Please, paint us a mural.

I don’t mean Triad City Beat — I’m talking about my neighborhood, the one I put on our cover two weeks ago as a way to celebrate this little enclave near downtown Greensboro.

For years now I’ve dreamed of a mural on the empty, whitewashed walls of a Greensboro College theater department building across the street from Westerwood Tavern and at the edge of the adjoining neighborhood by the same name. After a couple false starts, the efforts to bring some color and vibrancy to that towering white wall are finally in motion — but it’s not my doing.

The Westerwood Neighborhood Association applied for and received a Spark grant from Action Greensboro to help cover the costs of a mural on the wall, which is directly adjacent to the future Downtown Greenway path. The train tracks that divide the Cedar Street area where I live from Westerwood will become the western leg of the greenway loop, and a mural on this former industrial building would be a great way to help define the area and express the character of the surrounding community.

So now, please forgive me as I exploit my media platform as a megaphone for this project, one that I can’t take credit for but did play a small role in initiating. Here’s the detailed call from the Westerwood Neighborhood Association (they invited me to participate but I was only able to make it to one meeting, so let me add that if we’re naming Westerwood and Greensboro College, let’s add the Cedar Street area AKA Cedar Street Estates to the list, also!).

Are you a North Carolina artist? Does $3,500 sound reasonable to you? Then read on. Contact Westerwood neighborhood President Jeff Nimmer with questions at [email protected]


The Westerwood neighborhood seeks an artist to design and execute a mural on a blank wall (or two walls with wrap-around of the building’s northeast corner) at 501 Guilford Avenue in the Westerwood Neighborhood, just west of Downtown Greensboro. The artist will be asked to contract and work with the Westerwood Neighborhood Association and its members as an independent contractor to capture the essence of themes identified by a special sub-committee of the neighborhood association.

The Budget:

The budget for the design, fabrication and installation of this project is $3,500. Artist should account for surface preparation, priming, cartooning, paint materials, and scaffolding in their budget. Project sponsors will handle legal issues (e.g., facade easement) at no cost to the artist, and may be in a position to furnish volunteer labor and some materials at no cost or below-retail cost. The Westerwood Neighborhood Association may also contribute additional funds to help facilitate expanded murals if application and proposal warrants.

The Project:

Having been awarded a special Spark Grant by Action Greensboro and Downtown Greensboro Incorporated, the Westerwood Neighborhood Association, in cooperation with Greensboro College, seeks to install a unique mural along a blank white wall at 501 Guilford Avenue. The goal is to incorporate various themes which draw on Greensboro’s and Westerwood’s past, present, and future. This area will become a prominent cross roads on the future Downtown Greenway and will be visible to tens of thousands of visitors. This is likely to be one of the largest and most prominent outdoor murals in the Triad.

Potential Themes To Be Incorporated In Proposal:

Railroads & Greensboro’s History, John Morehead, Importance of Railroad, Representations of Buildings No Longer Present, Foreshadowing of other Greenway Sights, Railroad Crossing Signs/Signals, Hitching Posts, Past of area versus present, Use of “Westerwood,” Use of “Greensboro College,” Trees of the neighborhood, Connection of area to the Arts, Reclamation of Buffalo Creek, Garland Street Bridge, Secret Messaging (Items that are clues to other, things along Greenway or history of GSO)


Potential Styles To Be Highlighted:

Mix of Abstract Style, example “Steam Punk,” Use of mosaics, Contemporary and Bright, Metallic or polished, Movement through time, Reused Industrial Nature of Building, Historical renderings

 Suggestions on Mural Proposal:

 Although the neighborhood would like to see some of the above ideas incorporated into the proposal, we are not artists, and are interested to see other interpretations of this wall.

 Artist Eligibility:

 The Westerwood Mural Project is open to professional artists who reside in North Carolina with experience in implementing and working with murals. Artists must be able to effectively work within the project timeline and budget and collaborate with multiple governmental and community groups.

Application Process:

 The Westerwood Neighborhood will manage the artist application and selection process in concert with a special sub-committee of neighbors and stakeholders. This special subcommittee will review applications and vote on a final selection, which will be referred to the WNA Board for final approval.


Deadline for Submission:                                                 May 23, 2016

Sub-Committee Announcement of artist/design:            June 15, 2016

Contract Completion:                                                      July 15, 2016

Mural Installation Commences:                                    July 15, 2016

Installation Complete:                                                 August 30, 2016

Location of Mural and Base Drawing:

Attached is a CAD drawing of the building, which can be used for layout of the mural proposal. We suggest that your proposal “wrap the corner” of the building, extending from the elevation facing Guilford Avenue around the corner to the side that runs parallel to the future greenway. In addition, we suggest that the lowest point of the mural begin at a height of 8 feet above ground surface, and extend upward from there to, or near to, the top of the building. We expect the artist will need to employ scaffolding and/or a lift to access these elevated surfaces.

Application Requirements:

  1. CD with a set of 10 digital images or slides of art works accompanied by an annotated list including name of artist, title of work, media, and location of artwork, project budget, slide number and any other relevant information.
  1. A professional resume and artist’s statement indicating interest in the project, artists’ approach to public art, and in particular this project, and relevant past experience on projects of a similar scope and budget.
  1. A self-addressed, stamped envelope for return of your materials (otherwise we will keep submitted materials on file for future use). If requested, materials will be returned by August 1st of 2016.
  1. Submitted materials must be postmarked by May 23, 2016


Please submit materials to:

Westerwood Neighborhood Association

c/o Jeff Nimmer

207 Crestland Avenue

Greensboro, NC 27401


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