DOTS Art Park

Let our lots be your canvas

The Art Park Application is closed. More information about this year's projects is coming soon. 

Calling all UMD creatives! Are you looking for a venue to present your work? We’re inviting artists to showcase their work in an outdoor installation on campus.

This spring, our reduced campus density has left us with a surplus of unoccupied parking.  In response, our team is piloting the DOTS Art Park. This initiative lends parking spaces to artists and art programs seeking a venue for an outdoor arts installation or presentation. The inspiration comes from our annual Park(ing) Day celebration, which aims to show how parking spaces can be re-imagined for public use. This year, we’re expanding this "parklet" concept to allow our university community to create and showcase art forms that express their thoughts and feelings during this time.

How it works

The Basics

We invite artists across the university to submit proposals to create their own “art park”.

Accepted proposals will receive a maximum of five, 8’ x 19’ (approx.) parking spaces for their piece. Installations must be completed by Monday, April 12 and should expect to remain in place through the end of the spring 2021 semester. Artists will also be invited to discuss their work in a live-streamed interview.  

In addition to viewing the projects in person, the community can participate in remote viewing experiences through a story map, which will include pictures and a description of the project. Artists are also invited to discuss their work in a live-streamed interview. 

We understand that the time and materials required for art making can be costly. While we are not able to provide funding in our first year of this program, we hope to provide funding for these projects in future years.

Possible prompts for expression include: Social Change, Sustainable Creations, Life After COVID-19, and UMD Pride. Need some inspiration? Check out these photos from previous Park(ing) Days.

the specifics

Eligibility

  • Must be a University of Maryland - College Park student or program/department.
     
  • Must be able to access the campus during installation and showcase periods.

Project Criteria

The DOTS Arts Park pilot aims to foster creative expression and have a positive impact on the campus. Participants must heed by the following guidelines and restrictions:

  • Projects will not promote illegal activity or attack an individual’s race, nationality, ethnic group, religion, sexual orientation, or gender. They will not promote anything that is detrimental or damaging to the University and its education, research, and/or public service mission. Profanity is not permitted.
     
  • Projects cannot be used for advertising, sales or promotion.
     
  • Projects should be able to withstand the weather. Please keep in mind that the project space is outdoors and will be showcased/installed over several weeks.
     
  • Participants are expected to supply their own materials. They are not permitted to use hazardous materials that will damage the surface of the lot. Paint and petroleum-based products should not be applied directly to the lot surface. Murals or other painted work should be applied on a separate surface (ex. linoleum, canvas, etc.).  Bolting or drilling into any part of the surface is not permitted. Use of sandbags or weights are encouraged to secure your work.

Health and Safety Criteria

  • Participants should be aware that DOTS is unable to provide security or surveillance for projects, and cannot reimburse for damages or make repairs. Instances of vandalism should be reported to UMPD.
     
  • This project takes place on campus, therefore 4Maryland guidelines apply. Participants are expected to wear masks at all times and stay 6 feet apart during all events associated with the DOTS Arts Park, including but not limited to installation, on-site interviews and break-down. Art Park visitors should also practice physical distancing and wear a face covering at all times.

Encouraged Creative Prompts

Possible prompts for expression include:

  • Social change
  • Sustainable creations
  • Life after COVID-19
  • UMD pride

Questions?

View FAQs and/or contact smartcommute@umd.edu.

Wednesday, January 20 to Monday, February 15 at 9 a.m.: Application open. Apply as a group or individual.

Applications are reviewed by DOTS staff. Upon submitting your application, you may be contacted and asked to provide additional information about your piece. Decisions will be made on a rolling basis through Monday, March 1.

Monday, March 1 to Friday, March 12: Coordination meetings with participants. During this time, participants will receive their parking space assignments and discuss logistics with DOTS.

Friday, March 12 - Monday, April 12: Project Installation period. Projects should be completed by Monday, April 12

Monday, April 19 to Friday, April 23: Virtual Interviews with artists.  Launch of story map

May 11: Project installation break-down.

  • Read through all of the specifics before completing your application. How can your project work within the guidelines?
     
  • Detail is key for your project description. We should understand how you’ll install the work, the type of supplies you’ll use and what the final product will look like. Upload preliminary drawings or other samples to the application if you are able.

    Example:  If you’re painting a mural, we’ll want to know what material you will paint it on, the kind of paint you’ll use, how will you secure it in your assigned location and what it will look like.
     
  • Clearly articulate the concept behind your work. What is it conveying to your audience?
     
  • Overall, we want to see that you’ve thought through your project to the fullest extent and that it works within the guidelines.

If you aren’t sure about something or need guidance, contact us at smartcommute@umd.edu. We’re happy to answer your questions!

Project Application

When are applications due?

Applications are due on Monday, February 15 at 9 a.m.

When will I know if my project has been selected?

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. All notifications will go out by Monday, March 1.

What are the reviewers looking for in applications?

Reviewers are looking for projects that are logistically feasible, adhering to the guidelines presented above. Applications should clearly articulate the meaning behind the artwork and conceptualize how that work will appear upon installation. They should also address supplies used, implementation plan and the presentation. See “Tips for Writing a Successful Application.”

Project Logistics

Is DOTS providing funding for the selected projects?

We are not able to provide funding in our first year of this program. We understand that the time and materials required for artmaking can be costly, and we hope to provide funding for these projects in future years.

Will I or my group receive any assistance with installation or break-down?

You/your group are accountable for all aspects of installation and break-down.

Will I be responsible for bringing my own supplies and equipment?

Yes, you are responsible for bringing all of your own supplies and equipment. DOTS is able to provide the physical space and promotion.

Are there any restrictions on the type of supplies I can use?

Participants are not permitted to use hazardous materials that will damage the surface of the lot. Paint and petroleum-based products should not be applied directly to the lot surface. Murals or other painted work should be applied on a separate surface (ex. linoleum, canvas, etc.).  Bolting or drilling into any part of the surface is not permitted. Use of sandbags or weights are encouraged to secure your work.

DOTS will work with campus authorities to coordinate the feasibility of projects involving amplified or loud sound.

Health and Safety Precautions

Will there be any measures in place to protect my work from vandalism?

DOTS is unable to provide surveillance for Arts Park projects.

What happens if my work is vandalized or damaged?

DOTS will clean up works that are vandalized or damaged. We are not able to reimburse for damages or make repairs. Instances of vandalism would be reported to UMPD.

How will you prevent the spread of COVID-19 throughout this project?

This project takes place on campus, therefore 4Maryland guidelines apply. All participants are expected to wear face coverings at all times and stay 6 feet apart during all events associated with the DOTS Arts Park, including but not limited to installation, on-site interviews and break-down. Arts Park visitors must also adhere to 4Maryland guidelines, including practicing physical distancing and wear a face covering at all times.

To avoid visitor crowding, DOTS has distributed Arts Park locations throughout campus rather than hosting all projects in a central location.