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Black History Mural Project

Our next mural project will honor and celebrate the history and culture of Sherman's Black community with a six-part, themed installation on Travis Street. 

Call for Design Proposals is open now through April 26, 2024. 

Call for Design Proposals - Sherman Black History Mural Series

The Sherman Cultural District and City of Sherman, Texas, invite proposals for six different designs for a mural series in Downtown Sherman that will commemorate significant cultural history of African Americans in the City of Sherman. The project is funded in part by a State Cultural District Program grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts and additional support from Austin College’s Legacies of American Slavery grant.

The mural series will add to the collection of public art in the Sherman Cultural District.  Each design must be family-friendly and shall depict one of six themes pre-selected for this project. The murals are intended to honor and celebrate two aspects of African American history in Sherman:

(1) commemorating the lost Black-owned business district that was thriving in early 20th century Sherman, prior to a devastating race riot in which a mob set fire to and destroyed most of the businesses; and (2) remembering a musical heritage including jazz artists and performers who came through Sherman. Artist entry form is available on desktop only. 



One design will be chosen for each of six themes that have been determined by a committee of local African-American leaders and Austin College history faculty. A downloadable guide with reference material for each of the six themes is provided. Designs can be stylized but should recognizably depict the theme chosen by the artist for visual interpretation:

I. Commemoration of the Andrews Building in East Sherman and the various Black-owned businesses located there. The building served as the hub of a thriving Black business district of several blocks before it was burned to the ground by a mob in a 1930 race riot.

II. Recognition of Sherman resident William J. Durham, pioneering African American attorney known for his civil rights work with future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall on the case Brown v. Board of Education. Durham’s later legal work helped end segregation at the State Fair of Texas.

III. Recognition of distinguished medical professionals in the Black community in the early 1900s, including physicians and dentists who lived and worked in East Sherman.

IV. Portrayal, either realistically or metaphorically, of community life: schools, churches, and neighborhoods of the African American community, prior to the 1930 race riot or afterward as the community slowly rebuilt from the devastation.

V. Commemoration of African American musicians born in Sherman, particularly jazz saxophonist Buddy Tate and trumpeter Teddy Buckner.

VI. Acknowledgement of Black musicians known to have performed in Sherman in the 1960s and 1970s, including B.B. King, Al Green, Tina Turner, and more.


Each design should be composed in portrait orientation with a 1:2 ratio (width x length) so the design can be scaled to a finished size of 4’x8’ for the display. Final mural designs will be reproduced digitally by the Sherman Cultural District as large-scale prints to fit six separate 4’ x 8’ (portrait orientation) panels mounted in the mural location.

Proposals (concept drawings and/or full designs) for Black History Murals will be accepted through Friday, April 26, 2024. Individual artists may submit for no more than two of the six themes. Proposals will be reviewed and selected by the Black History Mural Project Advisory Committee and the Sherman Cultural District Advisory Board. Winning artists will be notified by May 3, and finalized designs must be delivered by May 20, 2024, via electronic submission as a high-resolution vector or image file (.jpg) uploaded to our secure Dropbox location (provided upon acceptance of art). 


**Selected Artists will be compensated $850 for each winning design  [maximum of two per individual artist].**


Artists must:

Complete the application including all contact information and a description of the proposed design, and upload an electronic file depicting a color rendering of the concept (.jpg  or PDF format, max size 15 MB each).

Only completed applications submitted by the April 26 deadline will be considered.

If selected, each artist will provide a fully executed design for print reproduction to be enlarged for 4’x8’ outdoor display. The six designs will be installed as part of the overall mural series.  

Questions can be directed to

All artists will be notified by email of the decision (yes or no) on the status of their proposal by May 4.

Entry Form
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