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High Art Program Seeks Applications

Posted by Arts Council of Indianapolis ; Posted on 
Public Art; Visual - DEADLINE :  
High Art Program Seeks Applications



The Arts Council of Indianapolis seeks visual artists to submit images for the eighth round of its High Art program.

COMPENSATION:  $250 licensing fee (no production responsibility), plus chance at a $500 “People’s Choice” award

ELIGIBILITY: Artists 18 or older, living in central Indiana (Boone, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Johnson, Marion, Morgan, or Shelby counties). Artists who have previously been selected for past High Art rounds are eligible to apply, but must submit artwork not previously selected.

DEADLINE: Monday, November 2, 2020, 11:59 p.m.

Please see attached document for the full Request for Applications.

Apply to the program here.

Program Overview

High Art has been a public art partnership between the Arts Council of Indianapolis and Reagan Outdoor Advertising for the past seven years. 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. See current and previous High Art Billboards here.

The program selects up to ten existing or new artworks, prints them on vinyl to fit a 10’-5”’ x 22’-8” “poster“ size billboard, and places them around the community on a rotating basis. The works will circulate for one year throughout Marion and the seven surrounding counties. Each selected artist will have their image on one billboard starting in January 2021. As spaces are rented, the image would be installed on other vacant spaces.

The artist retains full copyright of their work at all times, and licenses the Arts Council and Reagan to print these billboards and use their images to promote the artist and the program. The Arts Council and Reagan are not responsible for any third-party infringement of the artist’s copyright or for protecting the intellectual property rights of participating artists. To learn more about how to protect yourself and your public artworks, visit the Arts Council’s Artist Resource Directory.

Each artist will enter into a contract with the Arts Council and must sign a Reagan 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: September 18, 2020
  • Deadline for submissions:  Monday, November 2, 2020, 11:59 p.m.
  • Jury selection process: mid-November, 2020
  • Artists notified:  By November 15, 2020
  • Artists’ high-resolution images due: December 4, 2020 by 5:00 p.m.
  • Artwork installed on billboards (for 4 consecutive weeks): January 4-31, 2021
  • On-line voting for People’s Choice award: January 4-17, 2021
  • Billboards and posters circulate:  January – December, 2021


The applicant artist must have produced the artwork, and the artist must own the copyright for the images or have permission to use any separately copyrighted images in the design. Documentation of any third-party permissions must be in hand at the time of application and available to be provided to the Arts Council prior to production of the billboards.

If selected, the artist will sign an agreement giving the Arts Council and Reagan Outdoor Advertising limited rights to use the artwork for the purposes stated in this call.


Each selected artist will receive $250 as a licensing fee for the use of their image as part of the project.  A “People’s Choice” voting campaign in January 2021 will select a winner from the selected images to receive an additional $500 award.

In addition to this compensation, participating artists receive considerable value for their inclusion. Production costs are paid for, and Reagan Outdoor Advertising donates the available billboard spaces and the installation and de-installation. Reagan’s contribution is approximately $250,000 and the artist receives an estimated 15 million views throughout the year.


  • The Arts Council hosts a project webpage and keeps it updated with current location information for all the displayed work.
  • Reagan 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.
  • The People’s Choice winner receives special promotional attention through Reagan’s internal and client communications, and additional exposure of their design on a digital billboard (location TBD).

Selection Process

Arts Council staff, members of the Arts Council’s Public Art Selection Committee, and representatives of Reagan Outdoor Advertising will identify up to 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 an invitation process.

Application Instructions

For consideration of your work to be included in High Art, follow these instructions:

  • Apply ONLY via the online application form, available here. This form is accessible on a variety of platforms and through various devices, including cell phones.You will be able to save an unfinished application and return to it later.
  • The form will ask for the artist’s contact information (required) and social media information (optional).
  • The form will ask you to attach up to five images of existing or planned new work suggested for the billboard. JPG/JPEG images are preferred, but TIFF and PNG formats are also accepted. Artists may propose new or existing artwork for consideration; however, existing artwork is preferred.
    • For application purposes, 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.
    • The suggested size of the submitted image is 7” x 20” @ 72 dpi (jpg)[1] . Be sure that the image is not distorted when set to these parameters! You can edit your images for free online at
    • Name your submitted digital files according to the following format: FirstLast_01.jpg, FirstLast_02.jpg, etc. (example: JaneSmith_01.jpg)
    • If you find you cannot attach your images to the application form, please contact Lindsey Lord, Director of Artist Services and Gallery 924, for options.
  • There is an optional demographic information survey at the end of the form. Answering these questions will help us serve artists better through our programming.
  • You must click the “Submit” button to upload your application!
  • After submission, you will see an onscreen acknowledgement. This will let you know your application has been received. You will also receive an email acknowledgement containing your submitted information.

The deadline for submission is 11:59 p.m. on Monday, November 2. The application will automatically close at that time. Sorry, applications still unfinished at this time cannot be uploaded. Allow plenty of time to complete your submission before the deadline!

Tips for submitting images

  1. There is no theme or topic for High Art: however, given the challenging times we find ourselves in, feel free to submit images that directly address what the public may be thinking about relative to COVID-19 or the necessity for racial justice.
  2. Do not put your name, signature, or website address on the image itself. We will take care of that in the printing process.
  3. A good deal of fine detail will be lost on most viewers, since most of the images will be viewed from 300 – 500 feet away for at most 5-10 seconds. Ensure that you do not submit images that have to be seen close up for extended periods of time to be fully appreciated.
  4. Bright colors and images with high contrast and/or a central focus typically read best, and have the greatest chance of being selected.
  5. If you use text within your work, know that larger text will read better; also, bright, bold colors behind the text with great contrast between the background and the text letters will be easier to see. Text with lots of small detail behind it or thin typefaces will be difficult to see and your work will not be selected.
  6. The format is a long horizontal rectangle that may not be the natural shape of your artwork; some cropping may be necessary. For best consideration, please submit your images already cropped to the correct dimensions.

After Selection

If you are selected, you will be asked to submit high-resolution files within two weeks, by December 4, 2020.

  • Please do not apply for the program unless you have the ability to meet this aggressive timeline.
  • There is no additional compensation offered to re-photograph your artwork at this increased resolution.
  • These high-resolution files will be JPG or TIFF, 7.5” h X 20.25” w at 300 pixels per inch.

QUESTIONS? We are here to help! Contact Lindsey Lord, Director of Artist Services and Gallery 924, or (317) 631-3301 x214.



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