Statewide Public Art Murals Celebrating SMART Reading’s 30th Anniversary


General Background:  

SMART Reading is soliciting proposals from artists or teams of artists to provide design and implementation services for an (1) exterior mural project in each of our 10 regions across Oregon in celebration of our 30th anniversary. Ideally, we are seeking a local artist (or team of artists) to engage in a mural in each of the regions below. 


Office Location

Counties/Region served



Crook, Deschutes, Grant, Harney, Jefferson and Northern Klamath counties, the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs



Douglas County 



Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties 

North Coast

No office in this region. Mural will be in one of the counties served.

Clatsop and Columbia counties **Accepting artist applications.**


No office in this region. Mural will be in one of the counties served.

Baker, Gilliam, Hood River, Morrow, Umatilla, and Wasco counties **Accepting artist applications.**



Lincoln, Marion, Polk, Tillamook and Yamhill counties

Rogue Valley


Jackson and Josephine counties

South Central

Klamath Falls

Klamath and Lake counties

South Coast

North Bend

Reedsport, Coos and Curry counties

South Valley


Benton, Linn and Lane counties


Mural Vision:

The vision is for the public art murals to embody the fun and imaginative power of children’s books and their ability to transform our lives and open doors to opportunities and adventures. The artwork must include the 30th anniversary campaign theme (see above), the SMART Reading logo, and a QR code that will link to early literacy resources. 


Pending selection of locations for each community, murals will be initiated in Fall 2021 and completed within the 30th anniversary year (ending June 30, 2022). 

About SMART Reading

Our Vision: An Oregon where all children can realize their full potential through reading.

Our Mission: To spark joy and opportunity through the magic of a shared book.

Our History: In 1991, a group of concerned business leaders came together to address the troublesome reality that Oregon’s children were routinely reading below grade level. SMART Reading’s unique model was developed, blending early childhood reading support, adult mentorship and community engagement to positively impact literacy outcomes.

The program launched in 1992 in eight schools in two cities, serving 585 children.

Over the years, SMART Reading has steadily grown to become the state’s largest volunteer-driven nonprofit organization devoted to children’s literacy, and in the 2021-22 school year, we will celebrate our 30th anniversary. Click here to learn more about how our programming is implemented statewide. 

Since our inception, we have served more than 252,000 children and given away over 3.1 million books. More than 146,000 volunteers have logged 4.5 million hours reading with children across the state. 

Commitment to Diversity 

As an early literacy program focused on helping children succeed with reading and learning, SMART Reading can’t ignore that deep racial, cultural, social and economic inequities in our country and state make it harder for some children to succeed compared to others. Our vision is an Oregon in which every child can read and is empowered to succeed, and we are making equity a top priority. As part of this, we particularly seek to work with artists whose personal or professional background gives them a unique perspective to further SMART Reading’s work in serving children of color and children from other marginalized groups.

Artist Eligibility

Priority will be given to artists who live in the local region for which you’re applying. 

Work will consist of design as well as production of work on-site, which must be executed by experienced artists. The artist will propose a concept and sketch, and will work with a small group of SMART Reading staff and stakeholders to finalize and approve the design concept. The selected vendor must properly prime and prepare any area approved for painting and a high quality exterior varnish will be required to secure the longevity of the mural(s). 


SMART Reading has funding to pay $5,000 for each mural, including design, implementation and expenses. We will also compensate artists $100 for sketches created for the purposes of the application.  

Regarding paint expenses, Miller Paint will donate paint for each mural including the Renew Paint exterior base coat (available in five colors) and 10 quarts of color samples at each mural location. For any additional needs, paint is available for purchase through Miller Paint at a nonprofit discount.

Location & Size

We are in the process of determining locations for murals in each of the 10 communities. We estimate an approximate size of 12 feet by 15 feet, but may need to adjust specifications depending on the spaces that are secured. Interested businesses/individuals can complete this survey to submit their space for consideration.

Application Requirements

Each submittal must include: 

  • Indication of which of the region(s) listed above you are applying for.
  • A narrative summary and sketch illustrating your vision for the mural.
  • A description of the approach to the project such as methods of surface preparation, primer applications, varnish, anti graffiti/anti-ultraviolet coating, or other material to secure the longevity of the mural. 
  • Identification of the medium.
  • Warranty for completed work.
  • Images and reviews of previously completed works that describe the size, materials, cost and location of other public works. Include references from at least one earlier project.
  • Artist(s) resume(s) to include a brief one (1) page summary of work, including experience with murals (exterior and/or interior), and general statement of work. 
  • Ability to provide proof of liability insurance if selected.
  • Artwork longevity of murals must display for at least five (5) years. If the applying artist offers a maintenance plan, outline the process, costs and timeline associated with the plan. 
  • Indicated whether the artist is willing to collaborate with SMART Reading on promotional activities around the mural project, including social media and traditional media opportunities. 

To apply, send application materials to with Mural Application in the subject line. 


Please send any questions or clarifications to We will respond to everyone within a timely manner to ensure the deadline for application can be met. 


Artists may apply as individuals or as a team. Artists wishing to apply as a team should appoint and pronounce one (1) person to officiate as the main contact for the project. Delegation of project duties shall be listed in application along with a declaration for a one source of payment, as the group of artists should delegate how to divide their commissions/fees prior to an award.

Financial compensation will be made in accordance with an agreed upon contract between the artist(s) and SMART Reading.

Selection Process

Application materials will be reviewed by a team of SMART Reading staff members and volunteer marketing committee members, including SMART Reading Board members. Finalists will be asked to meet with staff leads working on the mural project before a final decision is reached. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis as they’re received, with a final deadline of Sept. 30, 2021. Artists will be notified of next steps by Friday, Oct 22, 2021. **We are still accepting applications from artists applying to our North Coast Area (Clatsop and Columbia counties), as well as artists in Pendleton.**