Arts Walk Cover Artist Search

The Selection Process

Each year, two artists are selected (one for each Arts Walk event) to have their artwork featured on the cover of the event map and in event related publications. These artists are commissioned by the City to create a new, original work of art for their respective Arts Walk map cover (Spring or Fall).

  • November: Previous participating Arts Walk artists are invited to apply
  • Early December: Jury panel recommends two artists to the Olympia Arts Commission
  • Mid-December: Arts Commission reviews recommendation and makes final selections
  • Early February: Selected artists commissioned artworks are due

Selected artists will each be awarded $600 to create a new work, and be highlighted in multiple ways. In addition to their work being highlighted on the cover of the Arts Walk map, selected artists have been:

  • Highlighted through exclusive in-studio interviews,
  • On the City's website & social media platforms,
  • In press interviews,
  • And their work has been promoted extensively with event marketing and publications.

Selection Criteria

  • Artists 18 years or older who have officially participated in Olympia's Arts Walk within the last two years are invited to submit images of current work. Official participants are ones that have been listed in an Olympia Arts Walk map individually or in group show.
  • Submitted portfolio must demonstrate the artist's ability to create work that lends itself to print media.
  • Submitted portfolio must show excellence in craftsmanship, consistency of style, originality, and connect with a wide audience.
  • Intent of the annual selection is to provide a wide variety of style, media and subject matter that reflects the diversity of the Arts Walk event.
  • Artwork that is religious, political or sexual in nature will not be considered.

The following will be required when submitting your online application: NOTE: We suggest typing your responses in a separate document then copying the text over to the application. Character limit includes spaces.

  • A brief Artist's statement (200 words or less)
  • To describe the focus of your studio work. Including the media in which you are most fluent and the themes that inspire you. (200 words or less);
  • If applicable, the option of describing your cultural heritage as it relates to your work (200 words or less).
  • Lastly, you will be asked to share information on the list of 5 works you will submit with your application including: Artwork title, media, dimensions, and dates.

Uploading Work Samples

  • Work samples can now be uploaded directly to the online application.
  • File requirements: JPEG, GIF, or PNG format no larger than 1 MB each, titled to correspond with the slide number provided in your online application. File names should include the artist name followed by the slide number, all in lowercase, one word, with no spaces. Example: For artist John Doe upload file names would read -johndoe1, johndoe2, johndoe3, etc.


  • Selected artists agree to sign a contract with the City regarding the purchase of their work, and to provide a business license to receive payment.
  • If selected as a cover artist you are asked to participate in the corresponding Arts Walk, as a participating artist.
  • Once selected, commissioned work must be formatted to fit the map publication, traditionally a square format has worked well. 3-D work must be able to be photographed in a similar format.
  • Artists will provide the artwork unframed - the City is responsible for framing.
  • The original works will become the property of the City of Olympia's portable works collection. Each work will appear on Arts Walk maps, posters and in various print and web publications.
  • The artist will assign to the City all rights to future reproduction of work for promotional and fundraising purposes.


Contact Angel Nava at 360.753.8384 or