Visual Artists Wanted for the “Barrels O’ Art” Project

ArtsBergen is seeking ten artists and/or artist teams to design and paint murals on ten rain barrels which will be in installed in Carver Park in Hackensack, NJ.

Submission Deadline: Monday, August 7, 2023


The Northern NJ Community Foundation was awarded a Flagship Grant through the 2023 AARP Community Challenge. The grant will fund “Barrels O’ Art”, a rain barrel public art and education project as part of the Partners for Places Green Infrastructure and Environmental Justice for Flood Mitigation project in partnership with the City of Hackensack and Greater Bergen Community Action.

The project involves artists painting rain barrels to be temporarily displayed to beautify a flood-prone site and promote the community kick-off meeting for the Green Infrastructure and Environmental Justice for Flood Mitigation project, encouraging environmental stewardship and the beneficial use of rain barrels in Hackensack. The rain barrels will be given to Hackensack residents through a free raffle.

ArtsBergen will select ten artists and/or artist teams to design and paint original murals on ten rain barrels. The barrels will be temporarily installed in Carver Park in Hackensack, NJ in September 2023 through the end of October 2023 to raise awareness through the arts about ways to prevent future flooding, issues around environmental justice, and green infrastructure solutions, like rain barrels. The artists will be selected through a juried selection process.


The ten rain barrels will be installed in Carver Park, 302 2nd Street, Hackensack, NJ, from mid-September through the end of October 2023.  

Measurements: Each 55-gallon rain barrel is made of plastic and is 16 pounds, 26” wide and 34” tall. See image below. The plastic will need to be primed with an acrylic-urethane bonding primer-sealer (such as INSL-X SXA11009A-01 Stix Acrylic Waterborne Bonding Primer). Use of outdoor acrylic paint or professional tubes of acrylic paint is recommended.


Each rain barrel will serve as a canvas for a painted mural. A survey was distributed to residents in the community asking which themes they would like to see on the barrels. Below is a compiled list:

  • Nature: Trees, native wildflowers/flowers, gardens, sunsets, ocean life, farmland, glaciers, mountains, lakes
  • Animals: Sea creatures
  • Fantasy: Unicorns, fairies, dragons
  • Architecture: Buildings in Hackensack, City of Hackensack
  • Cultural diversity: communities of color, native communities of Hackensack, unity
  • Environmental protection, “green” messages, environmental issues
  • Education, Sports/Athletics
  • City of Hackensack in the future

A total of 10 artists/artist teams will be selected. Each artist/artist team will receive a rain barrel to take home to design and paint a mural of his/her/their vision in accordance with the themes stated above, or a related theme chosen by the artist/artist team.

The selected artist/artist team is responsible for the picking up of the rain barrel from the distributer located in Bergenfield, NJ, and the transport of the finished painted barrel to Carver Park. Artists will prime, design, paint, and protectively seal their murals. Artists are invited to attend a community event on September 23 kicking off the Green Infrastructure and Environmental Justice for Flood Mitigation project and showcasing the barrels. Time TBD.


  • Artwork must be original. No copyrighted material/characters.
  • Designs can be exclusively imagery, representational or abstract, and/or include written messaging.
  • Family friendly content, please.


Each selected artist/artist team will receive recognition, design credit, a $700.00 fee, and a $200.00 supply budget. *This fee includes attendance at any planning meetings and the community event on September 23, 2023.

ESTIMATED TIMELINE (subject to change)

Applications Due: August 7, 2023

Artist Selections: Week of August 14, 2023

Barrel Pick Ups: Week of August 21, 2023

Finished Barrel Drop Off to Carver Park: exact date TBD - a day between Sept. 13-19, 2023

Community Event: September 23, 2023 


Artists must be at least 18 years of age and either work or live in New Jersey. Hackensack-based artists are encouraged to apply. Artists will be chosen by a selection committee using the criteria of: 1. Artistic excellence 2. Creativity of design 3. How imaginatively the theme is communicated 4. Prior experience with outdoor murals

Applicants should complete an online application form, and upload the following items by August 7, 2023:

  1. Log into and complete the application.
  2. Upload 3-5 digital images from your portfolio that best illustrate your artistic skills and ability to accomplish this project.
  3. Upload ONE Color Rendering of your proposed design using the template provided below or online here: (*You can select a theme as outlined above or choose your own).
  4. Upload resume/CV (optional).

Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. Artist will be notified only if selected.


Please use the template here: to create a color rendering of your design. This rendering must be submitted with your application.


Any questions please visit or contact ArtsBergen at / 201-568-5608.


About ArtsBergen

ArtsBergen, an initiative of the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation, is an arts alliance in Bergen County, New Jersey that supports and encourages creative placemaking, the practice of integrating arts and culture into a neighborhood, town, or region to build community and livability and boost local economy. The initiative's mission is to energize and unify Bergen County artists and arts organizations and connect the communities in the region to the arts.