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New Voices in Public Art

ArtHaus will be selecting 10+ artists to create public murals inside and outside Decorah Businesses. Interested businesses may apply to receive proposals for their projects.  ArtHaus will act as a springboard for connecting artists to projects.

Artists: To be part of this project artists must be selected to take a 20 hours class with two muralists in September to learn techniques of various surfaces as well as how to create a contract, submit a bide, materials on different surface, timelines, etc. The class will be done partially on zoom, and require some hands on work at ArtHaus (COVID-19 guidelines in place). The class is free and artists will be paid a fee upon completion.

Artist Application

Businesses: Businesses interested in adding imagery to their building may apply to be included in this project. During this class, artists will be able to peruse ideas businesses have for murals. Artists will submit a proposal, bid, and portfolio of their work. Businesses will also get the contact info for each artist available for the project.

Business Mural Request


Sponsorship: This project is taking place due to grant from the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.  Several downtown businesses and building owners pledged to match a portion of this grant.  A special thanks goes out to:

Amalia Vagts & David Lester

Amundosn’s Clothing

CHOICE Employment

Decorah Chamber of Commerce

Dragonfly Books

The Getup

The Lingonberry

Luna Valley Pizza Farm

Nordic Chiropractic


Story People

Your Place



If I fill out this request for a mural do I have to accept one of the proposals?
No.  Doing the mural is totally up to you but we are hoping to get you started and provide you with some beautiful options.
Can I change the proposals a bit to be exactly what I want?
Yes, to a degree.  Many artists will accept a few changes to their work.  If there are a lot of changes, perhaps you would work best with another artist.  This is why we will provide you with the contact list of all the artists and samples of their styles.
Does paying the proposal fee mean I own the proposals?
No.  Artwork is the property of the artist.  You can not recreate even portions of them without the artists’ permission.
What does the $125 proposal fee cover then?
The fee is for the time artists will spend on your proposals.  I think we all agree that artists’ time has value and worth.  You will receive 1-3 proposals at the end of September.  If you ask a mural artist outside of this class for a proposal be prepared to pay a design fee of $250+ per design.
If I do accept a proposal how soon do I have to do the mural?
That is up to you and the artist.  You will want to factor when you want to have it done by, weather/ventilation, the artists’ schedule, etc.  We can help you create a timeline if you are part of this program.  Artists will have ArtHaus supplies available to them until July 1, 2021 (see below).  We can also point you to some murals if you qualify that could help pay for a mural.
If I accept a proposal how much can I expect to pay for the mural?
This is totally up to you and the artist.  There will be differences in sizes, complexity, and surfaces of each mural which is why we can’t quote you a flat fee.
But here are some ways you will save by being part of this program:
Rental fees- Items like power washers, drop cloths, scaffolding, projectors, etc can all cost money to rent.  ArtHaus will provide these things for the artist until June 1, 2021.
Supply fees– Paint for murals are on average a cost of $500.  We will keep a bank of leftover mural specific paint at ArtHaus for these artists to use, cutting some costs during the program.