RFQ – 9th Street Viaduct Murals Des Moines, Iowa

June 22, 2023  |   Call to Artists,   Initiatives,   Local
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Operation Downtown and the Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation seek an artist / artist team to create up to two murals on walls under the 9th Street viaduct in downtown Des Moines, Iowa.

Members of the Local 4 Chapter of the International Association of Firefighters purchased a section of the former Des Moines Social Club in 2023 and converted it into The Shop at 901 Cherry Street, an event venue. The mural site is adjacent to The Shop’s entrance, making it highly visible to the venue’s variety of guests. Given this and the location of the site being in a viaduct, the mural’s palette should be bright and engaging. In addition, the design should appeal to pedestrians and motorists alike is important as a sidewalk runs along the west side of the mural site and 9th Street borders the east side. The unsanctioned artwork currently on the walls is in disrepair.

Total project budget is $17,000. This covers artist fees, wall preparation, fabrication, installation, travel costs and other related expenses for both walls. Paint must be exterior grade and UV resistant, and a varnish is required to allow for graffiti removal without damaging the artwork if vandalized. The selection committee reserves the right to choose one artist for the entire space or one artist for each wall. The budget will be adjusted accordingly if the space is split between two artists and will not exceed $17,000 for both walls.

Selection criteria

  • Quality of work samples.
  • Demonstration of project understanding.
  • Ability to meet project schedule.


  • This opportunity is open to artists at least 18 years of age and residing in the United States.
  • Emerging artists are encouraged to apply.
  • Preference will be given to artists whose work is historically underrepresented and / or is not currently represented by public art in downtown Des Moines.

Selection Process

A selection panel made up of representatives from GDMPAF, Operation Downtown, and community stakeholders will select the final artist(s).

Up to 6 finalists will be chosen to create a proposal. Each finalist will be provided a $500 design fee to generate a concept.


June 12 RFQ announced
June 26, 5:00 pm RFQ deadline
June 27-July 7 Selection committee reviews submissions Finalist(s) notified
July 10 Finalist(s) notified
August 7 Final proposal submitted for City approval Mural fabrication
Aug/ Sept Project complete
October 1 Project complete
October TBD Unveiling celebration

Submission materials and instructions

  • Artist contact information: email, phone number, address, website, social media if applicable.
  • Letter of interest.
  • Biographical information and resume/CV. If artist team, please provide biographicalinformation and resume/CV for lead artist only and one bio paragraph for each teammember.
  • Three professional references (contact information only).
  • 3-5 work samples with up to 3 images of each project. Include descriptions of projects and

images. **It is not necessary for work samples to be murals. • Please package all submission materials into PDF format.

Please submit all materials via email to [email protected]


Please direct any questions to [email protected]

Link to PDF version: https://dsmpublicartfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/SW-9th-Viaduct-call-FINAL.pdf