Detroit Office of Arts, Culture and Entrepreneurship Issues Open Call for Artist To Paint Community Mural on the Farwell Recreation Center


Detroit Office of Arts, Culture and Entrepreneurship Issues Open Call for Artist To Paint Community Mural on the Farwell Recreation Center

  • Mural is to honor community heroes as well as healing from the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Artist stipend is $30,000
  • Deadline to apply is July 6, 2022

The Detroit Office of Arts, Culture and Entrepreneurship (Detroit ACE) is seeking an artist or collaborative team for a creative place-keeping project on the Farwell Recreation Center.

The theme for the mural installation will be the result of engagement with residents in the community who suggested that it should honor community heroes. A selection committee comprising community members and members of the Detroit ACE team anticipates choosing an artist or team by July 31.

The project is among many Detroit ACE is undertaking to better connect artists with Detroit communities and to improve the look of neighborhoods across the city. It also is a part of Mayor Mike Duggan’s Blight to Beauty initiative.

“We hope to help communities embrace artwork that reflects the values and identities of the communities,” said Rochelle Riley, the city’s Director of Arts and Culture. “Our goal is to amplify community assets and elevate the stature of some of the best artists in the country.”

Artists interested in applying should send a packet to Detroit ACE with the following information:

  • Name, address and phone number
  • Past mural experience and where those murals are located
  • Past construction experience since panels will have to be mounted to the walls.
  • Examples of past work, whether it still exists or not.
  • An artist statement explaining why he/she or they are artists
  • Two references from previous public art clients

The Artist Statement should list all needed materials, resume, and answers to the following questions:

  • What interests you about the project?
  • What are your preliminary ideas for the project?
  • How do you envision working in collaboration with the 43 community and with students?
  • What is your past experience working on complex projects with criteria and constraints dictated by the site owner?
  • How would your project benefit the community?

The Artist Packet should include:

  • Up to five images of past work you consider relevant to this project along with up to two images of proposed mural design (knowing the design might change) Digital images must be JPEG files and must be no more than 300dpi and no larger than 1024 x 768 pixel resolution. Each image must be unlocked and downloadable for viewing. Each JPEG image must be titled with the artist’s name and image number. (Example: SaraSmith001, SaraSmith002).

Project Schedule:

  • July 6                    
  • July 8                    
    • Detroit ACE will choose three finalists and distribute their packets to the community.
  • July 15                  
    • Detroit ACE will host a 6PM community meeting to review/introduce the three finalists to community stakeholders and review their packets.
  • July 22                  
    • Community will choose the winning artist or team.
  • August 5              
    • Winning artist’s sketch is due back to the community.
  • August 12            
    • Community panel makes final decision on mural.
  • August 30            
    • Painting mural should begin by August 30, 2022.

Artist/Artist Team Responsibilities:

The selected artist or artist team will be required to:

  • Work in collaboration with the residents, the General Services Department and the Office of Arts, Culture and Entrepreneurship to engage in a series of art and community-based activities and a creation process aligned on themes submitted from the local community.
  • Share their personal practice with the community, as this is, inherently, a group project.
  • Conduct research to better understand the site, the project and the community’s history and current culture, along with any other elements deemed helpful to their creative process
  • Create a final approved concept and design for the mural
  • Host a minimum of one community participation day while creating the artwork
  • Work with the General Services Department to identify and secure the services of suppliers, fabricators, installers, and/or other professionals as necessary to fulfill the artist’s responsibilities in the production and completion of the work
  • Fulfill the responsibilities within the contracted budget and timeline City Walls Detroit responsibilities:


The overall budget for the project is an estimated $43,135 with $30,000 budgeted as a stipend for the artist and $13,145 to construct free-standing panels and buy paint and materials. This budget is all-inclusive, including artist’s fees, artist’s assistant costs, artist’s studio costs, materials and supplies and installation of all artwork.

Artist Selection:

Artists will be chosen by a community panel in partnership with the Detroit ACE and the office of Councilman Scott Benson. The panel will use the following points system:

  • Being a Detroit-based artist                                                      
    • 10 points
  • Preliminary sketches                                                                  
    • 25 points
  • Experience in accomplishing projects of a similar complexity within the budget, timeline and technical constraints presented                                          
    • 25 points
  • Experience in community engagement                                      
    • 15 points
  • Artist Statement                                                                          
    • 25 points

All questions should be directed to Rochelle Riley at [email protected] or 313 480 5265.