Call for Artists

Call For Commissioned Artists: Painters

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Please note: These are contracted positions of undetermined duration, depending on when the property work is completed.
Deadline to apply is December 1, 2017

McMenamins Hotels, Pubs & Breweries, Inc., is seeking experienced Tacoma, WA-area artists to be commissioned artists to create paintings for a new property renovation project in downtown Tacoma. The project is composed of the former Elks Lodge, which will be transformed into a hotel, restaurants, bars, and meeting spaces. We are specifically looking for painters at this time.  

Original artwork has long been an important component and attraction at McMenamins hotels and restaurants.  Each individual property features art derived and inspired by its site-specific historical events and characters and those of its surrounding community. There are also frequent artistic nods made to McMenamins’ history, music and other sources that have influenced the company’s evolution. 

We rely heavily on a team of historians to provide artists with local history, photos, and subject matter.  They look through all of the information and come up with a composition that illustrates the unique story they want to tell and then bring it to life by painting it. The intersection of the people, the history, and the artist’s personal style produces paintings that are sometimes surreal, humorous, or at other times moving. Our style as a group has been called "historical surrealism," and "painterly illustration." 

If you would like to be a part of this process of transforming the Elks Lodge in Tacoma, please meet the following basic criterion.

Qualified artists will possess the following:

  • Ability to create paintings that illustrate specific stories or ideas, but also the ability to make art that combines various influences and stories. History and reference materials will be provided to you should you work on this project.
  • You must be able to demonstrate that you are proficient at composition. We are not looking for a single figure in the center of a blank field. You can provide us with images like this if it illustrates some aspects of your talent, but also provide us with examples of more complex compositions.
  • Proficiency in figurative work. Almost all subject matter is based on specific people, so paintings often have at least one or more people in them.
  • Capability to work on provided MDO board using acrylic paint. 
  • Ability to work at a large scale. Sorry, no miniatures! The typical scale is around 38” x 48”, sometimes larger, sometimes much larger. 
  • Willingness to share copyright with McMenamins.
  • Availability to start within the next few months. Construction is beginning now and will be moving quickly.

You are strongly encouraged to look at some of the artwork done over the years to get a sense of the art that has been created for the company. You can do this in several ways. The best way would be to visit an actual site such as the Anderson School in Bothell, WA. Another good way would be to install the McMenamins App on your phone. There is a good Art section on the App. You can also go to the website, and look at examples of artwork by location.

To apply to be part of the team of commissioned artists, please contact us at Only painters need apply. Your application should include the following:

  • A link to a digital portfolio (website, Facebook page, Flickr account, or a similar format) that demonstrates your proficiency in rendering likenesses and figurative work used within the context of a composition; do not just show us figure drawings.
  • Available start date.
  • An indication of your interest in also doing decorative work on site in Tacoma, WA when we get closer to the grand opening of the property

Please make sure your contact information is included. A résumé or CV is appreciated, but not necessary for your application.  The deadline to apply is December 1, 2017.

Thanks for your interest!