Mural Fest celebrates urban beautification and artistic talent using the powerful tool of public art. The visual impact of bold, creative designs embodies the energy of the innovative businesses and creative communities in the Creative Industries Zone.
Lesly Allen, Executive Arts Director
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SOUTH SALT LAKE ARTS COUNCIL
The mission of the South Salt Lake Arts Council is to unite our community through art. We strive to support local artists, provide engaging opportunities for our residents to participate in the arts, contribute to our city’s economic development by generating awareness about our existing cultural assets, and foster creative approaches to innovative growth that will remain true to the craftsman and industrial character of South Salt Lake.
Each year, interested artists submit a Call for Mural Artists Application. The Mural Fest Selection Committee, made up of the South Salt Lake Arts Board and other invited artists and arts administrators, reviews the applications. Annually, ten artists (or teams of artists) are chosen based on several factors, including artistic excellence, mural experience, diversity of styles, professionalism and cultural merit. We have many talented artists who apply – the final decision is always a difficult one.
The SSL Arts Board strives to support local artists in all we do, and Mural Fest is no exception. Annually, we aim to have a healthy mix of local and non-local artists. We feel strongly about giving our local talent the opportunity to showcase their work in our community. Our national and international artists help elevate the diversity of the murals and strengthen Mural Fest’s brand identity beyond Utah.
Absolutely! We award a stipend to each mural artist selected. Compensation is based on the artist’s experience and the size of the wall they are painting. Additionally, we have a limited amount of funding to cover some travel expenses for visiting artists.
Our murals are painted within South Salt Lake’s Creative Industries Zone. Often, business or property owners will contact us to inquire about hosting a mural. When we see a wall that would be a great mural wall, we proactively reach out to building owners. We look for walls that are visible from public ways, have a limited number of structural or natural barriers and are within walking or biking distance to the other murals. Each business or property owner is asked to contribute 15-25% for additional artist compensation.
We match artists with building owners based on several factors, including how much input the owner would like to contribute to the design process, the style and artistic goals of the business and the size of the wall. We strive to place artists at locations where their style meshes well with the business and building.
No, but we do ask artists to work with the building or business owner to come up with a design that blends well with the personality and artistic goals of the business. Every building owner is different. Some owners give the artist total artistic freedom to design the mural (within Mural Fest guidelines). Others prefer some input on what the mural will look like. We highly encourage building owners to respect the artistic freedom and diversity of the artist throughout the design process. Owners do have to give final approval on the design before it goes to the Arts Board for review and approval.
We typically do not have a theme that artists need to consider in their design. However, we do have certain guidelines that must be followed. We ask that artwork reflect the diversity and character of South Salt Lake and add vibrancy and a sense of place to the neighborhood. Additionally, mural designs must not be deemed an advertisement for a business or product and cannot contain any themes of violence, hate or racism or be vulgar or obscene.
Our goal is to create permanent works of art. We require all building owners to keep the mural intact for three years. We have plenty of walls to paint and do not intend to paint over any of the murals. However, South Salt Lake is experiencing a great deal of growth, which means properties will change hands and buildings may come down. We make every effort to commission walls that will live for at least three years. Unfortunately, sometimes unforeseen circumstances, such as weather, vandalism, accidents and other factors, cause an early demise of a mural.
We provide an anti-graffiti coating for each artist to apply when their mural is completed. We also make sure building owners know that if their mural receives any damage, vandalism or graffiti, they are to contact us before attempting to clean, fix or re-paint the mural. Contingency funds are allocated each year to cover any repair or restoration costs. The original artist is given first rights of refusal on restoration and repairs.
Aside from painting a mural, we typically have other opportunities for artists to be involved during the Mural Fest Artist Meet & Greet celebration held each May, including live mural painting and community art projects. For more information, please email email@example.com.
It takes many helping hands to pull off a great Mural Fest each year and we are always looking for willing and excited volunteers to help with a variety of duties. If you would like to become part of the Mural Fest team, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or sign up on the Volunteer link on the Get Involved page on themuralfest.org.