Fresh Arts is a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to strengthening the sustainability and vibrancy of Houston's arts sector by bolstering the capacity and professional practice of artists and arts organizations and enhancing the public's engagement with the arts.

Fresh Arts is committed to providing the resources, information, and a platform for artists and arts enthusiasts to engage in an environment that promotes community driven artistic expression. Whether facilitating dialogue between novice artists and experienced arts professionals to promote growth, holding annual events to benefit the local arts economy, or exhibiting some of the most talented up-and- coming artists, Fresh Arts is devoted to keeping the arts in Houston alive.

Artist Fee: $750 per cabinet, plus $250 for supplies 
Deadline: Friday, August 11 at 11:59 pm CST 
Location: Houston, TX
Eligibility: Greater Houston area artists, must be 18+

All questions will ONLY be answered via email no later than 5:00pm CST on Tuesday, August 8, 2017, with the subject line, “Mini Murals Open Call 2017.”

1. Summary:

This project reimagines traffic signal control cabinets (also referred to as electrical or utility cabinets) as blank canvases brimming with creative opportunity, inviting artistic expression for all to enjoy. Once painted by local artists, the cabinets, which are located at every intersection with a traffic signal, are intended to help instill civic pride while beautifying neighborhoods and enhancing the urban landscape of greater Houston. This open call is intended to build on the registry of artists interested in creating Mini Murals. Artists will be matched with signal cabinets by UP Art Studio after consulting with the City of Houston, project sponsors and other neighborhood stakeholders. Please note that selection for the artist registry does not guarantee a commission.

Mini Murals is created and managed by Elia and Noah Quiles of UP Art Studio, which has partnered with The City of Houston Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs, the Department of Public Works & Engineering, city council members, management districts, and others to make this traffic signal control cabinet mural program possible. UP Art Studio works under contract with the City of Houston, management districts and other public and private sponsors.  Fresh Arts is acting as the fiscal agent, making donations to the project tax-deductible, to the extent permitted by law. For more information on the project, please go to:

2. Budget and Payment

Each selected artist will receive $750 inclusive of all work including, but not limited to, design proposals, artist fees, design, and production of an original Mini Mural on a Traffic Signal Control Cabinet. Artists will be provided with a $250 stipend for materials. Sanding, priming and clear coating of the cabinets will be provided by UP Art Studio. Commissioned artists’ work will be included on the Mini Murals website and City of Houston website. Completion of the project must be verified by the Mini Murals team before funds are disbursed. Additionally, Artist must provide UP Art Studio an Invoice and W-9. 

Payment to artist will be made following completion of the Mini Mural and an approval by the Sponsor. This will typically take between 4 – 6 weeks, depending on when work is completed in the billing cycle. The supply stipend of $250 may be requested 3 days before painting of the Mini Mural commences.

3. Scope of Work  

Artists selected from the registry will work with UP Art Studio to develop their proposal for their potential location. Works will follow the guidelines set by UP Art Studio and the City of Houston for the painting of these cabinets. Artists will paint their assigned cabinet with high quality materials (to be approved by UP Art Studio), according to the schedule developed with UP Art Studio. Final artwork should accurately reflect the artwork proposal (must reflect at least 80% of the rendering that is submitted and approved). 

The main goal is to bring art to areas of Houston in a non-conventional manner. All art must be original ideas. Some cabinets may have a theme or color scheme, depending on the location of the cabinet. Remember the murals will be in public areas and must be suitable for all ages. UP Art Studio and City of Houston reserve the right to remove the artwork.

Submissions will be reviewed by the Sponsor of the Cabinet as well as UP Art Studio and approved by City of Houston Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs and the Department of Public Works & Engineering. The intent is not to judge the artwork, but rather to ensure that it is appropriate for the area and does not violate the City Sign Ordinance. Logos and advertising are not allowed as part of the artwork. Once the artwork is approved, the artist will be notified in writing (via email), and has two (2) weeks to respond with a date for painting the Mini Mural.  The Mini Mural should be completed within 30 days of Submission Approval Notice. The artwork that is submitted must resemble the art that will be painted on the cabinet. It must be within 80% of the rendering submitted. The artist should be prepared to adjust artwork as the size of the cabinet may vary. To avoid overheating the image should include mostly light colors. Images with more than 20% dark colors may not be considered. Artist signatures must not exceed 2 inches x 8 inches in actual size and may include the copyright sign© with the year. The website must also be added.

