Calling All Artists to Help Us Celebrate "The Pratt: A Place of Possibilities"


The Enoch Pratt Free Library is excited to announce a Window Display Contest for Maryland artists. The Central Library has just undergone a major renovation and will be celebrating with the community in the Fall of 2019. As part of this grand re-opening, the Pratt will feature six Window Display Contest winners in its large windows on Cathedral Street beginning in August 2019. The artists will be chosen by a panel of judges from the Baltimore community as well as the Pratt Library. The contest is made possible through the generosity of the William G. Baker Memorial Fund.


The theme for the 2019 Window Contest is The Pratt: A Place of Possibilities. Artists’ work should highlight the Pratt in some way with a focus on the Library’s history and/or its role and importance to individuals and the Baltimore community. 

The Pratt Library was founded through the generous gift of businessman Enoch Pratt who envisioned a public library where all "races, ages, and socioeconomic classes mingled and people could educate themselves without cost.” The nation’s first free library system, the Pratt opened its Central Branch and four additional branches in 1886. The mission of the Enoch Pratt Free Library is to provide equal access to information, services, and opportunities that empower, enrich and enhance the quality of life for all. 

Some potential jumping off points might be: How has the Pratt Library changed your life, or the life of someone you know? Why is the Library important in Baltimore? What have you discovered at the Library? What do you hope to discover? How does the Library's mission speak to you? 

The Windows

Located on Cathedral Street and visible to thousands of passersby and Library visitors, the windows offer artists a wonderful opportunity to share their work and vision. We encourage entrants to visit the Library and take a look at the windows before submitting an entry, not only to be inspired, but to understand the scale of the project. Three-dimensional submissions are encouraged! 


Judges will be selected from Baltimore leading arts and culture organizations, including the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Maryland Institute College of Art. 

Six winners will be selected from the entries. Each winner will receive a $1,000 award as well as $1,000 for materials and supplies. Gifts will be disbursed in three payments: 1st payment ($1,000) upon notification; 2nd payment at Opening Reception ($500); 3rd payment when the installation is taken down ($500). 

Entrants must be Maryland residents or students at a Maryland college and be 18 years or older.

Finalists may be contacted to further explain their submissions. 


·  Contest opens March 1, 2019

·  Deadline for submission April 30, 2019

·  Notification of finalists by July 10, 2019

·  Installation dates August 1-18, 2019

·  Opening Reception August 27, 2019

Questions or issues with your submission? Email Andrew Klein at

Submission Criteria

Artists should submit a window display design concept inspired by the Enoch Pratt Free Library and should highlight the Pratt in some way with a focus on the Library’s history and/or its role and importance to individuals and the Baltimore community.  Entries may include text and/or visual elements. 

Your submission will consist of three files. Do not include your name or any personal information in the file names themselves.

1.  A biographical statement and artist CV, 2 pages max, as a Microsoft Word (.doc) document or PDF.

2.  Artist statement, 1 page max, as a Microsoft Word (.doc) document or PDF. Please detail carefully what materials you intend to use and how you intend to install your work if selected. 

3.  Proposal renderings plus applicable portfolio work, 10 pages max, 10 MB max, as a PDF (.pdf), with 8.5 in. x 11 in dimensions.


Please note: As the Central Library finishes its renovation, this schematic may change — specifically the paneling and door. Proposals that include backup installation strategies are encouraged.

For larger version of the below image, please click here.

Window Schematic 

Additional Details

Failure to follow submission criteria will result in disqualification.

Artists' access to the windows for installation purposes will be provided between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m., August 1 through August 18, 2019.

It will be the responsibility of each artist selected to install and remove their artwork. Failure to do so may result in the rescinding of funds and display space.

The Pratt Library is not responsible for any accident or injury that may occur during exhibit installation or removal.

Winning artists agree to participate in media interviews/coverage/web publishing. All entries may considered for additional display opportunities.

Enoch Pratt Free Library