Call for Artists in St. John


This project is made possible through funding from the Alex Robinson Memorial and The Church of Jesus Christ in St. John, KS.   Stafford County Economic Development is sponsoring the project as a fiscal agent.

The Church of Jesus Christ played a central role in the founding of St. John.  The first settlement in what is today St. John was made in 1875 when William Bickerton of The Church of Jesus Christ founded a religious colony named Zion Valley. By 1879, Zion Valley had grown into a small town, and the residents renamed it St. John, after then governor John P. St. John, in order to gain favor in winning the county seat of Stafford County.

This project seeks to bring visual interest to the downtown area of St. John on an exterior wall overlooking a vacant lot that (separately) will be partially landscaped. The vacant lot is across the street from the historic Gray Photo Studio, which is being restored and renovated to be a community arts center.

The community of St. John is seeking artist’s proposals to bring life, energy and something unique to St. John in a way that tells about the founding of the town.   In particular, the sponsor of the project seeks a visual representation of the wagon trains that brought people to the Zion Valley settlement.

Respondents to this Call for Artists can be individuals or teams although the budget remains constant to all. An application fee is not required. Submitting artist(s) must:

  • Be over 18 years old
  • Reside in the state of Kansas
  • Submit proposals with theme of the settlement of St. John.

A photo of the site is at the bottom of this announcement. The wall measures approximately 50 feet wide and 15 feet tall.  The brick is not in uniform condition and the artist should consider, and prescribe, what repairs need to be made to the wall in developing a proposal.

The total all-in project budget is $7,500 inclusive of artist’s honorarium and all costs to execute the project. $1,000 will be paid at the time of artist selection with Stafford County Economic Development and the selected artist(s) jointly establishing a payout schedule for subsequent payments. Costs of materials and supplies to execute the project can be paid upfront or purchased by selected artist then reimbursed on a pay-as-you-go basis with receipts required for all expenditures.

Artist must possess personal expertise to complete the project or be part of a team with the know-how to see the project to completion. Sub-contractors can be used but must be paid from the total project budget.

The artist will be under contract with Stafford County Economic Development to complete the project. Selected artist(s) agrees to allow Stafford County Economic Development or The Church of Jesus Christ to publish both submission images and the completed work for publicity purposes. Selected artist also agrees that the finished piece is the property of the owner of the wall, regardless of future changes in ownership, providing the property owner the right to modify or remove artwork.


  1. Artistic vision statement
  1. Work plan including timeline
  2. Budget
  3. Current resume/CV for team participants
  4. Images, photos and/or renderings of concept sketches
  5. Compile these requirements into a PDF or Microsoft Word document with attached photos in .jpg or .pdf format and email to [email protected]


Application Period: Thursday, October 17 to Friday, November 8, 2019

  • Applications to be emailed [email protected] by 12 noon, November 8th. Announcement of winning design: November 13, 2019.
  • All artists who submit work for consideration will be notified of the jury decision at this time.

Considering seasonal weather and the desire to make improvements to the landscape simultaneous with this mural, the execution of the art installation would be in spring 2020, with latest execution by May 20, 2020.

A selection panel will review the submissions and select the winning proposal. The panel will include community members representing Stafford County Economic Development, David Robinson of The Church of Jesus Christ, and citizens of the City of St. John.

Selection criteria include:

  • Overall appeal/aesthetic quality including an impactful capture of the history of St. John
  • Experience with similar projects
  • Ability to complete work within desired timeframe and budget

Please email [email protected] with any questions.

Project canvas: