Open Call for Artists: Creative Crosswalks in Granite Falls

by SMAC

Open Call for Artists:      
Creative Crosswalks in Granite Falls

All submissions due at midnight March 31 (CST). 

Click here for the pdf with more information.Apply for Granite Falls' Open Call for Artists: Creative Crosswalks. Call opens February 19, 2021. All submissions due at midnight March 31 (CST). Images: Photo of Granite Falls River, a logo for City of Granite Falls Est. 1879 (drawn small waterfall from river), and a yellow and white painted flower pattern on a crosswalk.

Creative Crosswalks in Granite Falls invites all artists dwelling in or originating from the Minnesota River Valley to be part of a public art project to lift up local arts and storytelling, and encourage and celebrate community engagement in the City of Granite Falls. 18 crosswalks around the Granite Area schools and downtown will be repainted as street murals under the unified theme of “storytelling” in the spring of 2021, with the aim of increasing public safety by discouraging traffic speeding in these areas, encouraging visible pedestrian traffic and safety, offering enlivened paths that community members and visitors can delight in walking, and showcasing the extraordinarily rich and diverse tapestry of artists local to the region. 
A reminder of the power of story and art in a time of hardship, this project will serve as a point of community pride and encourage thinking about simple public spaces as places to enjoy. The future is bright in rural Minnesota.
We look to artists to ignite our imaginations, awaken us to the beauty of our surroundings, and to lift up stories – big and small – to hear and remember as we move into the future together. 

There is no fee to apply. 

Project Outline
The crosswalks we are interested in including in this initiative fall into two groups: the crosswalks surrounding and connecting the local high, middle, and elementary schools; and the crosswalks down along main street. Possible crosswalks for painting are circled below.   

The community-wide theme for all the crosswalks will be “storytelling.” 

Artist Compensation and Support
We value the talent, time, and labor of all artists; and we deeply appreciate your interest in offering yours in support of our community. All materials will be paid for by the City of Granite Falls, and each artist will receive a $450 stipend as well as public City recognition for their work. Documentation of the process, as well as notification of all press releases, will be made available for the chosen artists to use in promoting their work. 

Artist Eligibility
All artists dwelling in or originating from the Minnesota River Valley, at any stage of their career and specializing in any mediums, are encouraged to apply. Preference will be given to those artists who have a past or present relationship to the Granite Falls area, Upper Sioux, and Lower Sioux. Artists are welcome to apply alone or as collaborators.
Artist / Design Selection 

  • The project as a whole and design selections will be shepherded by local artist, teacher and Granite Area Arts Council President Tamara Isfeld, and Granite Falls City-Artist-in-Residence Dani Prados
  • Design selection will be based on: 
    • Design addresses a compelling subject; depicts a story worth telling
    • Clarity of story being told (this does not mean we will favor realism over other styles of expression; merely that the story you are telling should come across in the way you intend)
    • Relationship of the design / story to the area of Granite Falls
    • Creativity of design
    • Quality of style and composition / uniqueness of voice
    • Confidence of the selection committee in the artist’s ability to execute the design
    • Emerging artists, and artists less experienced in the medium of murals and street art, are encouraged to apply.  
    • Artists are welcome to submit more than one design (see submission guidelines below for details)
    • We are hoping to engage local artists and student artists of diverse backgrounds with a range of styles and stories to tell 

Materials & Maintenance 

  • McMaster-Carr line-marking paint in aerosol cans are specially formulated to be bright, reflective, and asphalt-adherent, and will be the only paint allowed to be used *Do not be deterred if you have never worked with this paint before; or even aerosol paint before; artists will be given extra materials for testing prior to design finalization or street painting days. It’s fun to play with something new!
  • A combination of artist-made stencils and free-style painting can be used
  • Safety goggles & aerosol masks will be provided to all artists

Submission guidelines
Please review the following guidelines closely and direct any questions to Dani Prados at cair@publictransformation.org

1. Fill out the submission form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf0Y_xdq6NuJkFOkL-phehjA6QB3fVmCfrjfWZlSqU4PukQ3w/viewform?usp=sf_link 

2. Submit the following on Dropbox (free accounts available):

    1. Resume (PDF if possible, other file types are accepted but not preferred)
    2. PDF with the following:
      1. Design Proposal: 250 – 1000 words on your concept for a crosswalk mural. Please include a corresponding sketch or mock-up, as per below. Artists are encouraged to submit as many separate crosswalk designs as they would like, up to 5. If you are submitting more than one design, each should have its own written proposal and corresponding sketch. 
      2. Work Sample Descriptions: 100-250 words each, 2-5
    1. Work samples, 2-5, any medium (see below for accepted file formats)
    2. Any sketches, drafts of your crosswalk design, or additional materials. Photos of sketchbooks perfectly acceptable. 

Proposal, resume and work samples should be submitted via Dropbox. Please submit all materials as individual documents in a Dropbox folder. (Note some people have had trouble accessing the free Dropbox level, it is called basic and can be found here: https://www.dropbox.com/basic . If Dropbox is not an option for you please contact cair@publictransformation.org and other arrangements can be made.) 

“Share” your folder with cair@publictransformation.org and include link to Dropbox folder in the online application form. Click here for instructions on how to share your folder. 

Title all files with your name (last name first), the item, and no extraneous spaces or punctuation. For example: LastnameFirstnameResume.pdf, LastnameFirstnameWorksample1.jpg. Please format all as PDF, JPG, or PNG files. Due to their large size, please send audio/video samples as links if possible or contact cair@publictransformation.org for other submission options.

Design process

  • ARTIST CALL opens February 19, 2021.
  • Submissions close March 31, 2021. 
  • Artist Selection and Student Artist selection announced April 8, 2021.
  • April 17th, a meeting is convened with all chosen local and student artists to discuss the theme and present their designs (each artist or team is given five minutes), for theme unity and cohesion and cross-pollinating inspiration between artists. The meeting will be held over zoom as necessary for Covid-safety. 
  • Project Managers are available for artist consults and note sessions for artists and teams. 
  • April 2021 test materials are distributed to artists and artist teams, along with notes on original design proposals from Project Managers.
  • May 3rd, Final Designs are Submitted for Approval to City Council. 
  • May 4th, Final Designs are Submitted to County Council for final approval. 
  • Any notes and adjustments presented for approval as necessary to City Council May 17, 2021. 
  • Accounting for weather, the actual painting will occur over a 1-2 day period in late May (expected Sat/Sun May 29-30) 2021. 
  • Pressure-washing by Granite Falls Public Works the day before. 
  • Artists will have between 10am-6pm (to be approved by City Council) with the streets shut down for two consecutive days to accomplish their painting and allow for drying time. 
  • June 2021: Celebrate our new Creative Crosswalks with a community event!

NOTE: All design & implementation processes will be done with appropriate Covid-safe procedural restrictions. Granite Falls does not discriminate on the basis of age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or national origin. 

We look forward to your submissions, and to the power of your imagination. 

Gracias. Thank you. Pidamayaye. 


Granite Falls is stepping up as a leader of community and civic engagement, art and artistry. Please keep an eye out for other upcoming artist and vendor calls, including:

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