In response to COVID-19 and supporting a strong, unified community, Berks Arts Council in partnership with the City of Reading, Greater Reading Chamber Alliance and Reading Parking Authority is launching a new initiative, titled Art for Hope, Healing and Community Unity in the Public Realm.

The initiative will commission local artists (amateur-professional) to produce small murals that respond to and are inspired by our community today. The project will seek to bridge social distance requirements with creating new ways of social connection.

By clustering many small murals throughout the target blocks of Cherry and Courts Streets in downtown Reading, PA, viewers will see a variety of styles of artistic expression. The project will feature up to 20 artists to create an outdoor gallery rather than one large mural piece. Each artist will be recognized for their contribution to the project.

Submissions are open to all artists 16 years of age and older residing in Reading and Berks County, PA. All who are interested in creating and designing a piece of art are encouraged to submit. Berks Arts Council, City of Reading, Greater Reading Chamber Alliance, Reading Parking Authority and their designees will select artists without regard to race, color, religious creed, disability, ancestry, national origin, age, gender or sex.

Each selected artist will receive an honorarium of $300 in addition to the paint and materials to create the mural.

Proposed art work must be in square format and emailed to ED@berksarts.org by July 8, 2020 by 5:00 PM in a jpg or pdf format. Email should be titled: RPA Mural Art Submission. Work should embrace the theme of “Art for Hope, Healing and Community Unity”.

Selections will be made by a committee representing Berks Arts Council, GRCA, City of Reading and Reading Parking Authority. Selected artists will receive all materials necessary to create a 4-foot x 4-foot artwork to be made at their home or studio. Finished artwork will be delivered on a designated date to a specific location identified.

Finished artwork will be installed by a designated team. Artwork will be made with Novacolor Acrylic Paints and applied to plywood (provided). A topcoat varnish with a UV blocker will be used to protect the paint and help it to retain its rich color.

Submissions will be judged based on relevant completed work and representation of theme. Experience making large scale paintings is preferred but not required. Submissions with any themes of drugs, alcohol, tobacco, sex, political satire, violence, memes or previously copyrighted or registered by another artist will not be considered.

Submission must include: Name of Artist, name of artwork, phone number, email, address and brief bio of artist.