[Sponsored Listing] The City of Woodstock, Illinois, seeks artists’ proposals for the North Benton Street Mural as part of an outdoor dining and entertainment area in its historic downtown district. The commissioning of a new mural in the historic district is part of the City’s ongoing efforts to give residents and visitors opportunities to engage with the arts.
The mural will be attached to the exterior, west-facing facade of a privately owned building at 220 North Benton Street. The proposed mural site is located on a street adjacent to the historic Woodstock Square and within the historic district. During summer months, the street is closed to vehicular traffic. It is used as an outdoor dining and entertainment space by several nearby restaurants. The site has high visibility and a significant amount of pedestrian traffic.
Residents and visitors come to the historic Woodstock Square to attend performances at the Woodstock Opera House and private music and movie venues, as well as numerous special events throughout the year. The award-winning Woodstock Farmers Market, locally owned shops, and popular bars and restaurants attract people to the Woodstock Square in large numbers.
Enter by: 25 Feb 2022
- Finalists selected: By March 4, 2022
- Design submissions: By March 25, 2022
- Mural agreement available: By April 15, 2022
- Project completed: By July 15, 2022
There is no submission fee. Artists may submit more than one proposed concept. Designs must be the artist’s own work and must not violate any copyright restrictions. Any artist with previous mural design and installation experience is eligible to submit a proposal. All correspondence and contracts are part of the public record. By submitting materials you are (1) consenting to the release of those materials by the City in response to requests under the Public Records Act and (2) agreeing to indemnify and hold harmless the City for release of such information.
Artists shall submit the following for consideration:
- Artist Application
- Link to portfolio
- One to two paragraph narrative describing design concept, including substrate
City staff will review applications for completeness and eligibility. The City Council will determine final project award and contract terms. Designs may also be subject to review by the City’s Historic Preservation Commission and the City’s Arts Commission. After review by an art advisory group, finalists will be selected and notified to submit a full-color design for consideration. A $500 design fee will be paid to those artists not chosen as the finalist.
Proposals will be evaluated based on:
- Artistic excellence, vibrancy, and originality of the artist
- Appropriateness of the design for its site in Woodstock’s entertainment district
- Documented experience of the artist in completing similar projects
The mural will be mounted to the west-facing brick façade of a historic building. The space available for the mural is approximately 30 feet by 12 feet. Permission from the building owner has been secured. It is clean and in good condition for an installation. The wall abuts the sidewalk; there are no obstructions. The City will work with the selected artist to accommodate requests for access to power and water as well as overnight storage of materials. The mural should be installed to withstand weather and other site conditions for a term to be agreed upon by the selected artist and the City in the mural agreement. The mural is subject to removal by the City at any time during or after the agreed upon period.
- The selected artist must show proof of liability insurance prior to beginning mural installation. The City of Woodstock, Benton Street LLC, and any other parties participating in installation must be named as additional insured entities.
- Proposed designs remain the property of the artist unless the design is selected by the City. The selected design and installed mural will be the property of the City of Woodstock. As such, no royalties or fees, beyond the initial artist’s fee, will be attached to its ongoing use by the City.
- Any unapproved substitutions or deviations from the approved final design or proposed materials may result in termination of contract, removal of imagery, and non-payment of any amount due. City staff will monitor mural installation.
North Benton Street Mural Artist Benefits
The artist stipend is $12,000. This amount must cover the artist’s design fee, supplies and travel. The City of Woodstock will pay for the substrate and equipment necessary to complete the project onsite. One-third of the amount will be paid when the mural agreement is signed; one-third at the project mid-point; and one-third when the project is completed.
Woodstock prides itself as McHenry County’s epicenter of artists, creative entrepreneurs, and those who appreciate imaginative expressions in an area rich with visionaries. Located in a collar county, Woodstock is a commuter rail stop away from Chicago and acts as a uniquely urban city surrounded by rural amenities such as agri-tourism farms, designated scenic drives and conservation areas nestled within glacial topography.
Woodstock’s rich history and vibrant sense of community provide a far-reaching opportunity for interested artists to express themselves, spark conversation, and capture the essence of a modern place rooted in its rich past.
Interested artists will find that Woodstock’s far-reaching marketing and recognizable Real Woodstock brand, along with community support for the arts, is tailor-made to propel commissioned works to the forefront of national awareness. Coupled with City support through its newly formed Arts Commission, artists commissioned for inaugural exhibits will be featured prominently as the public arts program continues to gain momentum through well-curated 2-D and 3-D art installations.
About the City of Woodstock, Illinois
Woodstock is the arts and culture focal point of McHenry County, Illinois. The Historic Woodstock Square is home to the Woodstock Opera House, Stage Left Café, and numerous other arts and entertainment venues. In its most recent downtown development plan, the City identified the creation of public art in the Woodstock Square Historic District as a goal.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, recognized as a Distinctive Destination by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and named a Preserve America Community by the White House, Woodstock is a community unlike any other. The Historic Woodstock Square offers many shops and retail establishments in a unique and nostalgic atmosphere.
Throughout the year, Woodstock is host to many events, festivals, and fairs, from Fair Diddley Art Fair, to Summer Band Concerts, award-winning Farmer’s Market, to HarvestFest, and Groundhog Days–celebrating Woodstock’s starring role as Punxsutawney, PA in the 1992 Bill Murray classic movie Groundhog Day. The beautiful Gothic style Opera House serves as the cultural entertainment center of Woodstock, featuring plays, concerts, and performances throughout the year, including the Midwest Mozart Festival each summer.
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