Traffic Signal Control Cabinets vary greatly in size, but a common size we see is 44" W / 28" D / 68" H. The sizes change based on the site and range from: 33" W / 24" D / 67" H to 81" W / 29" D / 44" H. Artists are expected to paint all four sides of the cabinet, as well as the top and base.

4. Evaluation Criteria 

Artistic and Creative Ability: includes skills, talent and imagination of artists or artist-led teams as demonstrated by examples of past work. 

Responsiveness: Letter of intent, proposal images, and final work successfully address the overall goals of the project, including sensitivity for the appropriateness of imagery on view in the public realm. 

Past project commissions/experience: artist or artist-led team has the necessary capability to accomplish the project, and to create and deliver the work on schedule. 

5. Eligibility: 

• Artists living and working in the greater Houston area.
• No staff members, board members, advisory board members, committee members or their family members of the City of Houston.
• Applicants not meeting eligibility criteria will be withdrawn from consideration. 
6. Additional:

The City of Houston mandates that UP Art Studio shall require all subcontractors or consultants whose subcontracts exceed $100,000 to provide proof of insurance coverage meeting all requirements.  The amount must be commensurate with the amount of the subcontract, but no less than $500,000 per claim.

7. Application Requirements  

Business Name (if applicable):
Email Address:*
Phone Number: *
Address: *
Social Media:

1. Letter of intent that includes contact information and describes your interest in the project (500 words max).
2. Work Examples: Five (5) to ten (10) samples in JPG or PDF format to be uploaded individually on application website:
- Three (3) to six (6) images of previous work 
- Two (2) to four (4) proposed renderings/ideas for Mini Murals images/renderings for the Mini Murals. This may be hand drawn or digital renderings
- The file name for each JPG or PDF should be in the following format: Artist Last Name_Year_Title.jpg”. Only files up to 5 MB per file may be uploaded.
3. Image list including the file name, artist name, title, year completed, dimensions, and material/medium, if applicable.
4. Work Experience. This can be a resume or a list with information about past projects and experience.
5. Willingness to sign an agreement with UP Art Studio for the project and to follow the project guidelines. 
To submit: Apply online (Applicants must create a free Submittable account to view full application)

7. Timeline (subject to change)
• June 27, 2017: RFQ released
• August 8, 2017: RFQ questions deadline
• August 11, 2017: RFQ submission deadline
• By August 31, 2017: Artists selected for the registry will be notified
• October 2017 – October 2018: Artworks to be contracted, scheduled and completed

All questions will ONLY be answered via email no later than 5:00pm CST on Tuesday, August 8, 2017, with the subject line, “Mini Murals Open Call 2017.”

Ends on August 25, 2017$5.00

Fresh Arts is seeking submissions of original artwork, unique crafts, and handmade goods for its 12th Annual Winter Holiday Art Market (WHAM), November 17-19, 2017. In its mission to provide artists access to economic development and networking opportunities and to celebrate Houston’s diverse arts scene, Fresh Arts hosts WHAM, an annual juried 3-day exhibition and art festival each fall at Winter Street Studios in the First Ward Arts District.

Since its launch, WHAM has generated over 1,000,000 for hundreds of local artists and continues to grow as an important venue for Houston artists.


