Call to Artists: Reading Rocks Community Art Project


Gateway Mall is partnering with The ArtReach Project to invite artists to submit an application/proposal for “Reading Rocks,” an art project designed to bring awareness to the importance of childhood literacy. Reading Rocks is a sponsored community arts fundraising project for Community Action, a support foundation for Head Start.


  • We invite you to create a themed rocking chair inspired by a favorite children’s book.
  • You will be provided with a wooden rocking chair, primed and ready to paint, a protective clear topcoat and a $200 stipend. Artists will supply their own paint.

Who may apply:

  • Artists, and artist teams, living within 60 miles of Lincoln are eligible to apply
  • Artists who are new to, as well as familiar with, community art projects
  • Individual or collaborative design teams are eligible
  • Student groups working with a mentor/teacher are encouraged to apply

Proposals should include:

  • Completed Reading Rocks application
  • 1-3 design concept proposals sketched and attached to the application
  • 3 labeled images of work created within the last 3 years

Selection Process:

  • The ArtReach Proposal Committee will process all entries/applications.
  • Ten artists/chair designs will be accepted.

Selection Criteria:

  • Evidence of craftsmanship
  • Relevance of design (chair designs must be inspired by and not direct representations or copies of any images used in books)
  • Some experience working in a community setting is preferred, but not required

Art Location Description:

  • Reading Rocks chair pick-up/delivery will be during business hours at the Gateway Mall office.
  • A select number of artists will be eligible to create their work in The ArtReach Project space (next to Center Court) as an event that will be open to the public.
  • The final chair display, celebration event, and auction are open to the public and will be held between The ArtReach Project and Center Court at Gateway Mall.


  • Proposals due by March 21, 2018 (11:59 p.m.) to
  • Artists selected and announced on March 25th, 2018.
  • Chair pick up at Gateway Mall office on March 26/27.
  • Work must be completed and returned to the Gateway Mall office during business hours by April 25/26, 2018.
  • On April 28, at Gateway Mall, the chairs will be introduced at the Reading Rocks celebration event.
  • Local author, Miriam Busch, and illustrator, Larry Day, will provide a story time, book signing and interactive activity.
  • April 28 – May 5: Chairs on display at Gateway Mall and open for auction.
  • May 5: Chair Winners announced.

Reading Rocks Application:

This application is due by March 19th, 2018 (11:59pm)