Thursday, January 28, 2016

Wanted: Calgary artists to help ‘Paint the City’

We’re launching a new initiative today called "Painted City." We looking for artists to include on the 2016 Painted City artist roster and the diverse group on the list will be pre-approved, making the process of connecting artists to communities simpler, quicker and cheaper.

Painted utility box by Michelle Hoogveld
in Highland Park.
Artists on the roster will be eligible to create artworks for the Utility Box Program, The City’s new Street Art Program for Youth and any other opportunities where an artist applies 2-D artworks to banners, murals, photography and other digital artworks, mosaics, decals and more.

Calling local artists

The Call to Artists for the 2016 - 2018 Painted City artist roster is now open and submissions are due by Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016 at 4 p.m. MST.

Communities or community members who would like more information on how to have a utility box or other property in their neighbourhood painted can visit the Painted City web page to learn more.

Taking on the challenge to paint the city

The initiative grew from the success of the incredibly popular Utility Box Program, which has injected colour, excitement and fun into Calgary neighbourhoods since it began in 2010. Local artists have created over 170 utility box public artworks throughout the city. To see the great work done by the artists on the 2015 Utility Box Program roster, check out the gallery on the Utility Box page.

In 2015, artists for each box were chosen from a list of artists on a pre-approved roster, which allowed communities to pre-select an artist who suited their needs, while the group of artists chosen for the roster were given select access to work across Calgary. The roster also offered extra opportunities for these local artists as some received private commissions directly from being on the list.
"SNAPSHOTS" by Derek Michael Besant at 4th St. underpass.

Public space as a place for creative expression

A goal of Painted City is to work with community associations and other grassroots organizations to consider art as an important part of neighbourhood improvement and community development, where all public spaces are seen as potential places for creative expression.

Visit our public art website for more opportunities for artists and to learn more about the work being done to help build dynamic and vibrant public spaces in Calgary through the Public Art Policy and Public Art Master Plan.

Submitted by Lauren Greschner, Recreation


  1. Part of wanting to be a world class city, is permanent public art on a scale that is noticeable to locals and visitors in different modes of transportation, as they pass/pause (if they can) through the community. It is understood sometimes locals complain about x% set aside for public art at new LRT stations, etc. but my response is...being a prairie city over 1.2 million, with less trees, luxuriant plant life, then you need more permanent public art. Otherwise the city/area is sterile and uninspiring.