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CONGRATULATIONS to our 2021 winners Kelly Schrader and Rich Gurnsey!



The Midtown Raleigh Alliance (MRA), like many other non-profits is working to alleviate the economic stress many are experiencing in our community. 2020 was a year like no other and has left many in financial hardship. MRA along with our sponsor Merz Aesthetics, and with support from the City of Raleigh, seek to engage local artists, while fulfilling our mission of enhancing Midtown’s visual community appeal.

The MRA and Merz Aesthetics are sponsoring the Second Annual Midtown Banner Art Contest. The MRA currently places banners in 26 locations of Midtown along St. Albans Road, Wake Forest Road and Six Forks Road. This year we are excited to be able to award two (2) artists with cash prize awards and a full year of public display of the selected winnings designs.




The theme for the 2021 contest is "Wish You Were Here", which focuses on attracting others to our area as part of the recovery effort from the impact of COVID-19. Contest finalists build on that theme along with highlighting a specific hidden gem in Midtown. 

Contest Details:

o Interested artists will submit up to five (5) portfolio samples that show their style.
o The Contest Project Team will review submissions and then select five (5) finalists.
o Each finalist will be provided a stipend of $150 to produce a final design.
o The final design will reflect the theme of “Wish You Were Here” and utilize the framing aspect which             

    characterized the WYWH program (details to come)
o Each finalist will submit their design.
o The Project Team will review the final designs, and also establish a community engagement/voting system to     

    obtain community sentiment.
o Two (2) winning designs will be selected and the artists awarded a cash prize of $1000.
o Social media print media and local news will feature articles/stories featuring winning designs and contest




Initial Submittal Instructions:

Banner art, because of viewing distances, lends itself to large scale colorful designs easily decipherable and free from too much or too small detail. We are asking for artist's samples that will show use of these types of designs. When submitting examples, artists should consider that reviewers will be looking for samples of work that would adapt well to visibility from a 13’ high pole. These banners will never be seen ‘UP CLOSE’.

We are asking artists to submit no more than five (5) samples that reflect the artist’s style and/or range. Graphic file types accepted: jpg, pdf. png. (no ai files please). Please email sample files to Emily at Include your name, address and a good contact number. (Wake County residents only.)

Initial sample submission deadline is January 28, 2021.

Finalists will be notified by February 5, 2021.

Selected finalists will submit their contest entry by February 22, 2021.

Community support/voting will commence February 23, 2021 and conclude on February 28, 2021.

Winning designs will be selected, and artists notified on Monday, March 1st.

A media 'design unveil' event will be held Mid-March (conditions permitting).

Designs will be up on poles by mid-April! 

Please contact Emily Holton if you have questions!