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Art in Unexpected Places Wall Mural Art Contest Announced

The City of Cupertino and the Fine Arts Commission announces a new program and art contest entitled: Art in Unexpected Places. This program is an effort to beautify public spaces, surprise and delight passers-by, and encourage the community to reflect on themes and imagery that represent the heritage, natural beauty, diversity and creativity of our city.  The program envisions the creation of a series of theme-based wall murals on City owned property. The first mural will be located at Blackberry Farm.

Creative brief: 

Visual artists who reside in Santa Clara County are invited to submit proposals for an innovative and colorful two-dimensional mural on a concrete wall at Blackberry Farm. The wall is available for inspection during normal public hours and artists are encouraged to visit the site and inspect the wall surface prior to submitting a proposal.  See the map below for location and photo of wall.  The wall is approximately 6 X 30 feet.

Artists are encouraged to create an illustrative work that addresses both the interests of the community and the context and history of the site. Imagery should celebrate the natural diversity and dynamism of the property. Each design must also be sympathetic to the structural limitations of the site and relate to its immediate environment, and to the typical use of the property.

Wall Mural #1 -- Blackberry Farm

Theme:  The natural habitat, flora and fauna.

Local wildlife in and near Blackberry Farm include, coyote, deer, racoons, mountain lions, squirrels, and many species of birds. Flora include sycamores, redwoods, oaks and wildflowers. The artist is free to consider a montage or other visual approach that reflects the diversity of flora and fauna.

Contest Rules

 The contest is only open to visual artists resident in Santa Clara County.

  • All submitted designs must reflect the design brief and theme, and satisfy the aims of the project.
  • If short-listed, artists must be available for a brief interview as part of the judging process. 
  •  A nominal artist fee of $3,000 will be awarded to the artist whose work is selected

  • The artist fee covers the intellectual property of the design, and labor associated with the mural painting itself as well as artist cost of materials to complete the project

  • The artwork must be designed to be painted on a concrete wall. 

  • The artwork must be applied using paints appropriate for the site and wall composition, optimizing color, durability and safety.

The deadline for submitting proposals is April 17, 2020

It is anticipated that the winning artist will be informed early May 2020.

The mural must be completed by June 19, 2020

Selection Process: 

Ideas must be submitted digitally along with one to three image sketches that reflect the theme, dimensions and layout of the proposed work. Image files should be in JPEG format. The proposal document should be in Word or PDF format.  

From submitted entries, the project team will short-list a maximum of 2-3 artists. Artists who are short-listed will be required to undertake a short interview with the Cupertino Fine Arts Commission to discuss their design and inspiration. The applicant’s experience in delivering an artwork of the type, size and scale contemplated will be considered during the judging and selection process.

How to Submit a Design

Artists are required to submit the following information by April 17, 2020 to:

1. A written proposal outlining their design concept. This should include:

-Brief artistic vision and ideas behind the design.

-A list of materials required, indicating quantities and associated, estimated costs.

-Description of any materials that are not environmentally friendly and how they will be handled and disposed

-A proposed timeline of activities to ensure that the project is completed by the deadline.

2. A maximum of 3 supporting digital sketches or visuals illustrating the design

3. A current CV, including designs of any previous art commissions undertaken

4. Each proposal should include phone, address, and email contact for each artist.

The winning artist must be willing to work with the Fine Arts Commission to promote the arts in the community through one or more events or activities designed for that purpose and acknowledge the recognition of the City of Cupertino on any printed advertising, programs or brochures they produce related to the award.

Questions?  Please email

Use Link Below to See Map of Blackberry Farm. 

Wall site located along service road across from Captain Stephens Play Area.