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Villisca Mural Contest



Mural Contest Guidelines


Thank you for your interest in the 2024

Villisca Community Betterment Association Mural Contest!



The goal of the mural contest is to help beautify the Villisca downtown in hopes of bringing more foot traffic to the area, which will positively impact the success of our local businesses.

Up to four (4) finalists will be selected from among the submissions received. The finalists mural proposals will then be presented to the community and put to a vote. The mural proposal with the most votes at the end of July 2024 will be given to a professional artist commissioned by the VCBA to paint on the side of a business’ building in the downtown area.


General Guidelines:

These guidelines provide an overview of how to participate in the VCBA Mural Contest. The guidelines are designed to assure that the murals displayed within the City of Villisca enhance the community’s appearance, and send a positive message about our community to residents and visitors. The VCBA Mural Selection Committee will have sole discretion in the selection of finalists and the approval of the final commissioned artwork.

Up to three different concepts per artist will be considered. Each concept will require its own completed entry form.  Additional notes or images may be included as necessary. Team submissions will also be  accepted. 

Unless requested to be excluded, submissions not chosen this year will be kept for future mural opportunities.

All submitted designs, as part of the competition, become jointly owned by the submission’s artist and the VCBA. The completed mural will become jointly owned by the VCBA and the building owner and will be available for the public to freely use and reproduce (including photos of the mural).


Submission Procedure:

To submit a design proposal, send the following to, mail to VCBA PO Box 23 Villisca IA 50864, or bring in-person to a VCBA meeting NO LATER THAN June 28th 2024.

∙ Proposed image (can be detailed, or can be a “general idea” or sketch)

∙ Short description of the design (may include why it is significant, what it symbolizes, or what message is intended to be shared through the artwork)

∙ Source of any artwork, or pieces of artwork that is not original to the designer submitting the proposal, if permission is needed, provide a copy

∙ First and last name, phone number, place of residence, connection to the Villisca Community (if applicable)


Mural Criteria:

∙ Must be original artwork of the person(s) named on the entry form, any images not original in nature may be used only with permission

∙ When possible, the content of the image should encourage public engagement

∙ No political, or potentially controversial images or text may be included

∙ When possible, represent a pro-Villisca, or pro-Iowa message

∙ Ideally, the image would be happy, uplifting, inspiring, or encouraging  in nature

∙ Not intended as an advertisement

∙ No Registered trademarks, logos or copyrighted images  

∙ Ideally would be vibrant and colorful while avoiding neon, fluorescent, or reflective hues

If possible, honor current or historic Villisca landmarks, residents, accomplishments, milestones or events

∙ Some theme ideas:

Depiction of the natural beauty of the area

Scene from a historic time in Villisca’s history

Welcoming image similar to other city’s “postcard murals”, possibly stating “Greetings from Villisca”

Interactive image to encourage photo opportunities, such as butterfly wings, photo frame, or a “scene” a person may seem to be stepping into


 Artist Criteria:

Proposals do NOT need to be made by an artist capable of painting the image themselves, a professional artist will be commissioned to complete the mural

∙ Preference will be given to images or proposals submitted by current or former Villisca Community residents or those who have a connection to the community

∙ Proposals submitted to the selection committee without name and contact information will not be considered, however if an artist wishes to be anonymous for public voting, they may indicate this on their application


Mural Site Locations:

We are currently in the process of contacting building owners to gather interest for possible  sites. If you are designing your mural with a specific space in mind, please note that on your  application. The VCBA Mural Selection Committee will collaborate with the commissioned artist and building owners to determine the best location for the winning mural.


Building Owners:

Interested building owners must sign a written agreement to permit their property to receive a mural. The owner shall agree to allow the mural to be left undisturbed for a duration of at least 3 years, unless the property is sold. The cost of commissioning the mural will be on the VCBA, but any future cost to repair, upkeep, or remove the mural will be that of the building owner. 




Contest Details Released/Open Call for Artists

June 1

Application Period

June 1 - June 28

Review of proposed mural designs by selection committee

June 29 - July 2

Voting open to the public

July 3 - July 31

Announcement of winning design

August 2


Early Fall 2024

Grand reveal and “ribbon cutting”

TBD based on completion dates



Sample Designs:

While any and all submissions are welcome, below is a sampling  of existing to assist in brainstorming and planning.


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