Public Art Mural for the Guelph Gryphons Athletics Centre

Call for Submissions by Contemporary Indigenous Artists: Public Art Mural for the Guelph Gryphons Athletics Centre


We are inviting Ontario-based First Nations, Métis and Inuit artists to submit a proposal for a permanent public art mural to be installed in the University of Guelph’s new 170,000 sq. ft. Guelph Gryphons Athletics Centre. Artists and artist collectives are invited to express their cultural perspective(s) in relationship to the place/land upon which the University of Guelph sits and in consideration of the diverse community that engages the site/space.

The deadline for proposal submissions is March 1, 2019, with winning design announced on April 1, 2019. Completion of work/installation dates will be decided upon with artist/artist collective of winning design - completion between June-August 2019.

Deadline extended to March 15, 2019

Location:  Guelph Gryphons Athletics Centre, University of Guelph, 50 Stone Road East, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1

Find more information on Gryphon Athletics at:


The selected artist/artist collective will be responsible for the design and creation of a permanent mural[1] to honour and enhance the presence, visibility and history of First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples and cultures at the University of Guelph. Proposals can be contemporary or historical in nature and must respond to one or more of the following; holistic wellness, a place of gathering for all ages, recreation, sport, community and/or shared futures.

The proposal for the public artwork may be a permanent painted mural; a digital drawing; photography; or mixed media work to be printed on vinyl and mounted. If the chosen artwork is an enlargement of a smaller work of art, the University of Guelph requests to permanently house the original artwork within the Athletics department of the University of Guelph.

Requirements for proposal and mural project completion:

  1. The artist/artist collective must self-identify as First Nations, Métis and/or Inuit.
  2. The artist/artist collective must currently reside in Ontario.
  3. The artist/artist collective must provide all submission materials as outlined below in the ‘Submission’ section by no later than March 1, 2019, by 11:59 pm.
  4. The artist must work within the budget and timeline provided by the University of Guelph.   

[1] Mural, as it relates to this call for proposals, refers to the mounting, pasting and/or painting of a permanent, fixed artwork.


We acknowledge the University of Guelph resides on the ancestral territory of the Attawandaron people and the treaty lands and territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit.  We recognize the significance of the Dish with One Spoon Covenant to this land and offer our respect to our Indigenous neighbours as we strive to strengthen our relationships with them.

The University of Guelph is determined to create the healthiest campus in Canada, develop the most active community in the country and build a place for health and wellness programs to prosper.  As part of this holistic wellness initiative, the Athletics Centre underwent a major renovation project to develop state-of-the-art facilities. Centered around community building, the Guelph Gryphons Athletics Centre has a main entrance with a large information lobby and numerous gathering spaces throughout the building.

The main goal of this project is to make these campus community pursuits visual, through a First Nations, Métis or Inuit Artist’s lens.  The University of Guelph intends to embed Indigenous presence throughout the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual spaces of this campus and honour its responsibilities in reconciliation with community.


The budget allotted to this project is $6,000 (inclusive of taxes).  This budget will support materials, fabrication, delivery, contingencies and any or all costs related to the creation and installation of the mural. An artist fee of $1,500 will be provided separate to the project budget. Artist fee is to be split among artist collectives as decided upon by the artist collective. Installation of the artwork will be co-coordinated by the University of Guelph and costs associated with this are to be included in the artist/artist collective budget; in-kind support will be discussed further with the winning artist/artist collective. 


  • Call issued for artists/artist collectives: January 25, 2019
  • Optional site visit for artists/artist collectives interested in submitting a proposal: By appointment between February 4-22, 2019, exclusive of weekends
  • Artist/artist collective submissions due: March 1, 2019 - Deadline extended to March 15, 2019
  • Winning artist/artist collective selected and announced: April 1, 2019
  • Installation: To be decided upon with winning artist/artist collective – Completion expected between June-August 2019.
  • Grand reveal of Installation/Welcoming Ceremony: September 2019

The University of Guelph reserves right to extend the submission deadline if deemed necessary.


  1. During the Design and Preparation for Installation phase, there will be a minimum of two check-ins required with the artist and a University of Guelph representative (TBD).  These check-ins will ensure that the work is on track to align with the artist’s original proposal and to be completed on time. 
  2. Regular access to the location of interest will be provided based on the project proposal and materials used.
  3. It is the responsibility of the artist to coordinate all aspects of design, fabrication, delivery and instructions for installation.  The University of Guelph will co-coordinate the installation. 


Artists are required to submit the following eight items:

  1. Artist statement - outlining interest in the project, showing relevant experience, ability, and general artistic approach (500 words maximum, PDF format)
  2. CV (3 pages maximum, PDF format)
  3. Previous work/Images - Image files should be labelled with LastName_ImageNumber (separate jpegs or PDF document accepted, up to 10 images maximum) 
  4. Image List – List should include the image number, title, medium, year of completion, budget (if applicable) and a short description (PDF format)
  5. Written proposal including any maintenance that may be required for the work longer term (1,000 words maximum, PDF format)
  6. Visual description of the proposal (maximum 4 pages/images)
  7. Budget breakdown, exclusive of artist fee
  8. Contact information for Artist/Artist Collective

Submissions must be sent to: Cara Wehkamp at and the subject line should read: UG-AC Mural Proposal.

** Late or incomplete submissions will not be reviewed.

Upon being selected as the successful artist/artist collective, a signed Confirmation of Commitment will be required.


  1. All material will be viewed on a computer monitor and shall be formatted to suit.  (Materials will not be printed.)
  2. Submissions are due by March 1, 2019.

Mural Location & Dimensions:

Front Entrance (Right Wall - Lobby):  maximum 8' 2" (h) x 14' (w)

Athletics Centre Entrance Right

Selection Criteria:

The jury composed of students and staff will use several criteria as the basis for deciding on the selected proposal:

  • Qualifications, related experience and artistic merit of the artist/artist collective
  • Strength, originality, power of the artwork’s message/concept
  • Ability to address one or more of the following themes: holistic wellness, a place of gathering for all ages, recreation, sport, community and/or shared futures
  • Sensitivity and integration of site


During the submission process, all questions, concerns and comments from artists/artist collectives should be directed to Cara Wehkamp at or (519) 824-4120 ext. 58687.


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