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St. Helena Art Mural Project

The St. Helena Chamber of Commerce and the St. Helena Beautification Foundation committee invites artists residing in the West Coast of the United States of America to submit their qualifications for a public art mural to be created and installed on a hotel’s south facing exterior side in the Historic Downtown Shopping District of St. Helena, California.  A jury will select two to four semi-finalists based upon their past work, references, and questionnaire. Semi-finalists will be invited to create a proposal, based on the project’s goals and objectives.  After reviewing proposals from semi-finalists, the jury will select one artist based on their proposal for the project to be completed in Summer 2024.  Project timeline and artist eligibility are included below.

Qualifications & Application Deadline: September 29th , 2023 at 5:00 p.m.  If you have any questions, please email Stephanie Smithers at stephanie@sthelena.com. View the press release here.

Project Overview & Goals

The St. Helena Chamber of Commerce and the St. Helena Beautification Foundation committee is working with a volunteer committee comprised of property owners, gallery managers, members of the St. Helena beautification committee, PR professionals, and passionate residents, to bring public art to St. Helena.  St. Helena’s Historic Shopping District has five high-end art galleries in a three-block radius, but no existing public art murals. The committee’s mission is to bring public art to St. Helena that celebrates St. Helena’s history and highlights its culture, in a bright and progressive fashion.  With a goal of three murals in five years, the art murals are meant to enhance the character of St. Helena’s historic downtown district and create an entertaining and walkable art experience for the public.   

The mural will be located on the exterior wall of a two-story downtown hotel that has high visibility for through traffic.  The building (image below) has wood siding and will require a scaffolding for installation. Important elements: The mural itself should be photo-worthy, demand the attention of both pedestrian and vehicle traffic, and provide sense of place. The highly visible art mural should represent the City of St. Helena, honor its historical significance of being the “roots of Napa Valley”, and bring vibrant energy to St. Helena's historic shopping district. It's important the piece is not only impressive but also feels timeless and can relate to people of all ages, backgrounds, and ethnicities.  

The commissioned artwork should achieve the following goals:  

  • Celebrate St. Helena’s history, natural beauty, cultural heritage. 

  • Express the “roots of Napa Valley” narrative (the importance as St. Helena is why Napa Valley is here today). 

  • Photogenic and share worthy. The mural should demand a social media photo opportunity. 

  • Bright colors, whimsical, creative, & innovative.  

  • With little to no art in public spaces in St. Helena, it is important this mural be engaging, thought-provoking, and representative of St. Helena’s diversity. 

Community Information Profile

St. Helena is only five-square miles with just 6,500 residents.  Highway 29 runs through the center of it's downtown, with 2.1 million vehicles passing through annually.  St. Helena is considered the “roots of Napa Valley”, charting the path for Napa’s wine industry.  It’s home to the oldest winery in Napa Valley, rich with generational farming and winemaking.  St. Helena, in the center of the Napa Valley, is a proud agricultural community, whose members are reliant on one another, and rich with cultural heritage. St Helena is not only a global destination, but an exceptional place to live.  As an iconic landmark in Napa Valley, St. Helena possesses a unique confidence, and a luxurious casualness in nature.  The people and place do not follow trends, instead, they are grounded in authenticity and genuine passion.  A community filled with intellects, global culture, beautiful landscape, diverse families, and historical architecture, it’s a destination that provides a desirable boutique experience across all ages. 

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Wydown Hotel, 1424 Main Street, south facing exterior wall

Artist Eligibility & Submission

Artist eligibility opens August 4th, 2023. . Eligible artists must reside within the Western United States.  Artist must be 21 years and older by the time of installation. The selected artist must be available to begin work Summer of 2024, pending weather.

 

Budget: Project budget is $10,000 inclusive of all materials, lift/scaffolding rental, installation, and any supplies needed to complete the project. Additionally, a budget has been established to pay semi-finalists a proposal fee of $350. Lodging will be provided for the selected artist, outside of the project budget. Travel and meals are to be provided by artist. Artist will need to provide personal proof of insurance if selected as a finalist. 

 

Artist Selection Criteria: Criteria for selection of public art or approval of designs include but are not limited to the following:  

  • An ability to work collaboratively and enthusiastically with stakeholders. 

  • Experience creating large scale outdoor murals depicting historical elements in an innovative and colorful way. 

  • Strong art mural portfolio reflecting experience working on murals within a town’s downtown area or town center. 

  • Demonstrated successful creative, innovative, and effective approach in comparable projects. 

  • Artist’s ability to carry out the commission, keep the project within budget, and to complete and install the work on schedule. 

  • Artist’s knowledge of and ability to work with, durable materials that are appropriate for long-term exposure in a public environment and that require minimal care and long-term maintenance.   

 

 

Artist Selection Process:  

  • Submissions will be reviewed and evaluated by St. Helena’s volunteer “art curator committee”. 

  • The art curator committee will select 2-4 semi-finalists by majority vote based on the quality of the artists/artists teams past work and application. 

  • Selected semi-finalists will be put under contract to prepare a detailed design and budget proposal. Selected semi-finalists will be given a proposal fee of $350. 

  • Art curator committee will review all conceptual designs and select one finalist based on a majority vote. 

  • Selected finalist will work with the committee on any design recommendations/changes before final design approval is given and artist put in contract for installation. 

Required Application Documents

Incomplete or late applications or applications that do not follow the instructions and guidelines will be automatically deemed ineligible for review. The application requires the following documents enter be completed and submitted digitally:

  • Resume (no longer than three pages)

  • Eight (8) to ten (10) images of past work. Images can be JPEG or in a PowerPoint program presentation format.  Attachments should be titled as an example: Artist Name_ArtworkExample1 

  • Annotated image list for past work examples: A numbered list of corresponding submitted images that includes the artwork title, date completed, medium, location, cost, and dimensions. 

  • Completed questionnaire, titled your: Lastname_Firstname

  • Three references, who have contracted artist prior, with phone and email address. 

Fillable PDFs for submittal:

Application documents are to be submitted digitally through Dropbox, following the title directions above. Submission Deadline- completed applications must be received by Friday, September 29th, 5:00pm PST.

Questions: Stephanie@sthelena.com or call (909) 786-9208 

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RFQ Application Timeline:

  • RFQ Released: Friday, August 4th, 2023 

  • Applications Due: Friday, September 29th at 5:00 p.m 

  • Semi-finalists Notification: Friday, October 20th, 2023 

  • Semi-finalist Proposal Due: Friday, December 15th, 2023 

  • Finalist Notification: Friday, January 12th, 2023  

  • Artwork installation: Summer 2024 (weather dependent)

*Contracted artist will work with committee from the time signed contract to installation to finalize the proposed artwork and select installation date Summer 2024 (weather pending).   

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