Be a part of the legacy of art that continues to distinguish Ferndale.

The Downtown Development Authority (DDA) has expanded the scope of the program to support all forms of exterior public art on public or private property. The Downtown Public Art Program is a way to add character and personality to an urban environment, making it more interesting and unique. Art can celebrate history, express the values of a community, and just make spaces more inviting to hang out in! 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 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!

2024 Timeline
• Application Announcement: Tuesday, July 2
• Application Deadline: Monday, July 22
• Announcement of Selections & Installation Begins: Sunday, August 25
• Art Installation Deadline: Friday, September 20

Artist Application
Property Owner Application
2024 Downtown Mural Program Overview

Theme for 2024 “Ferndale in Bloom”

Ferndale continuously encourages individuals and businesses to bloom into a vibrant, beautiful and distinct community. Downtown Ferndale is a community that is welcoming of all, it is ever growing and changing, similar plants and flowers bloom and flourish. Blooming 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.

2024 Theme Selection Criteria

Factors to be considered by the Downtown Ferndale Public Art Program Advisory Committee when making selections shall include, but not be limited to the following when considering the annual theme:

  • ARTIST INSPIRATION: Artist should explain how the proposed design was inspired by the Downtown Ferndale inclusivity theme: “Ferndale in Bloom”
  • COMMUNICATION OF THEME TO PUBLIC: How well does the design communicate the artist’s inspiration and the theme “Ferndale in Bloom” to the viewer. Does the design inspire celebration and send a message that everyone is welcome in Downtown Ferndale?
  • INTERACTIVE COMPONENT: Interactive components are encouraged whenever feasible.

Who can apply?
1. Artists
2. Property Owners (includes non-profit and government organizations)

All questions can be directed to Sommer Realy, DDA Engagement Manager at [email protected], 248-546-1632.

Program Contact

Sommer Realy
DDA Engagement Manager
[email protected]

Public Art Program Summary

The 2023 program is now closed. The 2024 Downtown Mural Program theme and application period details are above. Feel free to contact the Ferndale DDA at (248) 546-1632 or by email at [email protected] with any questions.

About the Downtown Ferndale Public Art Program

History of Public Art Initiative in Downtown Ferndale

Generated by the legacy of the ARTWN Exhibit, launched in 2012 by the Ferndale Downtown Development Authority as the district’s existing art assets were celebrated with a two-year program of special events, ongoing promotion, and continual showcasing of our thriving creative culture. 

In 2023, the Ferndale Downtown Development Authority (DDA) launched a Downtown Ferndale Mural Program with the theme “You Belong Here.” The inaugural program was funded by the Michigan Arts & Cultural Commission, Main Street Oakland County and the Ferndale DDA. The existing public art inventory has satisfied some of the demand for public art, but it has also intrigued the possibility amongst new property and business owners. 

The DDA is proud to continue to celebrate the creative energy within the community alongside the Ferndale Arts & Beautification Commission with beautification efforts in Downtown Ferndale.   

How do we select the art?

For full details, please review Downtown Public Art Manual. 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 Board of Directors.

-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

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)

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.

Funding for this program provided by:

Other Art to Visit in Downtown Ferndale