The Importance of Giving Back

HorseSpirit Arts Gallery believes strongly in the importance of giving back to the community. Since its inception, HorseSpirit has supported:

  • The House of Ruth, 2009-2012, one of the nation’s leading intimate partner violence centers
  • Maryland Therapeutic Riding, 2013-2015, dedicated to helping individuals find overall wellness and mental wellbeing in their lives through the therapeutic power of horseback riding.
  • LeCheval Stables, 2016-2018, whose mission is to provide counseling and equine-facilitated support services in an inclusive setting.
  • PFLAG Howard County (2019-present), committed to promoting the health and well-being of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people, their families, and friends.

HorseSpirit Arts Gallery also sponsors the Covington Emerging Artist Award, given annually by HorseSpirit Arts Gallery and presented at the “Howard County Open” Art Show.

The Covington Emerging Artist Award is given in honor of Ms. Mable Covington Holliday, a hardworking, multi-faceted woman, whose talents included creating and teaching art. In the late 1950’s, Ms. Covington built an art studio outside her home in rural eastern North Carolina. Many of the women in her community had never expressed themselves outside of their roles as worker, wife, and mother. Ms. Covington welcomed, encouraged, and taught these women how to express their creativity through ceramics, quilting, oil painting, clothing design and fabrication, and other art forms. She ran her studio for over 20 years. Along the way, she lovingly taught her granddaughter Robin Holliday (Owner / Curator of HorseSpirit Arts Gallery) to create and appreciate art.

Ms. Covington was also a determined, strong woman who persevered through the Great Depression, World War II and the Korean War, losing husbands to the impacts of war. Through adversity, she kept creating art, welcoming people into her studio, extending kindness, and showing generosity. Above all, she held on to her belief in the goodness of humanity.

Artist Eligibility: Artists are eligible who have been exhibiting and/or selling their art for three years or less.

Art Media: Artists working in any art media will be considered for this award.

Selection Criteria: The Covington Emerging Artist Award recognizes the artist whose work demonstrates not only technical excellence, but also most clearly echoes Mable Covington Holliday’s belief in the power of the creative spirit.

Award Amount: $500 for 1st place

Selection Committee: Robin Holliday and Deborah Maklowski, an accomplished artist, President of the Colored Pencil Society of America, and one of the artists at HorseSpirit Arts Gallery.

Contact Information: Robin Holliday, Owner/Curator of HorseSpirit Arts Gallery, Historic Savage Mill, located at 8600 Foundry Street, Suite 2063, Savage, Maryland 20763. Robin’s contacts are: or 301-490-2001.

Previous 1st place winners include:

2018 Howard Garrett Oil Painting “Along the Seine”
2019 Jonathan Bush Mixed Media (graphite, charcoal, pastel, watercolor

“Workboats Waiting”


2020 Paul Gangemi
Oil Painting

“Plane Flowers”

2021 Bill McCauley Pastel Painting “La Petite Grocery, New Orleans”