Mural artists wanted for Fresh Waves 2022 in Downtown Alpena

The Alpena Downtown Development Authority (DDA) is looking for mural artists who want to paint a mural in Downtown Alpena this summer as part of the fourth year of the Fresh Waves project to introduce vibrant, inspired artwork to the downtown.

Interested artists must submit an application by Monday, April 25, 2022 at midnight to be considered to paint a mural as part of this year’s project. Interested artists must submit the following:

  • Artist application form
  • Examples of their past work (photos or link to online portfolio
  • Up to three concepts of a mural they would like to paint. This could be a sketch, a mock-up, or a written description of the content/style/themes in the mural.

Compensation will be provided to the selected artist(s) for their services rendered and supplies. Artists do not need to be based in Michigan to apply. You can view the 2022 Artist Application here.

Now in its fourth year, Fresh Waves is an arts initiative that was created in 2019 to introduce vibrant, one-of-a-kind artwork to Downtown Alpena. There is no theme or designated content for the murals as part of Fresh Waves; instead, the initiative celebrates art for art’s sake and seeks artwork that brings a fresh perspective to the downtown landscape. In its first year, artists Aaron Golbeck and Chad Bolsinger painted the mural on the side of Family Enterprise, Inc. In its second year, artist Britt Flood painted her mural Together Again at Thunder Bay Theatre’s warehouse on Fletcher St. and Mark Piotrowski painted his Wave Journey on Salon 125. In 2021, eight artists painted twelve murals on free-standing structures near the entrance to the Alpena Boat Harbor.

In 2021, Fresh Waves received state-wide recognition, winning a Best Placemaking Project as part of the Michigan Downtown Association’s Annual Awards.

For this year’s project, the committee who works on the project is planning to commission large-scale murals again on one or two walls within the DDA district. Applications are also open for downtown property owners to have their building considered as a location for mural. Interested property owners must submit a completed application form and up to three photos of the walls being proposed by Monday, April 25, 2022 at midnight. You can view the 2022 Location Application here.

After the committee reviews both artist and location applications, they will work to pair their top selections together, based on the artist’s fit for the project and location/size/condition of the wall. Both the property owner and committee will give final approval of the design before painting commences in Summer 2022. Based on artist budget, one or two murals may be completed.

We’ve had wonderfully talented local artists and artists from around the country leave their mark on our downtown through Fresh Waves, and we’re excited to bring more vibrant artwork to our downtown.

Anne Gentry is the Executive Director of the Alpena DDA, whose mission it is to implement positive physical, aesthetic, and economic changes in Downtown Alpena. Stay up to date with the Alpena DDA’s happenings by giving Downtown Alpena a follow on Facebook & Instagram.

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