“Get to Know Granite Falls: Then & Now” Call for Artists

Call Opens February 23, Closes March 31, 2021

Calling all visual artists in our Southwest Minnesota artist community to “GET TO KNOW GRANITE FALLS – THEN & NOW.”
Artists welcome from Big Stone, Chippewa, Cottonwood, Jackson, Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, Lincoln, Lyon, McLeod, Meeker, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, Redwood, Renville, Rock, Swift and Yellow Medicine Counties and Tribal Communities.

The Granite Area Arts Council (GAAC) and Granite Falls Economic Development Authority (EDA) are transforming the riverfront plaza, riverside parks and downtown with an outdoor art installment displayed on public benches that will last for years to come. The selected works will be digitally reproduced on vinyl wrap and adhered to ten lumber planks to create a functional bench with black wrought iron sides. The visual art works will serve as an interpretative exhibit of significant Granite Falls’ arts, heritage, culture and natural amenities.


Artists may choose from the following categories to inspire their work(s) of art:

  • Historical Scenes: Minnesota River Valley, Roebling Walking Bridge, Hydroelectric Dam, Sanitorium, Prentice Street;
  • Notable Influencers: Andrew Volstead;
  • Upper and Lower Sioux, Dakota History & Homelands;
  • Transportation routes: National Scenic Byway, Yellowstone Trail;
  • Natural disasters: Floods, Tornadoes;
  • Legislation: Prohibition, Volstead Act, Cooperative Act;
  • Open Category: Granite Falls’ past and today


Compensation: $250 per Artwork selected. Artists may submit more than one.

Each finished bench will have a designated space to recognize the Artist, their community, and name of the artwork. Original works will remain the property of each artist. In October 2021, there will be a Gallery Show at the Makers on the Minnesota gallery space at the Granite Area Arts Council located in downtown Granite Falls, to celebrate the project. Artists are welcome to sell their work or prints directly from the show, if so desired. A Granite Falls Walking Map showing all installed benches with artist names and descriptions will be publicly available. Ongoing promotion of artist and visual works will be supported by the Granite Falls Convention & Visitors Bureau, Granite Area Arts Council, Granite Falls Historical Society and more.


Get to Know Granite Falls – Then & Now” is open to all artists living in the 18 counties, tribal communities, and municipalities served by the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council. All work, whether one-of-a-kind pieces or limited editions are to be well conceived and expertly executed. Works should be original, two dimensional, and made by hand or utilizing digital tools. A one-page bio and artist statement (up to 300 words) will be required, along with two to five work samples. Please include a short description of work samples. If you are an emerging artist, someone who has been working at their craft for less than three years and who has never exhibited at an Art Show, please include this in your bio. No limit on the number of visual works submitted per artist.

Artwork may be created at 50-percent (12” high x 36” long) or 25-percent scale (6” high x 18” long) using watercolor, oil, acrylic, gouache, fresco, tempera, pastel encaustic, enamel, ink, charcoal, graphite, chalk, or pastel. For best results, any work should be matte finish for creating the digital image. Email to receive the bench template.

Visit for inspiration.


The Granite Falls Area Arts Council will act as jury and will recommend selected designs to the City Council. The one-of-a-kind works of art will be scored on the following:

  1. Relevance to Granite Falls
  2. Interpretation and the clarity of the theme to the viewer.
  3. Creativity and originality of the depicted theme.
  4. Quality of artistic composition and overall design.
  5. Overall impression of the art. 


Please review the following guidelines closely. Submissions due March 31, 2021.

  1. Submit the following via email or send a link via Dropbox, Google Drive or WeTransfer:
    1. Artist Bio – one page with contact information (email/phone)
    2. Sketch(s) of visual work for “Get to Know Granite Falls: Then & Now”
    3. Artist Statement up to 300 words, include category of Granite Falls interest
    4. 2-5 Work Samples with description (100-250 words) each

Email Submissions can be sent directly to Granite Falls Economic Development Authority at Submissions may be dropped off or mailed to Granite Area Arts Council, 807 Prentice Street, Granite Falls, MN 56241 or at Granite Falls City Hall, Attn: EDA, 641 Prentice Street, Granite Falls, MN 56241.

PLEASE DIRECT ALL QUESTIONS TO: Linda Mathiasen:, 320-269-1878, or Tamara Isfeld:, 320-894-0813. Historical images and information are available through the Granite Falls, Yellow Medicine & Chippewa County Historical Societies. Historical texts are available for purchase from the Granite Area Arts Council for reference.

Important Dates

  • February 23: Artist Call Opens.
  • Deadline to Submit Sketch & Artist Statement: Wednesday, March 31.
  • April 19: Selection of Artists
  • May 1-May 31: Submit final visual work(s)
  • October: Gallery Exhibit


Selected artists will be notified by email/phone and by posting on the Granite Area Arts Council website on Wednesday, April 21, by 10 p.m.

This project is funded by a grant from the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council – made possible by the voters of Minnesota thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund and an appropriation from the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the State’s general fund.