The Commemorative to Enslaved Peoples of Southern Maryland was named the winner in the “Public Spaces” category of the 2022 CODAawards competition.

The internationally acclaimed CODAawards celebrate the projects that successfully integrate commissioned art into interior, architectural, or public spaces. The CODAawards program honors the individuals and the teams whose collective imaginations create the public and private spaces that inspire us daily. The awards are administered by CODAworx, a global online community that celebrates design projects featuring commissioned artworks.

The immersive art experience, constructed on St. Mary’s College of Maryland’s campus, honors the story of resilience, persistence, and creative problem-solving that defined the lives of enslaved individuals in St. Mary’s City between 1750 and 1815. This summer, the Commemorative was named to the Top 100 public art projects by CODAworx. The Commemorative garnered the top spot in the “Public Spaces” category in the second stage of judging, which involved public voting for top projects.

Earlier this year, the Commemorative was honored by the Society for Experiential Graphic Design (SEGD). It was named an honor award winner in its annual competition to recognize and promote excellence in contemporary experiential graphic design. Additionally, for its work on the single-day special event “The Sacred Journey: Re-Making Our World Anew,” St. Mary’s College of Maryland’s Office of Institutional Advancement won a 2022 Circle of Excellence gold award from the international Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). 

The Commemorative to Enslaved Peoples of Southern Maryland :From Absence to Presence Credit: St. Mary's College of Maryland / St. Mary's College of Maryland

The Commemorative provides visitors with the space to acknowledge and learn from the lives of those who once toiled there while providing a place for reflection and introspection about the nature of slavery and its connections to modern society.

Learn more about how St. Mary’s College honors the enslaved by visiting

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