  • Deadline for WHAM submissions:  Friday, August 25, 2017 by 11:59PM  (do not call for results)
  • Selected participants notified on:  Friday, September 8 
  • Registration form and participation fees due:  Monday, September 18, 2017 
  • Marketing fliers available for pick up at Fresh Arts by Early-October 2017
  • WHAM Set-up and Preparation:  Thu. Nov 16 (noon to 7pm) and Fri. Nov 18 (9am to 4pm) 

PLEASE CAREFULLY REVIEW WHAM'S TERMS & CONDITIONS- then scroll to the bottom to complete the application form


  • WHAM is open to ALL artists or artisans living within 50 (-ish) miles of Houston.
  • Applicable art mediums include but are not limited to: all forms of FINE ART and ARTIST-MADE CRAFTS, including, but not limited to: paintings, sculpture, jewelry, stationery, soaps, handbags, clothing, furniture, ornaments, and other handcrafted, original goods.
  • You do not have to have a business or tax permit.
  • Artists will be selected on the basis of quality, type, and range of price points of merchandise and take into consideration those that best serve the interests of the local community, the market and our customers.


  • Each application is subject to a $5 fee (this helps us pay our jury panelists).
  • If you are accepted, this amount will be credited towards your participation fee  (see PARTICIPATION FEES).


  • There is an artist fee of $95 for registration which includes event management, marketing, and rentals/supplies (see ARTIST AMENITIES and SPACE & MATERIALS).
    Fees are due by September 18, 2017. Do not send in registration fees until acceptance into WHAM has been confirmed.
  • All sales are subject to a 75/25 split. Artists receive 75% of selling price, while 25% goes to Fresh Arts to cover remaining event costs. (NOTE: WHAM is powered by Fresh Arts, a non-profit. We are only looking to cover our costs and help you sell as much local art as possible.) 


Each artist booth receives:

  • booth space (min. dimensions approx. 10'w x6’d)
  • 80 sq. feet (min.) of hang-able wall space
  • one 8 ft x30" table and padded chair
  • black table linens
  • sales receipt books (upon request)
  • free Wi-Fi 
  • access to electrical outlets (upon request)
  • complimentary beverages and lite snacks
  • Two complimentary guest tickets to the Friday Night Preview Party

Additionally, Fresh Arts provides all participants:

  • WHAM event management, rental coordination, and extensive online and print marketing & PR.
  • Marketing fliers and promotional assistance through email templates, logos, and graphics, etc.
  • Artist "spotlights" via Fresh Arts social media channels.
  • Sales tax exemptions through Fresh Arts' state sales permit (therefore, artists who might not already have a sales permit need not get their own).
  • Fresh Arts is responsible for collecting and paying state sales tax on all WHAM transactions; however, artists are responsible for claiming sales on their yearly income tax reports.


  • For consistency and aesthetic purposes, artists must use the black linens provided by Fresh Arts; however, artists are encouraged to decorate & embellish their table/wall spaces freely and creatively.
  •  Freestanding racks and shelves are allowed for display purposes but must conform to the allotted space and are the responsibility of the artist.
  • Artists may use wall space behind their table(s) to hang artwork, banners, and light weight shelves. (Nails and hooks into the sheetrock are fine. Wall anchors are not.)
  •  All display, hanging hardware, and packing materials are the artists’ responsibility. Artists must patch any holes or visible wall damage (materials will be provided).
  • Depending on availability, WHAM artists may purchase an additional table and space for $50. Availability is not guaranteed and will be determined at least 3 weeks from WHAM.
  • Fresh Arts will determine booth placement. Artists may not switch assigned tables. This is non-negotiable.
  • Artists will have the opportunity to request special space needs (location preference, direct access to an electrical outlet, additional wall or floor space, etc.) via a Pre-WHAM Artist Survey. The Program Manager will do its best to accommodate such requests, but due to a large number of participants, we are not able to accommodate everyone's requests for placement.


  • LOAD IN + SETUP is scheduled for THURSDAY, NOV. 16 from Noon to 7PM and FRIDAY, NOV. 17 from 9AM to 4PM. 
    You must be completely finished setting up by Friday at 4PM. No exceptions.
  • Merchandise may be left overnight between setup and market days; however, the Artist does so at their own discretion. (Note: the building has interior and exterior security cameras. An off-duty police officer will patrol the building before securing and locking exterior doors at the end of each evening.)
  • BREAKDOWN + LOAD OUT must be completed and the building vacated no later than 9PM the last day of the market. 


