DOTS Art Park

Our lots, your canvas

From April 12 through May 11, our team is piloting the DOTS Art Park.

With parking spaces as their canvas, Art Park participants create and showcase art installations that express their thoughts and feelings during this time.

Hours and Locations 

In Person

DOTS Art Park installations will be open on or around Monday, April 12. You may visit the installations at anytime. View locations, artist interviews and more on our story map.

 See something you like? Share a picture on social tagging @DOTS_UMD, #ParkYourArt.


Our story map includes locations, video interviews, photos, participant bios and project descriptions.

Visitor Policies

To create a safe environment for everyone and the works of art, please adhere to the following policies when visiting the installations:  

  • Practice 4Maryland health behaviors to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • Much time and care went into the creation of these installations. Please do not touch them

Thank you for helping us make the DOTS Art Park experience enjoyable for all! 

About the Art Park

Our reduced campus density has left us with a surplus of unoccupied parking this spring. In response, we invited anyone from the university community to submit proposals for their own “art park.” 

The inspiration for the Art Park comes from our annual Park(ing) Day celebration, which re-imagines parking spaces for public use. 

meet the artists

The Artist: Daniel Merkowitz-Bustos

Daniel is a senior at the University of Maryland, studying Studio Art and Computer Science. He is in the Studio Art honors program, and mostly creates sculpture. He started creating sculpture in college, and it has become his favorite artform to create. He focuses mostly in sculpture made out of metal, including metal casting and welding.

The Piece: Cyclical

This piece is abstract, consisting of recycled objects and a steel structure. The goal was to find a use for used material in a way that transforms it, making it  part of a greater piece. The pieces are painted to be representative of UMD, but also to be visually flattened. The uniformity of the colors makes them work together as complementing components. The piece becomes about unity, and how these materials can be repurposed to create something unique.

The Artists: Ami Oberg 

Ami Oberg (they/them) is a sophomore film studies and journalism major. Ami is a participant in the Jiménez-Porter Writers’ House and Arts Scholars programs. They started sculpting this year and have never created something in this style or at this scale.

The Piece

The purpose of this piece is to encourage people to look at both recycling and art in a different way. By reusing a variety of recycled materials from glass to plastic, we wish to showcase how recycling can be more than sorting trash. By using trash to create art, and by working with the weather, we also wish to show how anything can be turned into art under any conditions. Basically, think outside the box!

The Artists: National Residence Hall Honorary

Named after Jim Henson, the NRHH at UMD works to give back to the community through service and cherishes the work done by fearless leaders. They accomplish their goals through recruitment efforts, “Of the Month'' awards and nominations, and numerous service hours. This is the NRHH’s first time working on a project like this together, and they are eager and excited to produce artwork that reflects their values and goals!

The NRHH Executive Board is working on this project, and is open to help from their general body members. Executive Board members include Cameron Hewitt (President), Michael Purdie (Director of Membership), Brie Nabet (Director of Recognition), Arman Daneshpayeh (Director of Service), Zoe Weisberg (Director of Outreach), Megan Berry (Director of National Affairs), and Doris Chang (Director of Administration). 

The Piece: Don’t Hit Our Pillars or Gonzo!

With the recreation of Jim Henson and his muppets, the National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH) showcases its two pillars of service and recognition for leaders making a change on campus, and expresses Maryland Pride. The space depicting a cartoon hand holding a diamond references our commitment to our region, while the other space is a collage of Kermit, Ms. Piggy, Gonzo, Fozzy Bear and more!

The Artists: Office of Sustainability

SustainableUMD represents the University of Maryland’s commitment to advance sustainability through teaching, research, service, and operations. The UMD Office of Sustainability celebrates these efforts through the SustainableUMD newsletter, website, social media, and more. The Office of Sustainability supports and advances UMD’s environmental performance through initiatives and programs; the Office facilitates and supports the development and implementation of sustainable policies, practices, and curricula for the campus community.

Led by Tanvi Gadhia from the Office of Sustainability and Lisa Alexander from Resident Life, members from our group of Outreach and Engagement Interns and Green Terp Ambassadors created a piece that symbolizes the SustainableUMD mission and the university’s sustainability goals.

Learn more about how the Office of Sustainability and Green Terp makes our campus community more sustainable. 

The Piece: Cultivating a SustainableUMD

Our project gives new purpose to items that may have been bound for the trash. The upcycled pieces represent the seven Green Terp themes that address different aspects of sustainability, including energy, water and sustainable transportation.

