Calling All Artists: Public Art Needed for Tahoe East Shore Trail Tunnel

By Shanie Matthews | Tuesday, January 7, 2020

One of the true treasures of the Lake Tahoe area is the miles worth of paved bike trails. Running from East Shore to West Shore, from South Lake Tahoe to North Lake Tahoe (not to mention Truckee, too), our beautifully paved, wandering bike trails give a special touch of class to the area.

A few weeks back I wrote about the new bike path that was created to hug the East Shore, making it simple for all people, regardless of age or athletic ability, to easily access one of the true gems of Lake Tahoe. The Tahoe East Shore Trail (as it is so suitably named) opened in June of 2019 and links Incline Village to Sand Harbor State Park. The path has quickly gained notoriety as an exceptional place to take in stellar views and gain access to some of the lake’s sandiest beaches.

It is safe to say that the new trail ranks up there as one of the prettiest segments of the various bike paths in the Lake Tahoe Basin.

To give homage to this step up in outdoor amenities, Tahoe Fund and Tahoe Public Art are coming together to ask assistance in dressing up the Tahoe East Shore Trail’s new tunnel. The two organizations are calling for artists to create a mural worthy of Lake Tahoe on the new blank canvas of the tunnel.

This is an opportunity with serious positives for both the chosen individual artist as well as the community. According to Robert Mergell, administrator for Nevada State Parks, in his interview with The Sierra Sun, “This mural will be a way for the local community to contribute creatively to the iconic Lake Tahoe East Shore experience, and with a rich pool of talented local artists, the result will surely be a vibrant art installation that will inspire and connect with visitors for generations to come.”

To help entice those who are up to the challenge, Raley’s is making the pot that much sweeter by adding a $5,000 cash bonus to the winning artist.

There are a few expectations for submissions, which are due by 6 p.m. on Saturday, February 1. The judging committee is a collection of representatives from the Tahoe Fund, Tahoe Public Art, Nevada State Parks, Nevada Department of Transportation and Raley’s. The panel will be looking for certain requirements, including:

  • Incorporation of art into an important trail infrastructure element, depicting local life
  • Involvement of local youth in the creation of the mural
  • Ability to finish said art in two to three days
  • UV protective coating of the art
  • A recommended plan of maintenance for the art, including the frequency of re-application for the UV protective coating
  • Art does not exceed $5,000 including labor, transportation and material costs

If you are interested in submitting an idea for the mural, include a sketch of the proposed art as well as the materials needed, an artist’s statement of interest, a resume and a short biography. Also include up to five high-resolution images of previous commissions and their budget breakdowns. The artist will be chosen in mid-February, and the completion of the project is set for the spring of 2020.

To submit your proposal, go to If you have any questions about the application process and requirements, email the Tahoe Public Art Program Administrator Marina Lowe, at

For things to do around Lake Tahoe this week, be sure to check out all of the fun events listed in our Daytime and Nightlife sections.

We'll see you in Tahoe!

Pictures by Tahoe Fund and Curtis Fong

About the Author Shanie Matthews
A longtime Lake Tahoe local, Shanie is a freelance writer, Vinyasa Flow yoga teacher and positivity warrior. A true lover of the the gorgeous Tahoe region, she connects with the serenity of the mountains via skiing, biking and backpacking. She also believes in the gift of yoga and its way of allowing one to become his or her true best self, a passion she shares with the world with her online yoga studio.