Public Art Opportunity
Reflection Walk commemorating the Black Lives
Matter Movement



The City of DeSoto is seeking to commission an artist or team of artists to design and produce an original public art installation as a Reflection Walk to be located along the Roy Orr Trail. The  walking trail is a highly accessible destination used for passive recreation nestled within a partially wooded limestone escarpment. 

The artwork will be installed along the trail in the area between the low water crossing behind DeSoto Town Center and Ernie Roberts Park. Work can be installed on or adjacent to the path, on the pavement or suspended from the trees. This public art project is conceived as a monument to commemorate the Black Lives Matter Movement.


During the summer of 2020, many major metropolitan areas in the US and globally erupted with protests as reactions to the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Subsequently, many cities demonstrated solidarity and support of Black Lives Matter (BLM) through artistic expressions: mostly murals and graphic statements many of which were temporary. Support for the City of DeSoto BLM project recognizes the importance of providing residents and visitors access to quality artistic experiences in the public sphere. Artwork(s) could function to elevate public interest and create a sense of pride for the city.


Considering the theme: Incremental Steps can Make a Monumental Statement: selected artists should have the capacity to create an

Considering the theme: Incremental Steps can Make a Monumental Statement: selected artists should have the capacity to create an interpretive experience through a series of visual elements that can include but are not limited to representational imagery. Additionally the installation could combine sculptural and didactic elements using 2D and 3D written and pictorial aspects that result in a serene and contemplative walking experience. To expand engagement, the work could incorporate digital interactions such as virtual and augmented reality accessed through portable smart devices. The overarching idea is to challenge artists to create a shared positive public experience while elevating awareness and inspiring interaction within this highly visible and accessible public space. Elements of the project should remind visitors to the trail of our shared humanity.


Interested artists are encouraged to approach this project with the public in mind and to consider thinking deeply about all aspects of the subject and sense of place.  Short-listed artists should consider how community engagement can be included as a pivotal aspect of what is represented in the final installation. The overall style should be relatable and could Incorporate aspects of realism, futurism and abstraction.


 BUDGET: $30,000

The project budget is inclusive of all project costs, including artists’ fees and expenses, taxes, travel, shipping and crating, insurance, design, fabrication, installation/execution and transporting of any materials and supplies related to creating the artwork for the project site.



Professional artists who are legally eligible to work in the US and ages 18 and older may apply. No public art experience is necessary. Submissions not meeting eligibility requirements will not be considered. Artists applying for this opportunity may also be considered for future commissions.



Wall Sketching


Artists should submit a cohesive packet that includes:

•       Coversheet with the following information: Artist(s) contact information: name(s), mailing address, telephone number and email

•       Credentials: CV/Resume (limit 2 pages)

•       Three Professional references: (names, phone numbers and email addresses)

•       Interest statement (limit one page)

Tell us why this project is important and important to you. Does it relate to your public or studio practice? How will your approach set you apart from other artists

Ten images of previous works (only one image per page), each labeled with a title, date of completion, location, materials, art budget. For team application, please indicate the lead artist for each project.



The panel will evaluate applications on the following criteria: 

  • Quality and aesthetics of past work

  • Experience with public art projects of a similar size and scope

  • Creativity and innovation of concepts and themes

  • Ability to communicate concepts and ideas

  • Demonstrated experience working with communities


A three to five person selection panel consisting of arts professionals and members of the community will review all eligible submissions.


Up to three artists will be short-listed by the selection panel. Short-listed artists will be asked to develop a concept design proposal and compensated a stipend of $300 upon presentation of their completed concept design proposal. Concept Design Proposal shall include: a concept narrative explaining the general context and approach of the artist’s idea, draft budget, timeline, and a scaled visual representation of the artwork concept that could be a drawing, painting or digital rendering.


The selection panel will review each Short-listed artists’ completed concept design proposal and choose one artist to award the commission. Short-listed artists will be strongly encouraged to review all aspects of the site prior to submitting a final concept design proposal. 


A mandatory site-visit will be required for all short-listed artists.



Submission deadline | May 20, 2022

Short-listed artists notified | June 1, 2022

Selected Artist under contract | August 2022

Target Installation/dedication | June 2023


ARTISTS’ RESPONSIBILITIES: Selected artist(s) or artist team will be expected to work with City of DeSoto staff or their designees to develop and implement the specifications and details of the project.


 Including the following:

  • Developing the final design proposal inclusive of descriptive narrative, project budget, and project timeline

  • Selecting appropriate materials for the artwork

  • Attending meetings with community stakeholders as necessary (virtual or in-person)

  • Obtaining all required permits

  • Maintaining appropriate general liability insurance naming the City of DeSoto as an additional insured throughout the term of the contract until the City has accepted the artwork.

  • Site access and Working on-site

  • Providing detailed instructions for long-term care and maintenance of the artwork

  • Providing detailed documentation of all custom pieces, parts and finishes.

The final proposal will need to be suitable for all ages. Submit all information in one single PDF to Deadline for proposals is May 20, 2022 at 2:00PM CST. Proposals received after the deadline will be considered late and not considered for review.


Questions regarding this solicitation must be directed in writing to, and