Although the pieces making up our Art Park concept are mainly for representative and artistic purposes, we want viewers to gain a deeper appreciation of upcycling everyday materials from seeing our design and be inspired by our work. Our representation of groups at UMD, all of which work towards eco-friendly goals, shows just how many people are involved in making our campus cleaner and greener for everyone. Elements of sustainability such as food, water, energy, waste, and transportation are symbolized throughout the installation- ranging from planters with vegetables and herbs, solar powered lights, bird baths, and more.

The Artists: College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Information and Education Technology team

Koralleen: "not an artist. The last time I did something like this was a diorama for a book report in fourth grade."

Michael: "Not very artistic at all.  However, I love a good project where I can work with power tools or hand tools and build."

Lisa: "I love crafting and creating.  Am I good?  That depends on the medium and the eye of the beholder.  If I were working with food, I’d probably be a great guest for the show “Nailed It”.  I’m a very good Pinterest imitater though."

Tiffany: "Not an artist. I like reading and watching variety shows because we can’t travel. I have never done this kind of project before. Both pandemic and this art project are once in lifetime experiences for me. They enriched my life."

Tim: "Not an artist. I can't say I’ve done anything like this before. I do a lot of cooking and baking, but my wife says I really need to work on my presentation skills."

Valerie: "I love all things artsy, but this project will be a new type of venture for me!"

Bao: "Not an artist.  I’ve never participated in this type of art project before but I am an admirer of Rube Goldberg contraptions."

Brad: "Far from being an artist although I will occasionally sit at my keyboards and play a tune or two that is sometimes recognizable to others. While I have very limited art experience, this project provides a wonderfully unique opportunity for our team to collaboratively create art!"

Al: "I am not an artist, but I can appreciate a subjective art presentation in this reality. This blending of pandemic sprinkled with creativity will be interesting to exhibit to the public that is organic and personal."

The Piece: Zoom Happy Hour

Information and Education Technology (IET) is a group of nine people helping the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources with their computing needs. Before last year we had been working in a Symons Hall suite with a central space that served as an informal meeting area—the water dispenser is there, and the fish tank. It’s where we’d eat birthday cake or talk about the best movies or restaurants or sometimes work-related topics. When we all started to work from home last year, our offices became distant and Zoom had to take the place of this common area. Working as a team remotely has been a smooth transition, but connecting as friendly colleagues has been harder to duplicate online.

Our project is meant to convey the imperfect way we’ve been able to fill this need. We can meet on Zoom and chat, but the conversations are abbreviated—the little story you might have told a person standing next to you doesn’t seem worth sharing with the Wall of Coworkers when it’s your turn to speak. So on one side of our piece you can see the screens of our Zoom Happy Hour. The backgrounds--real or fake--convey something to the viewer, and there might be family or pets in sight… but this side is less happy, more hour. The walls of the structure present images related to the office. Behind each screen is a more 3-D expression of what has kept us happy during this unusual year.

The Artists: The Residence Hall Association

The Residence Hall Association (RHA) is the primary student-run governing body that represents the interests of resident students at the University of Maryland, College Park. The following Executive Board members assisted in the project installation: Emily Berry (President), Alec McCarren (Vice President), Sarah Dresh (Program and Community Development Coordinator), Cameron Hewitt (Student Fees Coordinator), Michael Purdie (National Communications Coordinator), Karina Perez (Marketing and Technology Officer), and Alexandra Figaro, Mel Mader, Matt Blum and Jason Spizuoco (Senators-At-Large). The entirety of the body in the RHA is invited to help.

The Piece: Among Us Student Leaders Living On-Campus

During the pandemic, RHA has remained committed to providing a voice for on-campus students in a virtual setting. Playing the newest versions of the game Among Us is a favorite pastime for RHA members. Our painting shows the Among Us character holding a Maryland flag with tasks to complete, those of which facilitate community development and leadership development. We hope that students will see this piece and recognize their contributions to the university, and our organization’s commitment to creating positive change for on-campus residents. 

The Artist: Amanda Nwokoro is a scientist at heart and says art is not her forte. She is currently a freshman pre-nursing major who studies neuroscience extensively. In recent years, she discovered her environmentalist side and wishes to pursue renewable forms of energy and help preserve the earth.

The Piece: Art From Trash

Art From Trash shows how beauty can be found in things others deem unworthy. This piece gives purpose to waste and brings attention to a major issue in the world. I used discarded plastic containers to make this piece. Only 9% of plastic waste is recycled while 79% is left to wastelands.