Request for Qualifications: Montevideo Painted Railroad Car Mural

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montevideo railroad carThe Montevideo Arts Project (M.A.P.), in partnership with the City of Montevideo, seeks an artist to create a mural on a historic railroad car soon to be located south of the Milwaukee Road Heritage Center/Train Depot in downtown Montevideo.


The project partners seek an artist to create an original mural on the sides of an historic railroad car. The railroad car will be located south of the Milwaukee Road Heritage Center/Train Depot on the edge of downtown Montevideo MN.   The desired theme of this mural will be centered on the railroad and its impact on Montevideo.

Montevideo (population 5200+) enjoys a beautiful natural setting at the confluence of the Minnesota and Chippewa Rivers in southwestern Minnesota. This historic town is also part of the Meander Arts Crawl, and its citizens are strong supporters of the arts.  The Montevideo Arts Project (M.A.P.) organized in 2014 and completed its first successful mural project in 2015.

The railroad car will be located at a site south of the Milwaukee Road Heritage Center/Train Depot and to the east of south first street (Main Street).  This area is on the edge of downtown Montevideo and along a designated multi-purpose trail.

All sides of the car must be addressed by the artist, with the two long sides most prominent and visible to the public. The auxiliary sides may be treated with additional murals, or a single color covering, but must be finished in some way. The surface of the railroad car will be sandblasted and primed by the city.  In addition to painting the murals, the artist budget will need to include materials and coordination of the finishing of all sides and the undercarriage.

We are not looking for a full proposal at this time, but a letter of interest as outlined below.


This RFQ will be reviewed by a committee made up of volunteers from M.A.P.  A group of three finalists will be selected from this call by January 20, 2016 and paid $250 to prepare drawings of proposed mural and a detailed budget.

The three finalists will have approximately four weeks to complete drawings, budget and a full project description.  The finalists will present their proposal to the committee on February 22 or 23, 2016 in Montevideo either in person or via Skype/Google chat.  A small travel stipend of $100/artist will be allowed.  This search is not geographically restricted, but reimbursable travel funds are only available for travel within Minnesota.

One mural will be chosen by March 11th. The proposed project start date is June 1, 2016 with an ideal ending date of August 31, 2016. MAP is open to discussing timelines with the final artist.

Fundraising continues on this project and will be secured by May 1, 2016 or the project timeline will be adjusted.

Our criteria in selecting an artist to create a proposed design for the mural will be:

  • Artistic Quality of work samples submitted.
  • Experience and ability to complete project based on prior projects.
  • Ability to address the stated theme and ability to consider the unique nature of the site.

The final artistic budget is up to $10,000. An additional $10,000 is budgeted for moving the railroad car, sandblasting the car and preparing the site. Fundraising is not complete. MAP currently has funding to solicit proposals but not for implementation; the artist designed proposal will support fundraising efforts. The M.A.P. committee will be responsible for fundraising.

Please submit the following materials as PDF attachments to the UMVRDC by January 12, 2016:

  • Resume and references including at least one past project reference
  • Letter of Interest highlighting (up to two pages) and up to 10 work samples (with descriptions) that addresses the following:
    • Your process for creating unique, high quality artistic products
    • How you might involve the community in your artistic process – research, engagement during implementation, etc.
    • Why you are interested in this project and why you are the right artist to complete this project.
    • Work samples that highlight experience with large scale, outdoor painting projects and demonstrate an ability to incorporate the theme of railroads into the mural.
    • Description of your materials choices and preparation processes.


January 12, 2016:  Request for Qualifications due

January 14:             Three artist selected to prepare full proposal with design concepts and budget.

January  20:            Artists notified and contracts written

February 17:           Full proposals due

February 22-23:      Interviews with three artists

March 8:                 Artists notified of selected artwork

(all dates are subject to change)

UMVRDC contact information:
All materials should be sent electronically to:

Large documents can be shared via dropbox or sent to:


Kristi Fernholz, 320-289-1981×106
Upper Minnesota Valley Regional Development Commission
323 W Schlieman Ave.
Appleton, MN  56208

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