Shafter mural spot_02

The backside of 315 James St. in Shafter will be the site of an upcoming Arts Council of Kern mural. A call to artists is out now with proposals due Oct. 21.

Think you know Shafter? If you're a local artist who has an idea for what makes the town tick, have we got a project for you.

The Arts Council of Kern has put out a call for artists for the upcoming downtown Shafter “Dreams” mural project.

Listen to Shafter, a community benefit grassroots organization, is accepting submissions for the design and execution of a mural diagonal to the Shafter Learning Center, to be painted on the wall behind the property at 315 James St.

Along with Listen to Shafter, the city, Shafter Learning Center and a student group are involved in the project.

Artists are asked to consider the Shafter community, "its diversity, culture and sense of place with its drive for knowledge through the education of its youth."

Some suggested visual elements include wings, silhouettes, bright colors. orchards and skies. Proposed themes include hope, employment, learning, academics, farming and agriculture, community pride, Hispanic culture, hardworking people, school, diversity, equality, education, traditions and farm labor.

Listen to Shafter and other involved groups are seeking a design that best combines several of the above elements to convey a message about the benefits of learning and the bright future an education brings to youth. A strong proposal will demonstrate a clear, creative, concept-driven design that exhibits the strong artist skills of the muralist, who can complete the project on time and within the budget.

Applicants must demonstrate the ability to complete a project of this magnitude. The selected artist will be required to provide proof of liability insurance.

Due by 3 p.m. Oct. 21, proposals can be submitted to the Arts Council of Kern’s office via email at or mailed or dropped off at the ACK office, 2001 22nd St., Suite 210.

According to the mural timeline, which is subject to change, the selection committee will choose a design by Nov. 23, notifying the chosen muralist by Dec. 4. The site will be prepped in mid-December with work completed by the end of January. An unveiling is planned for sometime in February.

Stefani Dias can be reached at 661-395-7488. Follow her on Twitter at @realstefanidias.