A Call for Artists


RTPI Seeks Mural Artist to Celebrate the Life & Legacy of Roger Tory Peterson

The Roger Tory Peterson Institute seeks to commission an artist – preferably from Western New York – to create a mural depicting the life and legacy of Roger Tory Peterson.

Roger Tory Peterson was born and raised in Jamestown. From an early age, he was enthralled with the nature surrounding him. At a time when children were not allowed to be outside after dark, he convinced the local police chief to write him a permission slip to collect moths until 11 pm. At the age of 11, he discovered a clump of feathers on a tree. A bird. Sleeping? Dead? He crept up to the bird and touched it. Startled and very much alive, the northern flicker flew away in a burst of golden wingbeats. From that point on, Roger remembered, he was “hooked” on birds.

“RTPI wants everyone to have their own flicker moment, their own “Roger” experience,” said Arthur Pearson, CEO of RTPI. “We are converting an under-utilized multi-purpose room into an Art & Nature Lab – a dedicated creative space for children and families. The new Art & Nature Lab will be designed and programmed to provide everyone an opportunity to channel their nature experience into a creative work of art – and to use art to forge a deeper awareness, appreciation and love of nature.”

“We seek to commission an artist to design and execute a mural, depicting the life and legacy of Roger Tory Peterson, a local kid who went on to become the father of the modern field guide,” Pearson stated. “He travelled to every continent on earth in search and celebration of the birds he loved. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and countless other awards. He was loved and admired throughout the world as an international ambassador for nature.”

The mural will cover one wall of the new Art & Nature Lab. The wall is 20’ wide by 10’ tall for a total of 200 square feet. The full project description and proposal submission details can be found on the RTPI website (https://rtpi.org/calling-all-mural-artists/)

Submission of proposals is a two-step process and step one proposals are due no later than the close of business on Friday, April 30. Proposals may be emailed to Jane Johnson, Assistant Curator at jjohnson@rtpi.org

Up to three artists will be selected to move on to the second step. Upon invitation by RTPI, the finalists will be paid $250 to submit a design drawing of their proposed mural. Those drawings are due no later than Friday, May 28.

RTPI will announce the artist selected to do the mural on June 15 and will pay the selected artist $3,000 to finalize the design and execute the mural. Additionally, RTPI will reimburse the Artist up to $500 for supplies.