City of Baltimore Announces Five Finalists in “Faces of Leadership - Mayor's Portraits Competition”

Crest of the City of Baltimore

Brandon M. Scott
Baltimore City
250 City Hall - Baltimore Maryland 21202
(410) 396-3835 - Fax: (410) 576-9425



BALTIMORE, MD (Friday, May 17, 2024) - Today, the City of Baltimore announced the selection of the five artists for the esteemed Faces of Leadership Mayor's Portraits Competition. This historic opportunity showcases Baltimore’s elected mayoral  leadership through the lens of contemporary art, creating a visual archive of the individuals who have shaped our city's narrative for generations to come.

This initiative, originating from a February call for submissions, garnered an overwhelming response, with over 180 entries from portrait artists across the state. A distinguished panel of judges, comprising Tonya Miller Hall, Sr. Advisor of Arts & Culture, Mayor’s Office, Samuel Hoi, former president of MICA, artist and curator Jeffrey Kent, Erika M. McClammy, Esq. Comptroller's Office, Cara Ober, Editor and Publisher of BmoreArt Magazine, and independent art consultant Jenenne Whitfield, evaluated the submissions against a detailed rubric focusing on accuracy and likeness, composition and technique, originality and interpretation, emotional impact and engagement, and presentation and professionalism.

From there, 17 selected proposals advanced to the final stage, where the four previous and current mayors chose their portrait artist through a blind review process, with the artists' names redacted to ensure an impartial selection. The Mayors evaluated the artists' work based on composition and their personal emotional impact. Where multiple Mayors chose the same artist as their top pick, the jurors used a lottery system to make the final selection, maintaining the goal of having five different artists for the project.

The forthcoming commission will bridge the gap between the city’s last commissioned portrait of Mayor Martin O’Malley, whose tenure concluded in 2007. The new commissions will include the former and current mayor and the five selected artists represent a diverse spectrum of leadership and innovation within Baltimore's rich tapestry. Their contributions will not only leave an indelible mark on the city but also serve as a source of inspiration for future generations.

The Mayors selected the following artists:

"These Baltimore-based artists have shown their talent, passion, and dedication to our city by capturing the story of leadership in Baltimore," said Mayor Brandon Scott. "Their work will live on in City Hall, and help shape Baltimore’s vibrant culture and promising future for generations to come. It is an honor to recognize their contributions through this competition and ensure that their work lives on in our city’s history forever."

“What’s so significant about this opportunity is giving Baltimore-based artists a leading role in creating our own art history,” said juror Cara Ober, Publisher at BmoreArt Magazine. “Not only is Baltimore investing directly in the careers of some of its most successful portrait artists, but our city is giving visual artists a leading role in a historic form of communication, working directly with the mayors to represent our collective legacy, both politically and culturally.”

“The Mayor's Portraits Competition marks a pivotal moment in Baltimore's cultural history, heralding a new era of contemporary portraiture. By showcasing the talents of local artists and honoring the diverse voices and visions of our mayors, this competition not only enriches our cultural landscape but will serve as timeless reflections of leadership, inspiring future generations,” said Tonya Miller Hall, the Mayor’s Senior Advisor of Arts & Culture.

The Faces of Leadership - Mayor's Portraits Competition celebrates the intersection of art and civic leadership, providing a platform to acknowledge those who have made significant strides in shaping Baltimore's identity. The selected portraits will serve as a lasting testament to their impact on our community, hanging alongside 200 years of Baltimore mayoral portraits in City Hall’s historic boardroom.

This afternoon on May 17, 2024, the selected artists were announced exclusively on Tom Hall’s show “Midday” on WYPR.

About Faces of Leadership - Mayor's Portraits Competition
The Faces of Leadership - Mayor's Portraits Competition is an initiative launched by Mayor Brandon M. Scott aimed at celebrating the diverse leaders who have contributed to the growth and development of Baltimore. Through the medium of portraiture, the competition seeks to honor their achievements and inspire future generations of leaders.

Mayoral Portrait Competition headshots of winners

Mayoral Portrait Competition headshots of winners

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