Call Detail
Johnston Street Alley Mural Project
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Entry Deadline: 10/14/22
Application Closed
Number of Applications Allowed: 5

Entry Fee (Entry Fee): $15.00
Work Sample Requirements
Images | Minimum:Min. 2, Maximum:Max. 6
Total Samples | Minimum:Min. 2, Maximum:Max. 6
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: National
State: Alabama
Budget: $15,000 - $20,000 (subject to negotiation depending on overall size / complexity of mural)


The Alabama Center for the Arts Foundation in partnership with the Decatur Downtown Redevelopment Authority and other community partners is seeking proposals for the design and creation of a mural to be located in a repurposed alleyway in the heart of downtown Decatur, Alabama.  The dimensions of the portion of the wall where the mural will be created are 15 feet (height) x 23 feet (width) and said space includes a doorway and stairwell landing.  The overall building wall is larger with a number of windows and other features (pipes, electrical equipment, etc.)  Use of portions of the building outside the stated dimensions is available for artists that would like to creatively incorporate a larger area.  Artists are encouraged to think outside the box with their design and are free to incorporate the various elements of the building except for attached utilities such as powerline weatherheads and greasetraps. The design of the alleyway will incorporate lighting focused on the 15 feet x 23 feet portion of the final mural.    


The Alabama Center for the Arts Foundation, Decatur Downtown Redevelopment Authority and other community partners are currently in the design phase of the Johnston Street Alley Project with a goal of transforming an alleyway in the heart of Decatur, Alabama's downtown arts and entertainment district into a vibrant community gathering space.  The repurposed space, flanked by historic buildings and restaurants, will include areas for outdoor dining, small events and small audience theatrical and musical performances.  Located across the street from the Alabama Center for the Arts student dormitory, the alleyway will also serve as a space for art students to relax and socialize. 

An additional goal is for the space to showcase a variety of public art.  Sculptures, murals, and revolving displays of Alabama Center for the Arts student art are just a few of the ideas being discussed.  

Current design plans for the Johnston Street Alley Project may be downloaded here:


The first public art installation will be a mural to be painted on the wall of the historic Cotaco Opera House – a historic building situated along the west side of the alley space.  The mural will celebrate the unique history of the building as an event hall that hosted vaudeville, theatrical and musical performances, public speeches and other unique community events.  The mural will also serve as a focal point for the Johnston Street Alley Project allowing visitors to the space to connect the history of the Cotaco Opera House with vibrant social aspects of the revitalized alleyway. 

The mural will also be part of the Decatur-Morgan County Tourism MOCO Mural Trail - a growing collection of murals located throughout the city of Decatur and Morgan County, Alabama. The murals respresented on the trail are marketed to area residents and tourists as "destinations" worth visting which provides the works of participating mural artists exposure to an ever-growing audience.

Site details for the mural site may be downlowed here:


The Alabama Center for the Arts Foundation and its partners are now accepting design proposals for the mural.  


A brief history of the Cotaco Opera House along with a selection of historical articles, photos and other materials related to the building may be downloaded here:

It is hoped that applicants will utilize these materials to inspire design ideas while not limiting the creative process. 


  • Mural design should celebrate the history of the Cotaco Opera House and the social, fun atmosphere of the repurposed alleyway.
  • Mural design may not contain advertising, logos, or copyrighted images.
  • Political, commercial, religious, or sexual themes will not be considered.
  • Any text in the design should be incidental to the design and not the focal point.
  • Mural design should be sensitive to the diverse history, culture and demographic of our community.
  • Mural design should be family-friendly, suitable for public display, and free of safety hazards.
  • Mural design should be resistant to graffiti and vandalism and require minimal maintenance.
  • Mural design must have an expected life span of 8-10 years.  The mural is intended to be a permanent installation.


Artist is required to use high quality exterior paint that will withstand the outdoor elements for an extended period. Use of sealants or anti-graffiti applications is requested.


An artist stipend $15,000 to $20,000 total (subject to negotiation depending on overall size / complexity of mural) shall constitute full compensation for all services, goods, expenses and materials to be performed and furnished in the design, creation and installation of the mural. The stipend will be paid with a deposit upon signing of contract with additional payments during the creation of the mural and upon completion of the mural.  


Artists/artist teams are invited to submit their qualifications and proposal for consideration. All applications must be electronically submitted by 10/14/2022.

Current CV / resume

  • Letter of Interest not to exceed one page: Briefly describe interest in the project and include a description of approach.
  • Minimum of two (2) and a maximum of six (6) images of previously completed work that demonstrates the ability to design, create and paint large-scale outdoor murals.
  • Information should include for each submitted image: artist’s name, title of piece, year, media, dimensions, location, project budget, commissioning agency, and collaborators (if applicable).
  • Three (3) professional references. Please include name, title, affiliation, phone number and email address.

Site Specific Proposal

  • Image of your proposed design.
  • A description of your intended proposed materials for site preparation, the work itself, and the protective coatings.
  • An itemized budget for the project; the budget will be taken into consideration in the final decision.
  • Estimated time needed to complete the piece from start to finish.


The mural must be installed and completed between November 1, 2022 - March 31, 2023 over a mutually agreed upon period of days. The artwork is intended to be a permanent installation; however, matters such as changes in building ownership or extensive wear and tear / damage to the building and/or mural could result in removal.


Any artist over the age of 18 is eligible to apply.  Artists with a strong professional profile, experience in producing exterior permanent public murals and/or who have successfully worked on collaborative projects are encouraged to apply.  Artists must adhere to the project timeline.