Historic Preservation Commission Approves Two Murals for Old Ellicott City

Art in Ellicott City (AEC) is thrilled to announce that last night, the Howard County Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) approved two mural designs for Main Street. Both murals will be funded by a combination of state bond money and private donations solicited by AEC.

Last year, the General Assembly approved a bond bill to fund public murals in historic Ellicott City, and AEC is the non-profit managing the project. AEC has been working with HPC since September 2018, when we sought advisory comments from the Commission about potential mural locations. Shortly thereafter, AEC announced a public contest to solicit designs. We received 20 proposals from 7 different artists.

In March 2019, AEC took all 20 proposals back to HPC for advisory comments. Following that session, Art in Ellicott City selected — and HPC subsequently approved — a design by local artist Antonia Ramis Miguel and another by Ellicott City native Wiley Purkey.

  1. Ford Dealership Mural at 8289 Main Street

The first design is for a mural on the east side of the Reedy Building, currently occupied by Sweet Elizabeth Jane. Before the building housed Reedy Electric, it housed the first Ford dealership in Ellicott City. The dealership sold every model Ford from Model Ts until the dealership closed in 1960.

Antonia Ramis Miguel

Local artist Antonia Ramis Miguel designed this mural to “look through” the exterior wall into the original showroom. Passers-by could look through the front showcase windows and see Model Ts and Model As on display inside. Ms. Miguel’s design also depicts pedestrians looking through the opening in the wall. Further back on the east wall, Ms. Miguel’s design “looks through” to a mechanic working in the repair shop in the back.

2. Sanborn Map Mural at 8249 Main Street

The second design is for the west side of the Yates Market building, a location passed by many of the visitors who park in Parking Lot D. This building housed the Yates Market from 1885 until 2012, and for most of that time it was a grocery store known for dedicated family service, fresh sausage, and home delivery.

Wiley Purkey

Ellicott City native, Wiley Purkey, designed this mural as a wayfinding aid. Mr. Purkey’s design incorporates the 19th-century Sanborn Fire Insurance maps and depicts a panoramic view of the winter sky-line. In addition, Mr. Purkey’s design includes a rack to display the business cards of shops and services in the historic district, thus maximizing the wayfinding value of the map.

Ms. Miguel’s and Mr. Purkey’s designs will both go through some modest fine tuning over the next few weeks. Work will begin as soon as possible, and we expect both of them to be installed by the end of the summer.

We hope you are as excited about this wonderful art work as we are!

The Baltimore Sun Covers Ellicott City Mural Competition

The Baltimore Sun covered the Art in Ellicott City mural competition in this weekend’s Sunday paper — just in time for the competition deadline of December 31.

The article describes the inspiration for the competition and also reports on the eggplant sculpture recently installed in front of the Welcome Center.  The eggplant was the first project undertaken by AEC  since its creation in November 2017 .

You can read the article here.

AEC to Sponsor HCC’s The Art of Stewardship 2019 Art Show — Preservation of Land and Legacy

art of stewardshipAEC is pleased to be a partnering sponsor of The Howard County Conservancy’s 2019 art show, Artists as Stewards of Nature: Preservation of the Land and its Legacy.

The Conservancy’s call to artists this year asks contributors to consider what the recent severe flooding and extreme weather in Ellicott City “means for land preservation and the legacy we leave for future generations.”

The event is a juried show with cash prizes for winners and honorable mentions.  All media are welcome, and contributions must have a footprint of either 10″ x 10″ or 10″ x 8″ and must be hung by wire only.

Click here to register your art!

Deadline is March 10, 2019, or until 150 pieces have entered, whichever is soonest.


AEC Approves Two Grant Requests from ECP for Holiday Installations

lightsArt in Ellicott City is pleased to announce that it has approved two grant requests from the Ellicott City Partnership — one for a holiday light show to brighten up Main Street and one for holiday dressing for Main Street buildings damaged by the May 2018 flood.

Public art installations play in important role in drawing people to public spaces and in lifting the soul.  Old Ellicott City’s soul is in need of a little lifting this holiday season, in light of the two devastating floods in the last three years.

AEC hopes the holiday light installation will become an annual feature, and that it becomes more creative, complex, and innovative over time.




AEC Announces Mural Competition


AEC is pleased to announce its contest for public murals in and around Main Street, Ellicott City, Maryland. AEC has a grant from the State of Maryland to help fund the mural(s), and we seek mural design and installation proposals from the general public.

AEC has consulted with the Howard County Historic Preservation Commission and with property owners on Main Street. Those discussions have produced a list of candidate walls for murals, which list appears in the accompanying competition guidelines.

Design proposals are due December 31, 2018. Proposals can be mailed to The Fund for Art in Ellicott City, Inc., 8318 Forrest Street, Suite 200, Ellicott City, Maryland 21043, or emailed to ellicottcityart@gmail.com.

Click on the links below to access the announcement and the guidelines.

Email any questions to ellicottcityart@gmail.com.

AEC Competition Press Release

AEC Mural Competition Guidelines

The Eggplant Is Back!

New Eggplant close up-6Art in Ellicott City is THRILLED to announce the completion of its first project on Main Street, the return of the Ellicott City eggplant!

As you know, Jan Kirsh‘s wonderful eggplant sculpture stood in front of the Welcome Center as part of the Howard County Arts Council’s Art Sites program some years back. It became a community favorite for photo ops and selfies, and many of us missed it when it left.

Now it’s BACK!

This is the first of several initiatives AEC has in the works to bring public art to OEC. So stay tuned….