Above image © Sector Seventeen

In order to beautify public areas, enhance the quality of life for Boise citizens, attract tourism, promote arts and culture and encourage businesses to locate within the City, thus expanding Boise’s economic base, it is the policy of the City of Boise to promote artist designed murals, where appropriate, through the implementation of a general permit with a clarified process for murals and the Artist Designed Mural Guidelines.The Public Art Program is nationally known for its innovation—Boise is proud to be among the very few cities in the country with a dedicated City department committed to advancing arts and history. Creation of the Department was only the beginning of a movement in which Boise is increasingly referred to as an “art town.”    



Mural Quicklinks:

Mural Permit Application Process Documents:
Application Process Flow Chart
Mural Guidelines
Mural Application Phase Two 
Frequently Asked Questions 
Retroactive Mural Application
Planning and Development Services
Public Mural Approval Process

Application & Permitting Process

The application and permitting process for Artist Designed Murals is a two phase process.
Phase One: applicants will submit completed applications for location approval through Planning and Development Services. The mural design is not yet needed. For commercial locations within the Design Review or Downtown Design Review Overlay zones, a Zoning Certificate or Design Review application will need to be submitted. For commercial locations within the Historic District or Historic District with Design Review Overlay zones, a Commercial Certificate of Appropriateness application will need to be submitted. If you have questions about which application is correct for your project, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions document or contact a Planning and Development Services staff member.
Applications that meet the mural standards will be reviewed administratively and receive approval with any relevant conditions a maximum of 15 weekdays after all application materials are submitted. Larger or more complex mural requests that Staff cannot approve based on the aforementioned guidelines will be reviewed by the Design Review Committee or Historic Preservation Commission through the public hearing process. Once approved, the applicant will move on to complete Phase Two.
If the applicant would like to submit an application for multiple contiguous locations or locations under the same purview, the project may be able to be submitted under one application. Depending on the scale of the proposals, Planning Staff may still require separate applications.
Phase Two: will be completed and submitted to the Arts & History Department Public Art Program Manager. This portion of the application requires the applicant to submit the final mural design, information about the mural, and potential Mural Registry participation. The process may take up to an additional three weeks.

Mural Registry

The purpose of the Phase Two Mural Registration Program is to promote and support artists and businesses by making a programmable mural map publicly accessible, thus encouraging tourism while advocating for high-quality murals. The mural registry is vetted by the City. Vintage Murals, or Murals that were installed before the new mural permitting process, may be added to the Mural Registry (coming soon) via the informal application process found here. 

Competitive Selection Process

A competitive selection process may be utilized, but isn’t required. A competitive selection process may increase the number of potential muralists while promoting high-quality murals and ensuring a greater level of communication for ease of process. Typically this process includes the release of a Call to Artist or an Invitation to Apply. The Call to Artists is typically open to all eligible artists while an Invitational may target specific artist of interest. The first call typically takes the form of a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) which requires the artist to submit an application that may contain the artist’s resume, a letter of interest, and a portfolio, Once the artist is selected, the final design may be developed. If desired, a Request for Proposals (RFP) may be provided to as many as three applicants. The separate processes help to ensure the development of a high quality mural. Artists should be paid for services rendered for the development of a design or proposal.
Click here to download an example of a Request for Qualifications.
Boise City Department of Arts & History’s Public Art Division is available as a resource to advise and help promote your Call to Artists. For more information, please contact the Public Art Program staff. 


Karl LeClair, Public Art Manager 208.608.7044
Catina Crum, Public Art Assistant 208.608.7789