KIB and Indy Arts Council Seek Applicants for Underpass Mural Project

Posted by Indy Arts Council ; Posted on 
KIB and Indy Arts Council Seek Applicants for Underpass Mural Project




Lea la versión en español aquí

The Indy Arts Council, working in collaboration with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful (KIB), Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT), and the Hillside, Martindale-Brightwood, and Windsor Park communities, is requesting qualification packages from artists or artist teams who are interested in creating an outdoor mural on the Roosevelt/Commerce I-70 underpass in Indianapolis.

Artists living in or near the Marion County, Indiana neighborhoods of Martindale-Brightwood and Windsor Park are strongly encouraged to apply. The artist will be paid $14,000 for community engagement, developing the mural design, creating the on-site line work and color-coding, facilitating on-site work by community members, and touch-up work after the communities have participated. Materials and supplies for painting will be provided separately.

Please see the attached full RFQ (English and Spanish versions) for complete opportunity information.

Application Deadline:  Sunday, October 23, 2022, 11:59 p.m. Eastern. This is NOT a postmark deadline.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to apply, artists must:

  • Live in Marion Co., Indiana, or an adjacent county, at the time of application.
  • Artists living in or with a strong personal connection to the Hillside, Martindale-Brightwood or Windsor Park neighborhoods are particularly urged to apply.

Additional desired (but not required) qualifications: (artists with these qualifications will receive priority consideration)

  • Excellent large-scale painting skills
  • Previous mural painting experience with communities

Artists under 18 are welcome to apply; however, a parent or other legal guardian will be required to sign the commissioning agreement on behalf of the youth artist and will be legally responsible for the successful completion of the project.

Application Workshop: This workshop has occurred.


The artist fee for the project is $14,000.  The commissioned artist/team is expected to use this fee for project coordination, community engagement time, their labor on the mural, and the materials and equipment they need to set up the site for painting with the community. Keep Indianapolis Beautiful will provide paints and equipment for the community paint effort. The artist/team will also be required to provide a one-year warranty for the artwork. Contracts will be executed with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful.

Project Background

The I-70 underpass at the intersection of Roosevelt and Commerce Sts. was recently refreshed by INDOT as part of the North Split reconstruction project.  INDOT has contracted with KIB to further beautify the underpass area in conjunction with adjacent tree plantings and other North Split landscape improvements. KIB and the Indy Arts Council frequently work together on public art projects that are identified by communities as significant to their interests; this project enjoys great enthusiasm for its importance to the future health of its communities.

Site Information

The 16th St./Roosevelt-Commerce/I-70 underpass is a shared gateway to the communities on either side:  Hillside to the west and Windsor Park to the east.  The goal of the mural is to provide a vibrant expression of character and welcome to the communities: going from Hillside to Windsor Park and vice versa.

Theme/Aesthetic Information

Based on preliminary engagement with the communities, we have learned the following:

  • The imagery should be applicable to both communities (Hillside/Martindale-Brightwood and Windsor Park) and not prefer one of them to the exclusion of the other
  • Characteristics of the individual communities (places, people, history/events) can be highlighted or referenced; specific imagery mentioned includes Douglass Park/Douglass Little League, Kennedy-King, and architectural features of the communities (e.g., homes and churches)
  • Values and aspirations of both communities–such as elder respect, intergenerational unity, collaborative neighbors, happy children, a hopeful future—can be highlighted
  • However, the devastation of the neighborhoods that was caused by the intentional placement of elevated highways through economically dispossessed communities should be acknowledged
  • Bright and saturated colors are preferred, also, the use of colors that are meaningful to the community context
  • Attractive regular patterning is much appreciated, as is patterning meaningful to the communities’ culture and values
  • “the Triangle” = a physical location at the west end of the underpass where many have died, for various reasons; a recognition and remembrance of them might be appropriate to consider
  • A mix of materials—for example, the selective use of glass/ceramic/mirror tile—may be desirable if it’s cost-feasible
  • Overall, the mural should maintain a positive tone in content and style

The commissioned artist/team is expected to further engage the communities to learn more and develop a design for approval by both neighborhoods.

Project Timeline

This timeline represents the project as it now appears.  Changes may be necessary as the project progresses.

  • September 14, 2022:                  Release Request for Qualifications
  • Sunday, October 23:                 Artist qualification packages due online by 11:59 p.m.: see below under “How to Apply” for details
  • Week of November 7:                 Artist applications reviewed
  • By November 14:                        Artist notifications; artist contracted by Keep Indianapolis Beautiful
  • By December 15:                        Additional community engagement and design discussions
  • By December 30, 2023:              Artwork design due
  • January-March:                           Artwork permitting with Indiana Department of Transportation (may require design revisions)
  • April-May:                                   On-site painting work (paint day/s TBD as weather permits)
  • By May 30:                                  Painting completed (weather permitting)
  • June, 2023 or TBD:                     Artwork dedication and community celebration

Selection Process

Applications will be reviewed by Indy Arts Council and KIB staff with Hillside and Windsor Park community members, along with representatives from the Arts Council’s Public Art Selection Committee. One artist/team will be recommended for commissioning. The selected artist/team will work further with KIB to engage with the communities and develop an artwork concept.  When the concept is approved, the artwork will be painted on the underpass.

Selection Criteria

The artist/team will be selected for this project based on the following:

  • Artistic quality:  artist/team’s past work is innovative, creative, and stylistically distinctive
  • Aesthetic sensibility:  artist/team’s past work indicates that they can meet the design goals of this project
  • Technical ability:  artist/team’s past work indicates they have used materials and community painting techniques similar to those that would be needed for this project, or they have access to the technical resources needed to achieve the desired results
  • Experience:  artist/team is familiar with communities and conditions similar to those that would be encountered on this project, or has demonstrated the ability on past projects to quickly acquire the skills needed to be successful on a project similar to this one
  • Process:  artist/team’s application shows that they are a good communicator, can deliver projects on time and on budget, and can complete documentation in time to keep the project moving smoothly

How to Apply

No designs are required as part of the artist’s application materials!

Applicant artists/teams must provide the following information digitally using this application form.

  • Applicant Information: If you plan to develop this project with a team, include the names of your other team members. Indicate also if you have a connection to the specific communities this project will include.
  • Artist biography and experience: Type or copy/paste your bio and experience into the form, or you may choose to attach a resume, narrative biography, or CV.
  • Samples of previous work
  • Demographic information

If you have trouble using the form, email for assistance or to discuss alternative ways to provide your application.

The form will automatically close at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, October 23, 2022.

  • You may start your application and save it mid-completion if you need to return to it later; however, incomplete applications still in process at the closing time will not be uploaded.
  • We strongly recommend that if you intend to save your form and return to it later, you wait to attach images and documents until you are ready to press “submit.” Attached files are not saved between work sessions.
  • There is a limit of 25 MB TOTAL that can be attached to the form. If you exceed this limit, the form will not upload. We recommend keeping careful track of the files you are attaching.

QUESTIONS? We are here to help!

Please contact Julia Moore, Director of Public Art, Indy Arts Council: or (317) 624-2556


1 comment Add yours

  1. I would very much love the opportunity to work with you guys once more.


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