News & Stories

Call for Artists – Mural in The Trailhead

Deadline to apply- July 15, 2024, 11:59 pm

Artist Info Sessions:
On Zoom-Tuesday, June 18, 7:00-8:00pm
In person at the Trailhead- Thursday, June 27, 7:00-8:00pm

The Loppet Foundation is seeking a mural artist/artist team from Minnesota to create a new mural inside The Trailhead building located in Theodore Wirth Park in Minneapolis. The location for the mural spans the majority of the main hall of The Trailhead and we are excited for it to be a beautiful artwork that serves to inspire everyone who uses and visits the Trailhead!

There is one $13,500 commission available for an interior mural- roughly 450 sq/ft, that includes design, community engagement, materials and installation. The selected artist will design the mural in collaboration with Loppet Foundation staff and include community in the design and creation of the mural.

The Loppet Foundation (Loppet) started in 2002 as a cross country ski race. In 2003, we partnered with Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board (MPRB), began operating in Theodore Wirth Park (TWP) and launched our North Minneapolis youth programs. Loppet now engages 20,000 people annually through opportunities that align with our mission: connecting people to the outdoors through experiences that grow community.

Loppet can best be understood in the context of Theodore Wirth Park. Envisioned as a cornerstone of a city united by green space, Theodore Wirth Park rivals NY’s Central Park in size, and features remnant oak savanna, woodland, prairie, wetland, and Ȟaȟá Wakpádaŋ (the Dakota name for Bassett Creek). 

Loppet recognizes that access to urban nature has been easier for some Minneapolis residents than others. Wirth Park bridges one of the most pronounced racial dividing lines in the US, spanning highly diverse North Minneapolis and more white affluent neighborhoods. Because there is less green space per capita on the city’s Northside, TWP is an especially important resource for this community. However, Northside residents and communities of color are underrepresented in park usership, in part due to a history of racist civic policies that discouraged low-income populations and people of color access to green space in neighborhoods bordering TWP.

In the last two years, Loppet revisited strategic priorities to include anti-racism and partner with underrepresented communities and organizations to increase access to the outdoors. Based on input from partners on how to best leverage our place-based capacity, Loppet has further expanded our scope of programming to prioritize nature connection, land stewardship, and environmental justice.

In 2018, Loppet opened The Trailhead, a 14,000 sq ft facility surrounded by these natural features. The Trailhead is a unique public-private partnership that provides a hub to expand and diversify Wirth Park’s user base and promote community and environmental health. The Trailhead hosts multiple types of events including community events, weddings, proms, field trips and running/ski races as well as offering a cafe and space that is open to the public seven days a week. Community members come to socialize, work, enjoy a meal, workout, rent skis or bikes and hang out pre or post outdoor adventures. The location for the mural spans the majority of the main hall of The Trailhead and our intention is for it to be a beautiful artwork that serves to inspire everyone who uses and visits the Trailhead.

Project Details and Parameters

  • Open to individual artists or a team of artists- we recommend teams of no more than 3 artists, commission amount is the same for individual or team.
  • Artists/teams are required to have previous experience completing collaborative murals in public spaces.
  • Artists/teams need to demonstrate experience with and be prepared to design and create mural with Loppet and community input. 
  • Artists/teams are required to include community engagement as part of their design process and in mural painting/installation. Loppet can help connect you to community and Loppet Trailhead events. 
  • Area available for mural is a roughly 70’ long wall (total paintable area is about 450 sq ft) and includes various sections of that wall- not a big rectangle. See illustration below for reference and details. 
  • Design of mural may or may not cover all of the available wall space, but will touch some portion of all of it and may extend outside of the rectilinear borders. 
  • Finished design should broadly touch on themes of community, connection, nature, stories, healing, belonging, joy, love. We are open to the many ways an artist could interpret these ideas.
  • Project budget of $13,500 is all inclusive and will cover artist time, design, community engagement, materials, installation and any other expenses.
  • Wall will be prepped by Loppet Foundation later in summer before artist begins painting. 
  • Art must last a minimum of 10 years – and we hope to have mural rotate every 5-7 years. 
  • We are especially interested in supporting projects led or created by artists or artist teams who identify as Black, Indigenous, POC, LGBTQIA+.


  • Individual mural artists/artist teams who live anywhere in Minnesota. All artists on the team must meet all eligibility requirements.
  • Ability to meet key dates as listed in the timeline below.
  • Artists/teams are required to have previous mural experience that includes community engagement and will need to demonstrate ability to complete a large project.

Note on artist teams: By artist team we mean up to 3 artists working together on the artistic aspects of the commission. 


Call for Artists opens
June 3, 2024

Artist Info Sessions
June 18, 2024, 7:00-8:00pm on Zoom

In person at the Trailhead
June 27, 2024, 7:00 – 8:00pm

Application due
July 15, 2024, 11:59pm

Artists notified
July 26, 2024
Selected artist begins design and community engagement process

Final design completed and approved
No later than September 15, 2024

Mural completed by early October, 2024 
public celebration in mid October

Selection Criteria
Responses to the Call will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Quality of artist’s past work as demonstrated in the submitted materials.
  • Indication artist/artist team has expertise and experience to undertake mural project. Ideally teams that apply will have previous experience working together. 
  • Artist’s experience and ability to collaboratively design a mural and engage community in their process.

Selection Process
From submitted responses to the Call, a panel of Loppet staff, artists and community members will select artist/artist team to receive commission. 

Questions via email will be answered on a best effort basis- reach out to Peter: