The Commissioning Process

Here are answers to our most frequently asked questions about the commissioning process.

WHO will be creating your artwork?

  • A diverse team of creative teens in one of our “Pour Your ART Out” programs who share a passion for art
  • These young apprentice artists, as we call them, are guided by seasoned teaching artists and other highly-skilled professionals
  • We recruit teens from around Montgomery County for our Kensington program, and from all wards of DC for our program in the District.

WHAT kind of artwork is available?

  • While the majority of AOB artwork is mosaics, we have also created painted and mixed-media works and 3-D sculptural pieces.
  • Work can be created for interior and exterior settings, at virtually any size needed.
  • We are open to exploring any medium for which you might have a need.

WHEN and WHERE does the designing and creating take place?

  • Currently, our workshops run twice a year: school year and summer.
  • The school year workshop takes place at our Kensington headquarters with the design process starting in November and project completion typically in March or April.
  • The summer workshops take place in both Kensington and DC with the entire design and construction process taking place over a period of six weeks (typically first week in July to mid-August).
  • Commissions happen on a first-come, first-served basis, so reserving a place on our calendar is highly recommended.

HOW MUCH TIME will be required of me?

  • Your time is precious, so we make every effort to keep the number of meetings to the minimum.
  • That said, the interactions between clients and apprentices are among the most valuable components of the workshop. Our clients frequently comment on the satisfaction that they derive from these meetings as well, resulting in a growing number of clients who return with new projects.
  • Two in-person meetings are the norm. At the first meeting, 45-60 minutes long, apprentices will gather your requirements and other basic information about the site where the work will go and your particular tastes.
  • At the second meeting, typically lasting 30-45 minutes, you will review designs created by a minimum of three apprentices or apprentice teams, depending on the size of the commission.
  • Subsequent less-formal meetings to tweak the design and to review progress are typically conducted by email or Skype.


  • We use a formula to estimate the basic cost of mosaic artworks, which averages $150/square foot. This is a competitive rate for professionally-designed mosaics.
  • The larger the piece, typically, the smaller the cost per square foot.
  • Materials and complexity can also influence price.
  • Non-mosaic artworks are computed on a case-by-case basis.

WHO INSTALLS the work?

  • You can arrange for installation, or we are happy to recommend professional installers. We can also contract with the installer for an additional charge.

AOB works diligently to ensure that clients will be 100% satisfied. We take pride in working with you to create a superior product.

Consultations on commissions are available by contacting AOB at:

Arts on the Block
4218 Howard Ave. Suite 3A
Kensington, MD 20895
240.645.0730 or