Fayetteville seeks artists for mural along College Avenue

City officials said more than 28,000 vehicle trips are made each day along College Avenue between Cleburn and Prospect streets.

Photo: Todd Gill, Fayetteville Flyer

Fayetteville will soon have yet another piece of large-scale public art.

City officials are seeking an artist to create a mural on the old retaining wall along North College Avenue between Cleburn and Prospect streets.

The area is currently receiving a major overhaul as part of the College Avenue Improvement Project, which includes adding new sidewalks, lighting and street trees in the half-mile stretch of road between Maple and North streets. Crews completed work on the east side of College Avenue early this year, and work on the west side began in April.

The original plan was to plant street trees on the west side of the road, but crews discovered a fiber line buried in a vault underneath the existing sidewalk. Officials said the available soil depth is not able to sustain healthy trees, and the costs to relocate the line are too high.

In an effort to incorporate some type of functional aesthetics on the east side of the road, the city asked for and received approval from the Arkansas Department of Transportation to install a 1,654-square-foot mural on the original retaining wall that now separates the new sidewalk and the new multi-use trail.

Chris Brown, Fayetteville’s city engineer, said the old retaining wall was kept because the soils behind it were too poor to replace it entirely with a new wall closer to the businesses on that side of the road.

“We would’ve had to remove so much soil that the buildings near the right of way would have been damaged,” Brown said. “So, we left the wall in place and installed the sidewalk near the top of the wall, then constructed a smaller wall behind the sidewalk.”

An online form is available through Sept. 12 for artists to submit a resume, list of qualifications and work samples.

Once the submissions are in, the Fayetteville Arts Council will meet to select three artists from the applications to submit formal proposals for a mural on the wall. The artist chosen to complete the work will receive a stipend of $17,367. The other two artists will receive $250 each for compensation of their time.

According to the project timeline (see below), the mural is expected to be completed by Nov. 9.

» Visit city website to submit an application

Proposed Project Timeline

Sept. 5 – Call for artist qualifications
Sept. 12 – Submission form closes at 7 p.m.
Sept. 13 – Fayetteville Arts Council meets to select three finalists
Sept. 14 – Three finalists notified to produce renderings
Sept. 25 – Renderings due
Sept. 27 – Fayetteville Arts Council meets to select final artist
Sept. 28 – Artist notified and contract process starts
Oct. 5 – Contract process complete at 12 p.m.
Oct. 13 – Mural work begins
Nov. 9 – Mural work ends (artist must complete mural within 10 calendar days).