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COVID-19 has claimed the lives of over 12,000 Marylanders—including over 2,000 Baltimore County residents—since Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski declared a local state of emergency on March 13, 2020. In March of 2021, the County Executive expressed the wish to commemorate and honor the lives lost and all those affected by COVID-19, by creating a public art memorial. 

The goal of this initiative is an artwork that provides a place for remembrance and reconciliation, and creates a meditative space representing hope, unity and healing. The selected artist will work with Baltimore County staff, a team of esteemed artists and art educators, and the local community to create an evocative public memorial that responds to the aesthetics of the site and the themes identified by the project team.

The freestanding public art concept will be installed at Lake Roland Park and will represent hope, unity and healing. The finished piece will not only honor the memory of those lost, but will also provide a meditative space for reconciliation and remembrance.

Selection Process

In partnership with the Baltimore County Arts Guild and consultation with the Maryland State Arts Council, Baltimore County underwent a transparent, engaging process to select an artist who could accomplish the vision and mission of this public art memorial.

The national search brought in more than 70 proposals from artists around the country. County staff assembled a diverse group of panelists, representing the regional arts community, to judge the submissions.

From three semi-finalists, Baltimore County is excited to announce that artist James Dinh of studiofolia in California has been selected to create Baltimore County’s first public art memorial.

James Dinh’s work not only exemplified his strong sense of innovation and creativity, his vision aligned with the expressed desires of the Baltimore County community. 

The design and construction process will begin in early 2022 and will include opportunities for additional community engagement. Installation is slated for the fall of 2022.

To learn more about James Dinh’s work, please visit the studiofolia website.

About the Lake Roland Park Site

Centered on Lake Roland in the Jones Falls valley, Lake Roland Park was chosen as the installation site because it is among acres of open space and includes multiple trails for hiking, biking, running and strolling. The site identified for potential installation can be seen in the Lake Roland site maps.

Lake Roland Nature Council

Lake Roland Nature Council (LRNC) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the stewardship of Lake Roland. In partnership with the Department of Recreation and Parks, the Council works to maintain, preserve and protect the natural environment and historical structures in the park, providing a legacy for future generations. Direct coordination with Baltimore County and the LRNC will be required to ensure freestanding public art complies with area specifications.

Discussion Meeting

Baltimore County Arts staff and artist James Dinh are requesting input from the community for inscriptions to be found on the “mending wall” of the Covid Public Art Memorial at Lake Roland Park.

Please join us on Thursday, October 13 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. for a virtual conversation via Webex.

Contact

For more information, email Kimmy Routson at ksroutson@baltimorecountymd.gov.

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Commission on Arts and Sciences

Historic Courthouse
400 Washington Avenue
Room 100
Towson, Maryland 21204

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