The Owens Valley Indian Water Commission and it’s Telling Our Story work group are requesting proposals from Indigenous artists to design and create a mural about the water story of Payahuunadü. The mural will be located in downtown Bishop and will be the creation of a local Indigenous artist or collaboration of artists, with community input and support.

Our vision is for the mural to be an unmistakable celebration of Nüümü and Newe culture and resilience that will catch the eye of tourists and locals in a prominent location just off Highway 395. It will stand as a bold, thought provoking, and inspiring contribution to the artistic representation of the place that will be valued by the local community as well as the many travelers through Payahuunadü. It will also have a QR code that people can scan to link to resources about the Indigenous history of the valley, such as this storymap.

Some guiding ideas and themes for the design include:

• Water is life
• Telling our story
• Connecting the past, present, and future
• Reimagining Payahuunadü
• Resistance and resilience
• Not only surviving but thriving
• For more ideas and inspiration, check out the storymap, as well as the OVIWC website.

For more information about the vision for the project, contact

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must be an enrolled member of a tribe in Payahuunadü or be able to demonstrate lineal descendancy. Proposals may be submitted by individuals or collaborative teams (however, the total amount of funding remains the same). It is not necessary to have prior experience with the mural format, as long as you are confident that you could adapt your style with assistance from those that do (i.e. C5 Studios and others have offered to assist if needed).

Submission process

Please submit the following to by 5pm on January 31st, 2020. (Deadline extended)
1. Proposal with the following information:
• Name, contact information, and tribal affiliation or lineal descendancy
• Why are you interested in designing the mural?
• What is your vision for the mural? Please describe your draft design, what it represents, and whether there are any other features not yet represented in the draft
• Do you have prior experience painting murals? If not, do you feel that you would be able to adapt your painting style to a large mural format with assistance?
• Will you be available to work on the mural and complete it by June of 2021? Is there anything we should know about your availability and time frame?

2. Draft design for the mural. We are not expecting a finished project – we just need the design and description to give a clear vision for the mural [submit as .jpg or .pdf]

3. Examples of your prior work. Recommended, but not required. [submit as .jpg or .pdf]

Review and Evaluation

The proposals will be reviewed by members of the Telling Our Story group and the Owens Valley Indian Water Commission using the evaluation criteria below. The submission that best meets these criteria will be recommended for award, subject to approval by the OVIWC Board of Directors. The decision will be announced publicly.

Evaluation Criteria:
• Applicant meets the eligibility requirements
• Written proposal clearly and comprehensively addresses all of the questions
• Artist demonstrates previous experience or other reasons for confidence in their ability to successfully complete the project
• Vision for the mural is clear and compelling
• Design reflects the themes described in the call for proposals
• Design would effectively communicate those themes to broad audiences

Timeline and Compensation

We have received funding to develop this mural over the next year, with the aim of having it completed by June of 2021. We have up to $10,500 of funding for this project that will be used to compensate the artist(s) and any support team for design, rendering, and painting. We also have up to $965 available for reimbursing the cost of supplies. The details of these payments will be worked out with the artistic team upon selection. Payment and reimbursement will be coordinated with the OVIWC.


Click for PDF of this Request for Proposals