Project Summary Arts in McNairy, a nonprofit arts agency serving McNairy County and Southwest Tennessee, requests proposals for the design and creation of a third mural in the Rockabilly Highway public art initiative in downtown Selmer, Tennessee. Since 2009 the project has yielded the iconic Rockabilly Highway Murals I and II, by artist Brian Tull, and various other works of public art that have transformed downtown Selmer into a music heritage and cultural tourism destination. Tull’s murals have received international attention and garnered widespread praise in the arts, tourism, and placemaking communities. All proposals will meet or exceed the creative and professional standards of these past installations
Artists are requested to submit professional resumes and design proposals for an outdoor mural celebrating Arts in McNairy’s 20th anniversary and building on the existing musical heritage theme. All proposals will be reviewed by a selection panel appointed by the Arts in McNairy Board. The project will be jointly overseen by the agency’s Visual Arts and Traditional Arts Chairs. Budget The project’s total budget is $21,000 which includes all fees for design and creation of the mural. These may include, but are not limited to costs for: materials; painting supplies; rentals (lifts, scaffolding, etc.); travel and housing; third party contractors needed to complete the work; and misc. expenses.
Community & Goals Downtown Selmer, Tennessee is home to the historic Latta Visitors and Culture Center; Rockabilly Park and Farmer’s Market; A Tennessee Department of Tourism Development Music Pathways destination marker; Rockabilly Mural I & II and a number of other public art installations; the McNairy County Trail of Music Legends honoring inductees to the McNairy County Music Hall of Fame; the McNairy County Historical Museum; the county courthouse and various other cultural tourism assets. A successful mural proposal will integrate easily into the described environment, compliment creative placemaking efforts in the area, and pay tribute to the region’s rich cultural heritage. Visual reference materials may be provided to artists by Arts in McNairy’s Traditional Arts Committee upon request.
The ongoing public art initiative sponsored by Arts in McNairy numbers among the agency’s most popular public programs over the last twenty years. In 2021, a third mural was proposed to celebrate the organization’s contributions to creative community building in McNairy County. The organization and community hopes to enhance the visual appeal of downtown; promote the region’s cultural strengths; spark interest in local music history; engender pride among residents; improve cultural tourism prospects; and contribute to the social and economic vitality of downtown.
The available dimensions of the mural surface are approximately 80’ x 25’. The muralist will utilize all, or the majority, of the available space. Minor irregularities in the surface, including two small windows and a door with overhead transom will be creatively addressed in the design proposal.
Care should be taken in preparing the wall’s surface, selecting paint and sealing the finished mural for maximum durability, considering normal weather conditions specific to the location. Muralist will guarantee the work against peeling, fading and all defects of materials or workmanship for a period of at least five years. Muralist will not be held responsible for damage due to vandalism, fire or natural disaster. Arts in McNairy agrees to consult the artist in the event repairs, maintenance or modification should become necessary.
Artist Eligibility Professional and amateur artists will be considered. Tennessee artists are preferred but out of state proposals are not barred from submission. Applicant artists must be willing to meet the demands of working outdoors in unpredictable West Tennessee weather over a period of weeks or months. Past experience with murals is a plus. Arts in McNairy does not discriminate on the basis of age, sex, physical ability, race, or religious affiliation.
Application Requirements Please provide an artist’s statement, resume with links to artist’s website and/or social media, three professional references, portfolio and all proposal documents describe below. Print and digital submissions will be accepted.
Portfolio Guidelines Portfolio must include three high resolution digital or print reproductions of recent works with dates and titles. Images of mural projects are preferred when available. Please do not submit original artwork. Submission materials will not be returned.
Proposal Guidelines All submissions should include a short proposal letter detailing design concept, reasonably accurate renderings of the proposed work, and a breakdown of artists’ fees. Please itemize all materials and service costs, including third party vendors or rentals, and all other expenses associated with the project. Proposed expenses must meet the budget guidelines described above.
Deadlines Deadline for proposal submissions is August 30, 2022. All phases of mural design and installation must be completed by June 1, 2023.
Submission Artists may submit documents in the following ways:
1. Email: [email protected] (preferred) Label all files and documents with the artist’s name and document title. Email submissions using “Rockabilly Highway Mural III” in the subject line. If necessary place documents in a compressed file or use the above email address to submit documents through an online file sharing service such as Dropbox, WeTransfer or Google Docs.
2. Mail to: Arts in McNairy PO Box 66 Selmer, TN 38375
3. Drop off at: McNairy County Visitors’ and Cultural Center (The Latta) 205 W. Court Ave. Selmer, TN 38375 Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays
In Tennessee, drivers can purchase certain Specialty License Plates in place of the normally issued state license plate. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of these plates supports the organization featured so it’s a great opportunity to support the cause you care about most.