Call for proposals

Alleyway Design



The Downtown Bellingham Partnership (DBP) is seeking proposals from artists and creatives to install a vibrant urban mural on a building facade within the Commercial Street Alleyway in Downtown Bellingham. The DBP has secured permission from the property owner and is overseeing and funding this project.

The goals of this mural are to:

  • Draw people into the district and provide an urban mural that serves as a “destination” for photos, driving local affinity and urban tourism.

  • Serve as an icon of the Downtown Bellingham district, specifically.

  • Contribute to an alleyway already filled with creative art (the new anamorphic mural, a revamped Commercial Street Plaza, the Dumpster Fire, etc.)

  • Provide a more vibrant experience in an alleyway frequently used as a pedestrian walkway.

We are opening this project up to our community and seek proposals from artists and creatives interested in designing, procuring and installing this mural. We are looking for artists and creatives who:

  • Provide a creative and dynamic proposed mural design that accomplishes the visual goals of the project (see below).

  • Are capable of planning, procuring and installing the mural independently under the approval of the DBP and within the agreed upon budget proposed by the artist.

  • Can complete this project by October 15th, 2019.

The Project:

Current Space

The mural canvas is a large, painted section of the wall (currently painted dark green) located on this building in the Commercial Street Alleyway (directly across from Vinostrology). The proposed mural should be “framed” within this painted space. The rough dimensions of the painted space are 100ft x 14ft.

Existing space. Horizontal view.

Existing space. Horizontal view.

Existing space. Top view.

Existing space. Top view.

Inspiration and Desired Styles

Our goal is to create a vibrant mural that serves as a destination within Downtown Bellingham - drawing people to the district for photos, and representing an “urban” and “bold” vibe.

The below images are examples collected from around the US that fit the design direction we are seeking. These are in no way exhaustive - we look forward to receiving creative and unique submissions! But use these images as a guide to understand what style mural we are seeking.

We are specifically interested in mural designs that serve as a perfect photo opportunity, and/or provide a “Downtown Bellingham” text marker in some capacity (think of the “Welcome to Bellingham” mural on State Street towards Fairhaven, but for Downtown specifically). We also want to employ a modern aesthetic that is bold.

We are interested in designs that pull elements from our area (such as the geometric mountains mural example in the bottom left photo) but they are in no way required. Proposals should be fun, unique, playful and true to your vision! But we are excited by the design examples provided below and will look to choose a similar creative aesthetic.

Submit Your Proposal

Proposal Guidelines

Your proposal must include a design rendering showing what your mural would look like, a timeline and a comprehensive budget, as outlined below:

  1. Create a rendering of your design.

    • Download the existing space photos to use as a canvas for your rendering. They can be downloaded here.

    • Use Photoshop or the creative software of your choice to create a digital rendering of your design either directly on the existing space photos (preferred) or in another digital rendering style. Hand-drawn renderings may be scanned and uploaded, although they are not preferred. All renderings must show your proposed design within the existing space and should not be submitted as a blank concept without the surrounding context.

  2. Develop your project narrative.

    • Briefly (a few paragraphs will totally do!) tell us the inspiration behind your design and how it will impact Downtown. We’re looking for your words on:

      • Where your inspiration comes from, and what it is.

        • Basically, why do you like this design? What made you come up with it? Does it draw inspiration from our area at all? Or maybe it’s just a cool modern design and that’s rad all on its own?

      • How you feel your design will be an icon of the Downtown Bellingham district.

        • Does the design encourage people to take photos? Is it - dare we say - “Instagramable”? What elements of “Downtown Bellingham” does it incorporate or pay homage to?

      • Who you are.

        • Are you a local artist? Is it just you, or are you a team of people?

      • What public art experience you have, if any?

        • Please share other examples of your work, if possible.

  3. Create a detailed budget.

    • Tell us how much it will take to bring your design to life.

      • Think you can get paint donated and are an aspiring hobby muralist? Then maybe it’s $500. Are you a professional artist and do murals for a living? Then maybe it’s $5,000. We’re looking for you to tell us what this project will cost. We do not have a maximum dollar amount in mind, but as a non-profit, cost will be a factor in our selection.

        • The DBP will fund this project by paying the proposal’s budget amount to the selected individual or team. This amount must cover all supplies, installation costs, and artists fees. Therefore, your final proposed amount must include ALL costs to complete the project, from design to installation.

    • Please break down your proposed amount roughly by the following budget items:

      • Design fees, if any

      • Artist fees, if any

      • Paint

      • Painting supplies (brushes, rollers, tape, etc.)

      • Rented equipment

      • Other costs, if any

  4. Submit your proposal using the application below.

    We look forward to seeing what you come up with! We will review all proposal applications carefully.

    Proposal submissions will close at 10:00AM on September 2nd, 2019. Make sure your application is submitted before then to be considered.

    If you have questions about this proposal process, call our office at 360-527-8710.

Involved Parties:
Primary Contact Person *
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Other People Involved
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Primary Contact Information
Phone *
Proposal Details
Briefly answer the following questions. A few sentences each will do!
Basically, why do you like this design? What made you come up with it? Does it draw inspiration from our area at all? Or maybe it’s just a cool modern design and that’s rad all on its own?
Does the design encourage people to take photos? Is it - dare we say - “Instagramable”? Does it incorporate any "Downtown Bellingham" elements?
Tell us about yourself (or your group)! Are you a professional artist? A creative with a keen eye?
Briefly tell us about your experience. Please provide any examples of your work.
Have you specifically installed a mural or large-scale street art project before? *
Please provide a download link to your rendering(s). Please use either Office365, One Drive, Dropbox, Box or Google Drive and ensure your link is set to public so that we may view it without logging in.
Proposed Project Start Date *
Proposed Project Start Date
Tell us when you could realistically begin installation. We will select our finalist by September 10th, so please make your start date after that.
Proposed Project Completion Date *
Proposed Project Completion Date
How long do you anticipate the project taking to complete? Please indicate a rough date.
This is the amount you are proposing you can do the project for. This amount is the final dollar amount that would be awarded and must include all expenditures and costs.
Please provide your detailed budget breakdown here:
Thank you for your proposal! We will be reviewing all applications carefully and will notify finalists about next steps in early September. If chosen, you agree that your design and the subsequent installed mural become property of the Downtown Bellingham Partnership as the funding organization. The selected finalist will also be required to sign a contract and terms of agreement for the project. We look forward to reviewing your submission!
Terms Agreement *