Call for Artists: Winter Wonderland | Downtown Albany

Call for Artists: Winter Wonderland

Call for Artists: Winter Wonderland

Applications due November 2

Application due date:  November 2, 2020 at 5:00 PM

Downtown Winter Wonderland Public Art Project Overview

The Downtown Albany Business Improvement District (BID) views public art as integral to our community’s fabric by improving quality of life, enhancing neighborhood identity, strengthening economic development and tourism, and enriching the spirit and pride of our citizens. In place of our annual Placemaking program, which has produced popular public art exhibits like Downtown is Pawsome and Open Gallery, the Downtown Albany BID is seeking project proposals for artist collaborations with local businesses on “Winter Wonderland” themed seasonal storefront artwork and displays. Designed storefronts should be completed by November 27 and will remain in place until February, 2021. Artists may partner with a specific business and/or propose work for a specific location, or they may submit a general proposal and be paired up with a participating business by the BID.

Stipends in the amount of $500 will be awarded to compensate artists and cover the costs of supplies. Applications will be reviewed by an independent jury of experts in the arts field to select a diverse group of artists, mediums, and projects.

Artwork will be officially unveiled in conjunction with Downtown’s Small Business Saturday promotions on November 28, and will be included as part of the annual Downtown Decorating Contest program.

This program is designed to help support artists and businesses affected by the COVID crisis, as well as to provide accessible artwork to help uplift and connect the community. Artists selecting a specific location for their piece may be asked to conduct outreach with property owners or businesses. The BID will assist with securing locations for artists without a specific business in mind. Insurance for projects will be covered by the BID. Production of all projects should adhere to CDC and New York State COVID-19 safety guidelines.

Projects May Include:

  • Temporary murals
  • Window painting
  • Lighting installations or displays
  • Storefront redesign and displays
  • Projections on outdoor spaces
  • Interactive outdoor space activities
  • Other visual art or design installation


  • Individual artists, interior designers, artist teams, or organizations based within 100 miles of Albany, NY.
  • Artists, interior designers, or organizations must have at least two years of experience in producing visual art or design and be able to provide samples of past projects.
  • All artwork must focus on the storefront and/or façade and must be visible from the exterior of the business.
  • Artwork must adhere to the “Winter Wonderland” theme. Artwork should be inspired by the season rather than any specific holiday.
  • Artwork should not include specific logos or advertising.

Selection Process:
An independent jury will select artists for the project based on:

  • The quality and thoughtfulness of the proposal.
  • The reputation and quality presented in the artist’s portfolio.
  • Diversity of artwork style.
  • The committee will prioritize professional artists affected by the COVID crisis, and artists or organizations representing traditionally under-served communities.

Marketing and Programming
The Winter Wonderland initiative will be heavily promoted to the public and programmed to encourage residents, visitors and tourists to view and experience the exhibition. Marketing and promotional activities will include:

  • Artists’ names and artwork titles will be included on downloadable and printed walking tour map of public art projects
  • Extensive press and media outreach and coverage
  • Artists’ names included in Downtown Links e-newsletter article about the program (+/-9,500 circ.)
  • Artists' names and pieces promoted via BID social media channels and website

Entry Procedure:
To apply, please submit the following:

  • A completed artist application form. Download the printable form here or complete online here
  • Artists should include a current, personal or organizational biography of 50 words or less for marketing purposes.
  • A sketch or mockup of the proposed project and up to four (4) examples of artist’s work may be submitted for consideration in any of the following ways:
    • By e-mail attachment to
    • By Dropbox of fileshare link, emailed to .
    • In digital .jpg or .pdf format delivered on flash drive or PC-formatted CD. Please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for the return of materials if requested.

Application due date:  November 2, 2020 at 5:00 PM

Important Notes

  • Insurance: The Downtown Albany BID will secure insurance protecting the BID and artists against claims of personal injury during the exhibit.
  • Artists understand that pieces may be subject to damage, vandalism or theft and that the Downtown Albany BID, the City of Albany, the partnering business, or their assigns are not responsible or liable for such occurrences.
  • Artist is an independent contractor and at no time will be considered an employee of the Downtown Albany BID or the partnering business.
  • No medical or worker’s compensation insurance will be provided.
  • Artists will be required to enter into a professional service contract with the Downtown Albany BID.
  • Artists understand that their pieces will be produced in collaboration with local businesses, and may be used in promotions and photographs by these businesses. Sponsor logos or listings will appear on signage for the installation and promotional pieces.
  • Production of all projects must adhere to CDC and New York State COVID-19 safety guidelines.

Please email your completed application along with the supporting materials requested to:  

or mail to:
Jason Bonafide
Downtown Albany Business Improvement District
21 Lodge St, 1st Floor
Albany, NY 12207

Please contact Jason Bonafide with any questions at (518) 465-2143 x 111 or