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SAY San Diego Mural Competition

Calendar IconWednesday, May 15, 2019 Calendar Icon+ Google Map

Call for Entries!

Deadline: May 15, 2019
Cash Prize: $500
Additional two prizes: $350 each
Theme: Children and Nature

Project Overview

Artists are invited to submit proposals to create an original mural for the upcoming workplace early childhood center at SAY San Diego in Kearny Mesa, with the theme Children and Nature. The winning artist will paint during the summer of 2019. Please read all the information below.


SAY San Diego’s early childhood center will serve as a model to local employers to inform and encourage them to develop childcare centers at their own workplaces. “The development of SAY San Diego’s early childhood center is a truly exciting step, which directly translates into life-changing opportunities and greater educational equity for more San Diego children and families,” says Nancy Gannon Hornberger, SAY San Diego CEO.

The childcare center will open in August/September 2019.

Opportunity Description

This opportunity is open to all artists with experience painting murals of a large size. Dimensions for the working space is 9’ x 19’. The space is indoors.

All material costs will be covered by SAY San Diego. There is a prize of $500 for the winning proposal and its execution. The winning artist will be invited to attend the grand opening of the childcare center, an event to be attended by community leaders and covered by local media outlets. Painting will be completed in June/July 2019.

Teams of 2 artists are allowed. Any cash prizes will be split between team members.

Proposals that are not chosen for the childcare center will be considered for other spaces in the building. Two separate walls in the administrative section of SAY San Diego headquarters are in need of murals (indoors). A cash prize of $350 will be given to any chosen artists.


Artists must include the following to be considered:

  • Resume or CV
  • Narrative explanation of the concept for the proposed mural and how it relates to the SAY San Diego mission and vision. Maximum word count: 250
  • Sketches, renderings or digital illustrations that represent the “children and nature” theme for the proposed mural that fairly depicts the design, color, and intent of the mural
  • Three (3) image examples of previous work
  • Artist Statement, if available (optional)


A jury panel established by SAY San Diego will evaluate proposals and pick one artist (or group) to complete their mural in the childcare center.

Panel members may pick up to two other artists to complete artwork in the administrative section of the building. SAY San Diego staff will work with these artists to create a design for these spaces.

Jury panelists will evaluate form, content, and context. Members of the panel will consider the following questions when making selections:

  • How does the proposed concept relate to SAY San Diego’s mission, vision and services?*
  • What is the quality of the mural’s arrangement, balance, contrast, emphasis, harmony, and proportions?
  • What is the quality of the artistic composition and overall design of the proposed mural?
  • What is the overall impression of the art? What is the effect of the artwork in general?
  • Has the artist clearly articulated conceptual priorities and an artistic approach?
  • To what degree is creativity and originality depicted in the mural?
  • To what degree does the proposed artwork relate to children and nature?
  • Does the artist’s previous body of work reflect artistic excellence, innovation, and originality?

Winner(s) will be informed by May 31, 2019.

Please Note

  • The proposed mural should be appropriate for young children.
  • If the artist does not reside locally, he/she must take financial responsibility for travel and accommodations during the execution of painting the mural.


Please email your resume or CV, a narrative explanation of your project, proposed artwork and 3 examples of previous work by May 15th to . Emailed submissions must not exceed 40 MB.

If your proposal exceeds 40 MB, you can mail your submission to:
SAY San Diego
Attn: Mural Competition Committee
4775 Viewridge Avenue
San Diego, CA 92123

Please contact us at with any questions.

*Since 1971, SAY San Diego has been making a difference for children and families. SAY San Diego has over 30 programs to strengthen the whole child, whole family, and whole community.

SAY San Diego’s mission is to partner with youth, adults, families, and communities to reach their full potential. The agency vision is opportunity, equity and well-being for all San Diegans.

SAY operates over 30 social service programs. Information about SAY San Diego’s services can be found on our website. Information on the early childhood center can be found here.