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High Art Billboard Project Seeks Artwork

Posted by Arts Council of Indianapolis ; Posted on 
Public Art; Visual - DEADLINE :  
High Art Billboard Project Seeks Artwork


Call to Central Indiana Visual Artists: High Art Outdoor Billboard Project

Deadline:  Friday, June 23, 2017

The goal of the High Art program is to bring visual art to all areas of the city while allowing artists to realize their work on a grand scale. The project selects ten existing or new artworks, prints them on vinyl to fit a 14’ x 48’ billboard, and places them around the community on a rotating basis. In September 2017, all ten of these pieces will be installed and will remain up for four weeks. After this initial period, the images will be rotated in and out of various locations as billboard space becomes available. The works will circulate for one year on various billboards throughout Marion and the seven surrounding counties. Through the Arts Council’s partnership with Fairway Outdoor Advertising, Clear Channel Airports, and the Indianapolis Airport Authority, the selected works may also appear on digital display boards at Indianapolis International Airport.  The Arts Council of Indianapolis, in partnership with Fairway Outdoor Advertising, seeks visual artists to submit images for the fourth round of this citywide public art project.

See current High Art Billboards here

Participating artists receive considerable value for their inclusion:  the Arts Council pays the production costs for the vinyl billboards and Fairway Outdoor Advertising donates the billboard space and pays the installation and de-installation costs, for a total estimated value of over $240,000 and an estimated 15 million views throughout the year. Nevertheless, the Arts Council is pleased to announce that the 10 selected artists will each receive $250 as a license fee for use of their artwork. The selected artists’ works will automatically be entered into a People’s Choice competition, with voting during the month of September:  the winner will receive an additional $500 award.

The Arts Council also hosts a project webpage and keeps it updated with current location information for all the billboard-scale work. Fairway Outdoor Advertising and the Arts Council jointly promote the work through both social and traditional media channels. Artists are also encouraged to promote their work through their own publicity and social media outlets.

At all times the artist retains full copyright of the work. Each artist will enter into a contract with the Arts Council and must sign a Fairway Outdoor Advertising Rights Clearance Form as well as adhere to a decency policy, which states that the work will be appropriate for all audiences.


  • Call released: May 31, 2017
  • Deadline for submissions – Friday, June 23, 2017
  • Jury Selection process – Early July 2017
  • Final Artists Selected and Announced – By July 31, 2017
  • Submission of high-resolution files – By August 15, 2017
  • 10 Finalists’ Artwork installed on billboards (for 4 consecutive weeks) – Monday, September 4, 2017
  • On-line voting for People’s Choice award – September 4 – 10, 2017
  • Circulation of billboards – Through August 31, 2018


  • Artists must be 18 years or older and live in central Indiana (Boone, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Johnson, Marion, Morgan, or Shelby counties).
  • Artists may propose new or existing artwork for consideration.
  • The submitting artist must have produced the artwork, and the artist must own the copyright for the images or have permission to use copyrighted images in the design.
  • The submitting artist must be willing to sign agreements giving the Arts Council and Fairway Outdoor Advertising limited-use rights to use the artwork for the purposes stated in this call.
  • Artists who have previously been selected for past High Art rounds are eligible to apply, but must submit artwork not previously entered.

Submission guidelines:

  • Submit up to five images of existing or planned new work in JPG format.
  • The format is a long horizontal rectangle that may not be the same shape of your artwork, and thus some cropping may be necessary. Please submit your images already cropped to the correct dimensions. (see below)
  • Images do not need to be high resolution, but the image quality should be set to “high”.  The resolution should be no larger than 72 dpi and the file size for each image should be under 1MB. It is suggested that the low-resolution version be 7” x 20” @ 72 dpi (jpeg).
  • If you are selected as a finalist, you will be asked to submit high-resolution files in early- to mid-August.  These high-resolution files will be JPG or TIFF, 7.5” h X 20.25” w @ 300 pixels per inch. (NOTE: This measurement is slightly larger than your original submission file to allow for bleed in the printing process.) The actual dimensions of the printed billboards are 14’ h x 40’ w.

Tips for submitting images:

  • Do not put your name, signature, or website on the image itself. Each artist will be credited on an adjacent white space “label” on each billboard as well as on See example below.
  • If you use text within your work, know that larger text will read better and bright, bold colors behind the text with great contrast will be easier to see. Text with lots of small detail behind it or thin fonts will be difficult to see and your work will not be selected.
  • A good deal of fine detail will be lost on most viewers, as most of the images will be viewed from 300 – 500 feet for 5-10 seconds. Bright colors and images with high contrast and/or a central focus typically read best.

Selection Process:

Arts Council staff, members of the Arts Council’s Public Art Selection Committee, and representatives of Fairway Outdoor Advertising will identify 10 artworks to be recreated as billboards.

Should the Arts Council receive an insufficient number of entries, we reserve the right to change the process to a direct selection or invitation process.

Subsequent to the selection of 10 images, the Arts Council will stage an online voting process to select a People’s Choice Award.  The award winner will receive a $500 cash prize and special recognition with additional locations for their work, including on Fairway Outdoor Advertising’s digital billboards as available for the four weeks following the announcement of the People’s Choice Award winner.

How to Submit:

Artists have two options for submitting entries:

  • Send via  WeTransfer is a free, easy-to-use file sharing website. You will receive a confirmation when your entry is downloaded.
  • Send via email to, Subject: High Art Submission. Submit the images as JPEG/JPG attachments to a SINGLE email.  The body of the email should contain the artist’s name, contact information (address, phone, email) and list of works submitted. Please note that if the maximum file size of 1MB per image is exceeded, the email may not reach us.

For further information, contact Lindsey Lord, Public Art and Artist Services Coordinator for the Arts Council of Indianapolis at or (317) 631-3301 ext. 214.



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