  • Friday, November 17, 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.  (Ticketed Preview Party for patrons)
  • Saturday, November 18, 10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.  (FREE entry and TAX FREE shopping!)
  • Sunday, November 19, 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  (FREE entry and TAX FREE shopping!)
  • Artists or other representatives are expected to be at their tables during all WHAM hours.


  • All sales (and credit card fees) are subject to a 75/25 split. Transactions will be processed and tracked via Square. Accepted forms of payment: cash, check, American Express, MC and Visa.
  • Each artist vendor must provide his or her own sales staff.
  • Artists will be responsible for processing customer’s credit/debit card sales via Fresh Arts’ Square account (Square sales training will be provided). Dedicated volunteers will be on hand to assist Artists.
  • Cash and Check sales will be made at the Fresh Arts' managed central check-out area. No exceptions.
  • Credit/debit card transactions are subject to a 3% credit card fee. This credit card fee is subject to the same 75/25% split between the selling artist and Fresh Arts.
  • Artist will receive payment from their sales within 10 business days of WHAM.


In 2015, (our highest sales year ever) the average artist gross was $2,388; the highest was $4870. 

  • 36 out of 63 artists sold more than $2,000
  • 26 artists sold more than $3,000
  • 9 artists sold more than $4,000

In 2014, the average artist gross was $2,015; the highest was $5,246.

  • 27 out of 61 artists sold more than $2,000
  • 17 artists sold more than $3,000
  • 7 artists sold more than $4,000


  • Fresh Arts has a Texas sales tax permit and will collect sales tax on sales and remit to the state. Artists are responsible for claiming their net sales on income tax statements.
  • The 25% commission from sales underwrites the cost of administering WHAM and is NOT a tax-deductible donation to Fresh Arts.  
  • HOWEVER, participating artists and businesses may deduct the WHAM fees and commission as a business expense IF and only if the gross (full 100%) sales price is claimed in income tax reporting.  Please consult with your accountant for clarification. 
  • Note: Fresh Arts hosts a FREE Artist Taxes workshop each February. All WHAM artists will receive a workshop invitation.

It is most important to use this form for physical checks received by donors. (All checks must be made out to "Fresh Arts"-- not the project title. Please ask donors to include your project title in the check memo line.)

Checks may be mailed or delivered to the Fresh Arts offices:
1502 Sawyer St. #103
Houston, TX 77007

Regular office hours are M-F (10am-6pm). Please call before dropping by: 713.868.1839

Credit card donations may be made online via your project's profile page on the Fresh Arts' website.

You should only submit this form if any of the below apply:

1) You are starting a new project that was not listed in your original application for sponsorship

2) You plan to implement significant changes in programming

3) There have been changes or update to the purposes for which grant funds are spent 

Only projects that are currently approved as fiscally sponsored by Fresh Arts should submit this form

This form must be filled out upon requesting a disbursement of funds from Fresh Arts for fiscally sponsored projects. All disbursements must be released to the project manager or the legal entity whose tax ID we have on file. (We will not be paying third-party vendors or contractors.)

In order for Fresh Arts to process this request, all fields in this form must be completed and supporting documents (invoices or receipts) for the disbursement must be attached.

EXAMPLE: You need to pay 2 vendors for expenses related to your project. When filling out this form, please list the invoice amounts from both vendors below and then, attach the corresponding invoices to your request. Fresh Arts will cut ONE check to YOU (project manager/legal entity) for the combined amount.

Project managers may only request disbursements up to the amount of the project's account balance.

Before you apply, please read the Fiscal Sponsorship FAQs, as well as check your eligibility via the questions below. Also, please note that you must be a current member of Fresh Arts to apply for fiscal sponsorship. (You may read more about membership and join here.)

Currently, fiscal sponsorship applications are reviewed once every month by a special committee, whose recommendations are subject to approval by the Fresh Arts board of directors. Please allow adequate time for the approval process before beginning to raise funds for your project.

(If you already have a budget, mission statement, and project description prepared, the application should take roughly 30-45 minutes.) 

Click here to download a budget template for your application