still eligible and does not need to be removed.