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San Marcos offers grant program to encourage murals citywide

COVER: Artist Ramon Alvarez’s homage to “The Dude” — Jeff Bridge’s abiding character from the Cohen brothers’ 1998 crime comedy, “The Big Lebowski” — is among public art that has materialized in “Graffiti Alley” off South LBJ Drive in downtown San Marcos. The San Marcos Arts Commission is continuing a grant program to encourage murals on private property. CITY OF SAN MARCOS PHOTO


The city of San Marcos is offering grants and design assistance to artists in an effort to encourage placement of murals on private property throughout the city.

“Murals can enliven an otherwise drab alley or parking lot and add to the character and sense of place in a community … Murals can also beautify an area by covering and preventing graffiti,” said Amy Kirwin, the city’s solid waste coordinator.

The program is sponsored by the San Marcos Mural Arts Program and the San Marcos Arts Commission using money allocated from the city’s hotel occupancy tax.

Applications are accepted year-round and are judged on criteria that include artistic excellence; design intricacy; location appropriateness; visibility; “wow” factor; the artist’s ability to complete the project; community impact; importance of grant funds to the project; and ability to promote tourism.

The mural arts committee will fund up to 50 percent of the cost of materials and supplies and the full cost of a final clear coat of the mural.

The committee will also pay an artist honorarium, depending on the size of the project, according to this scale:

100 to 150 square feetUp to $1,500
151 to 200 square feetUp to $2,000
201 to 250 square feetUp to $2,500
More than 251 square feetTo be determined
by mural committee

Applicants must agree to include the San Marcos Mural Arts logo on the mural; recognize the mural arts program in press or advertising; allow the city to conduct a dedication ceremony; allow use of the mural image for promotional purposes; and accommodate any other reasonable requests made by the committee.

For information, visit the arts commission website. Or contact San Marcos Parks & Recreation recreation programs manager Lisa Morris at 512-393-8400 or by email here.