How a mural gets made

– O+ Sets Theme for festival

– Call for Submissions goes out across platforms.

– Art Committee is formed.

The O+ Kingston art committee is a group of Ulster County-based festival alumni and past volunteers who want to engage on a deeper level. Professional backgrounds of art committee members past and present include: fine artists with their own studio practices, nationally recognized illustrators, filmmakers, K-12 art educators, college faculty and art-related business owners (graphic design, makers, etc.). The committee’s two art directors receive a stipend for their leadership.

– Each member of the Art Committee reviews each submission (murals, installation, performance art and theater). They independently score each submission based on the artist’s response to the theme, previous body of work, anticipated materials costs/logistics, expressed healthcare needs, etc. The decision is not based on scoring alone. Each submission is discussed by the committee, which often follows up with the artists for clarification. Discussions include whether an artist is a member of a marginalized or underrepresented group in mural arts and how the proposed work would reflect the history and culture of our diverse communities and a diversity of subject matter & painting styles. Decisions are also contingent on the festival’s financial and human resources and availability of walls/venues.

– Letters of acceptance or decline go out to each artist who submits a proposal.

– Each member of the art committee takes on the role of liaison between accepted artists, O+ and their venue/building from the moment of acceptance until the end of the festival weekend. In the case of murals, the liaison serves as producer: they are the primary contact between the building owner and the artist, orders the specific paint colors and lifts that each artist requests, primes the wall, and often assists with mural painting and troubleshooting.

– O+ solicits applications from building owners for mural walls yearround. The art committee also recruits owners of buildings to participate. The art committee reviews those submissions and matches artists to buildings.

– Photographs of the matched buildings are sent to the mural artists.

– O+ presents to the Kingston Arts Commission a list of the participating mural artists and their matched buildings/addresses.

– Each mural artist presents a mockup of their mural to the O+ Art Committee and the building owner. Occasionally changes must be made, but O+ prefers to create a platform that allows for the original intent and vision of the artist (rather than the model of a commission-based patron who would have more say over the final work). If a resolution cannot be reached, the building owner may reject the proposal and O+ would seek out a new building.

– Press Materials are generated and shared with the artists for promotion.

– Liaison assesses wall/work area (substrate material/condition, prep needs, ladder/lift needs, lighting needs).

– Lift company assesses terrain.

– Contracts between building owners and O+ go out. The contracts discuss the following:

  1. Prep work and timeline
  2. Costs associated
  3. Insurance
  4. Expected completion date
  5. O+s expectation that the mural remains up for a minimum of 3 years
  6. Process for how to deal with damage or graffiti

– Mural artists are compensated in the following ways:

  1. Through the exchange of the art of medicine for the medicine of art (Artists’ Clinic visits, dental and dental hygienist appointments, eye exams)
  2. If they are from out-of-town: Travel costs, lodging and per diems
  3. Honorarium (this was a new compensation in 2017) to acknowledge the time required to paint a mural onsite and offset the financial gap of time away from their other work.
  4. Promotion across social media platforms and in pitches to press. If budget and circumstances allow, O+ may commission professional videography of the work, some of which leads to the production of mini documentaries. This compensation is hard to quantify, but many artists report it has helped advance their careers.