Be a part of the legacy of art that continues to distinguish Ferndale.
Downtown Ferndale has launched an annual program to fund the creation of murals on public or private property. Each year will have a theme, and an advisory committee will make selections to curate a diverse set of styles, artists, and locations.
Art has the extraordinary ability to transcend barriers, fostering connections between individuals from all walks of life. In these challenging times, it is more crucial than ever to communicate the message of love and belonging. The theme for the inaugural program, “You Belong Here,” reflected the values of inclusivity and community that define Ferndale. The selected artists were chosen from over 50 applications for how they encapsulated the spirit of this theme in their proposals. The result has been vibrant and dynamic murals that celebrate the rich diversity of our city and the artists of Michigan.
We offer our heartfelt gratitude to the Michigan Arts and Culture Commission and Main Street Oakland County for generous grant funding which allowed us to expand this program to include 7 works of art in our first year! Thank you to the talented artists and generous property owners who applied for our inaugural 2023 program. Applications for the 2024 program will be announced later in the year. Follow @downtownferndale to stay updated!
The public is invited to take a self-guided art walk to see these murals in person, as well as others in Downtown Ferndale through a google map. Click here to view map of locations!
All questions can be directed to Sommer Realy, DDA Acting Executive Director + Engagement Manager at [email protected], 248-546-1632.
DDA Acting Executive Director + Engagement Manager
2023 Mural Program Summary
The 2023 program is now closed. The 2024 Downtown Mural Program theme and application period will be announced in late 2023. Feel free to contact the Ferndale DDA at (248) 546-1632 or by email at [email protected] with any questions.
• Application Announcement: Feb 18, 2023 COMPLETE
• Application Deadline: March 13, 2023 COMPLETE
• Advisory Committee Review: April COMPLETE
• Announcement of Selections: May COMPLETE
• Art Installation Deadline: Early September
2023 Theme – You Belong Here
Belonging in Downtown Ferndale can mean different things to different people. We encourage artists to search for inspiration in the theme in whatever way it speaks to them. The Ferndale DDA is proud to be part of a city which has received a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign Municipal Equality Index for inclusive policies by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and the Equality Federation Institute. Learn more here. In June 2020, the Ferndale DDA also formally supported the City of Ferndale’s ‘Declaration of Commitment to Antiracism’. Together, we pledged to use the moment as a learning opportunity. We pledged to evaluate what we could be doing differently in identifying racism and promoting a culture of openness, equity, and justice in our community. Discrimination in any form threatens this effort and undermines the vision that the Ferndale DDA has for our downtown.
About the Annual Downtown Ferndale Mural Program
The 2024 Downtown Mural Program theme and application period will be announced in late 2023. Feel free to contact the Ferndale DDA at (248) 546-1632 or by email at [email protected] with any questions.
Who can apply?
2. Property Owners (includes non-profit and government organizations)
Artist Application (not active)
Property Owner Application (not active)
2023 Downtown Mural Program Overview
How do we select the art?
For full details, please review the 2023 Downtown Mural Program Overview. Factors to be considered by the Downtown Ferndale Mural Program Advisory Committee when making selections shall include, but not be limited to the following. Final authorization will be made by the DDA Executive Director.
-All art must be durable for the outdoors
-Selected media must ensure mural longevity and durability
-Artist’s will be responsible for all materials required and transportation expense
-Artist must agree to make reasonable efforts to preserve the mural for a minimum of five years
-Artist must be insured and supply a copy of insurance at time of project installation
-Artist must provide a scope of work which includes preparation, installation, and quality inspections, which ensures the safety of painters and the public, and does not impede public access. If the safety plan submitted is not being adhered to, and the DDA or City of Ferndale identifies a safety risk to either the artist and/or the public, the DDA or the City of Ferndale have the right to stop work until such time that safety issues or concerns are addressed by the artist
ART SELECTION CRITERIA:
ARTISTIC QUALITY: The artist(s) proposal includes a concept, vision and examples of craftsmanship represented in existing artwork. Exploratory types of work as well as established art forms shall be encouraged.
LOCATION: The mural concept and site are appropriate in scale, materials, form, and content for the immediate, general, social, and physical environments with which they are to relate.
DIVERSITY: The advisory committee shall seek concepts from artists of diverse racial, gender, and cultural identities. The program also shall strive for diversity to style, scale, media, and numbers of artists represented.
FEASIBILITY: Proposals shall be evaluated relative to their feasibility and convincing evidence of the artist’s ability to successfully complete the concept as proposed. Factors to be considered include, but are not limited to, project, timeline, artist’s experience, and represent qualifications associated to the theme.
DUPLICATION: Artists are required to warrant that artwork is their own original, unique design and an edition of one or part of a limited edition, and to warrant artwork is not infringing on copyrighted materials. Logos, advertisements, or any kind of commercial signage will not be accepted.
PERMANENCE: Uses high quality materials that will last a minimum of five years, and are resistant to weather and ultraviolet deterioration.
How do we select the locations?
-Location must be within the DDA District, with strong preference give to the TIF District boundary of the Ferndale DDA – MAP HERE
-Property owner and/or business owner at location must agree to prepare area for installation
-Property owner must agree to transfer license agreement to new property owner, in the event property ownership changes
-Property owner must agree to make reasonable efforts to preserve the mural for a minimum of five years
-Property owner and business owner be engaged throughout the installation and completion process to ensure requirements and expectations are met
-Property owner must agree to complete a sign permit prior to installation ($50 fee associated)
LOCATION SELECTION CRITERIA:
VISIBILTY: Sites which are highly visible to the public will be given preference.
ACTIVATION OF UNDERUTILIZED PEDESTRIAN SPACES: Placemaking and space activation are key goals for the Ferndale DDA. Artwork that serves to encourage activity in pedestrian spaces will be given preference.
VARIETY OF SITE SELECTION: The advisory committee will strive to select locations across downtown, benefiting as many businesses as possible.
SAFETY: Locations that may benefit from activation to address safety or security concerns will be given preference.
PERMANENCE: Site is conducive to a mural that will last a minimum of five years, and are resistant to weather and ultraviolet deterioration.