MACA/DDC 2018 Sidewalk Gallery Public Art Project
A Juried Exhibition of Original Art Banners

Call for Artists

This art banner program and exhibition is a collaborative partnership between the Downtown Development Commission and the Madison Arts & Culture Alliance.

Exhibition Description 

This public art project was developed four years ago by the Madison Downtown Development Commission (DDC) and the Madison Arts & Culture Alliance (MACA). Artists are invited to create original fine artwork on canvas material that will be provided. The artwork must be impervious to weather. Each banner will be an original, one-of-a-kind work of art using acrylic paint, reflecting the general theme of “Movement,” as interpreted by the artist. The banners are 30” X 46” double-sided stitched back to back. Artists will use both sides for their artwork. The banners will be exhibited throughout downtown Madison on specially designed lampposts from early summer through end of October. They will be de-installed in October–the two sides of the banner will be separated and prepared for a Gala auction sale in October at a date to be determined later. Artists must submit entry forms (see below) and sketches by March 15 in order to be considered for entry.

Details & Rules

• All artwork must be the artist’s original work and must be the unique use of the image.
• Artists may leave a small border around the work so that the image can be easily stretched over a frame; this is not a requirement.
• Prohibited subjects include political statements and commercial advertising.
• We reserve the right to refuse any banner that does not conform to the above standards, or is inappropriate for outside display. The selection committee has final say on determining the eligibility of the artwork.
• We strongly recommend a coating of Minwax water-based polyacrylic to seal this outdoor work. It dries quickly and creates an excellent seal. Weather resistance is a must.
• All final work must be completely prepared in the above manner for the exhibition and must be received by May 15.
• Submitting an entry to this Show constitutes an Agreement with all conditions of this Exhibition and Prospectus. The DDC and MACA assume the right to photograph and use accepted work for documentation, education, or publicity purposes and reserve the right to reject any work not conforming to this Agreement.
• Submissions for consideration must be sent by March 15, 2018. We will only accept submissions that are accompanied by sketches and detailed information as outlined on the Entry form below. This is a juried show. Submission of artwork does not guarantee acceptance or inclusion in the exhibit.
• Information on picking up blank banners and delivery instructions will be sent to those artists whose work is accepted.


Artists must be over 18 years of age.

Size Specifications

The canvas banners are 30” x 46” double sided. (The artist must use both sides of the banners). We have included on this page randomly selected images of banners from previous years as a reference.


The Downtown Development commission and Madison Arts & Culture Alliance are in no way liable for damage, loss, theft or harm which may occur to the banners while on display.

Project Schedule

Artists will be notified March 1 when the banners are available for pickup. Banners must be turned in complete and dry by May 15. Details regarding the Gala banner auction will be provided to artists whose work is chosen for the exhibition. It is requested that all banner artists be present at the auction, and suggested that they plan to spend some time during preview hours before the auction.


Artwork must be delivered no later than May 15, 2018 (Instructions for delivery and shipping work will be forwarded on acceptance.). Accepted artwork must remain on view for the duration of the exhibition.


The money received at auction will be divided between the artist (50%) and the DDC /MACA (50%).


A significant marketing campaign has been developed to promote the artists’ work and the program. A website highlighting each individual artist will be created. Print, electronic and social media will be used extensively to promote you and your work. The art will be installed during a ceremony on May Day, an annual beautification event that draws over 1,000 people into downtown. The DDC hosts a weekly farmers market in downtown as well as an annual festival in October that draws over 20,000 people. The artwork will be removed just after this festival and prepared for auction. 

Submission Details

In order to be considered for this program, artists must submit the following.

1. Completed Entry Form (see below). 
2. Resume, bio, and Artist Statement. The Artist Statement should be a brief (maximum 250 words) explication of your artistic interests and objectives.
3. Artist’s website or digital samples of some of the artist’s previous work
4. A drawing, sketch or photograph of the proposed submission designs.
(All this information must be uploaded digitally through the form below.)

You can download a paper version of the Prospectus here.


For additional information email questions to: or .

Examples of Previous Submissions

Click on individual slides to expand. Click again to reduce.

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