barn mural

Design a Mural for Climate Activism

A 21st century “barn raising” mural competition

The winning mural(s) will be awarded prizes and painted on a local barn!

Challenge Overview

UC Davis undergraduate or graduate students (individually or as a team) are invited to identify a climate-related agricultural issue in the Valley, take a position on that issue, and develop a digital or hand-drawn mural proposal that visually communicates that position to the public. (Please note:  Painting the mural itself on the barn is not a requirement.) The winning mural(s) will be awarded prizes and painted on the side of a local barn. (Barn side dimensions: 8'3" H x 64' 4" W)

From droughts to rising temperatures, fires to floods, the Sacramento Valley of California is feeling the effects of—and contributing to—our changing climate. At the same time, the Valley and the agricultural communities that comprise it, have a unique opportunity to be part of the solution.

With this mural challenge, we are seeking to answer the following questions:

  • How might agriculture be part of the climate solution in the Sacramento Valley?

  • How do we visually communicate this message to inspire local action?​​​


  • First Place Prize $400
  • Second Place Prize $200


    Webinars. Attend these webinars to hear from artists and activists who engage with the topic of climate change. Email for Zoom information and/or links to the recordings.

    • Oct. 6 - Ishrita Pol, Maureen Kellen-Taylor & Li-Ya Maria Mar
    • Oct. 13 - Billy Krimmel & Kate Hayes
    • Oct. 20 - Carolina Aragon
    • Oct. 27 - Ramiro Davaro
    • Nov. 3 - V. Kelly Turner

    Sacramento Valley Region Report. Download California's Fourth Climate Change Assessment for an overview of information about strategies needed to safeguard the Sacramento Valley Region from climate change.​​​​​


    Email: Emily Schlickman, Assistant Professor
    Landscape Architecture and Environmental Design


    • October 2021 Challenge Launch
    • Dec 15, 2021 Submissions Due
    • Jan 15, 2022 Winner(s) Announced
    • Mar 19-27, 2022 Mural(s) Painted (UC Davis Spring Break)

    Judging Criteria

    Final submissions will be evaluated by a jury comprised of designers and artists. They will base their evaluation on five criteria: accessibility, feasibility, connectivity, defensibility and engagement.

      Submission Details

      Learn more about all that is required by downloading the guidelines which include images of and the location of the barn, submission requirements and more. An overview of these items can also be found in the toggle bars below. Then, when you proposal is complete, use our online form to "Submit Your Mural Proposal" linked below.

      • Submission Requirements
      • › Download Guidelines

        Participants will submit one board via the submission webform by December 15, 2021.

        The submission webform contains:
        • Names
        • Email addresses
        • Title of the proposal
        • Description of the proposal (200 words maximum)
        ​​• Visuals must be a landscape-oriented 11x17 sheet using the provided template
        • Visuals must be submitted in JPG format at 300 DPI with a 10MB maximum file size

        Use the provided template for the proposal's title, description and visuals.
      • Eligibility and Regulations
      • Eligibility
        • Any undergraduate or graduate student enrolled at UC Davis during the 2021-2022 academic school year may participate. 
        • No registration is needed.

        • Participants may submit as a team of any size.
        • Participants may submit as many proposals as they would like.
        • Submissions may be hand-drawn or digitally drawn.
        • Content must be original, without any copyright infringements.
        • The evaluation jury will decide if one or both of the selected murals will be painted on the barn.
        • If selected, participants will need to provide a high-res version of their design.
        • Participants may help with the painting of the mural, under the guidance of an experienced muralist.

        Please note: Given the ongoing developments of COVID-19, the schedule is subject to change.



      This competition is now closed. Submissions are no longer being accepted.


      Ag Climate Heroes:
      Michael Russell & Steve Shaffer

      Yolo Federal Credit Union

      Yolo Credit Union


      UC Davis Sustainability