Art Build for Public Education

The Saint Paul and Minneapolis Federation of Teachers are holding a community art build for public education November 10th-12th. The art build is modeled after the Milwaukee Art Build for Public Education held last year.

What is an art build? Quite simply, it’s a space for community members to gather together to make art. Educators, students, local artists, and other community members come together for a weekend of creating together as we make banners, signs, and prints about public education. (You can find pictures of the event in Milwaukee here.

All are invited to attend and help us make art!

At this point, we are asking for art teachers, artists, students, allies in public education, and allies outside of public education to submit images to be used in the struggle to defend and promote public schools. The images will be used on horizontal banners, drop banners, parachute banners, screen printed posters, t-shirts, and picket signs.

Keep reading for details on submissions and messaging.


Please play with the themes and messages below to make some great art to help promote and stand up for public education.

The overarching themes we are looking to promote are:

  • The importance of public schools
  • Inclusiveness
  • Valuing the arts
  • Humanity
  • Educators as advocates:
    • What we stand for….

The messages we are looking to promote on these posters/banners are:

  • Build schools not walls
  • Educators for Black Lives
  • Educator for Native Lives
  • Educators for LGBTQ Lives
  • Public schools the heart of our community
  • Quality Schools Union Made
  • Fight for the Schools our Children Deserve
  • Everyone is Welcome (Multiple languages)
  • Immigrants workers students
  • Teachers: We work for the people
  • You can’t hide the truth from the youth

Formats for Design:

Banners (5-10 different designs): Multi-color. Designs will be projected onto off-white muslin fabric during the art build and painted with semi-gloss exterior house paint. Please be aware that the text (the slogan) will need to be read from a distance.

A silkscreened print (1 design) that will be distributed to various schools. One color design. Vertical composition. Dimensions around 19’ x 25”

Parachute banners (2 different designs): Multi-color. Design a circular image design that will be projected onto a 24’ wide white nylon “play parachute” with handles. The image will be traced and then painted with semi-gloss exterior house paint during the art build. (See the Milwaukee Art Build link for examples of parachute banners.)

Screen printed banners (4-6 different designs): One-color. Design vertical images (around 19”x25”) that can silkscreened onto off-white muslin fabric and constructed into picket signs. The silkscreen ink can be any color and some areas of the design can be hand painted during the art build but primarily think of a bold design that relies on one-color. Note too, that text should be readable from a distance. The selected images will be turned into silkscreens so make sure that your design is at a high resolution (300dpi). The Art Build committee will expose the screens. A design from this series can also be adapted into a potential t-shirt.

Deadline for Submitting Images:

All image draft submissions are due by Sunday, October 8th at 12:00pm (noon). The Art Build committee will be reviewing designs at 5:00pm on the 8th.

Please submit images to Mike Asmus at Prior to the deadline, please email Mike to let him know what slogans you are designing for and what formats (banners, poster, parachute banners), so he has an idea what is being worked on and what is needed for designs.

Image drafts can be a final image or a mock-up/sketch. The images will be reviewed and selected by the Art Build Committee who will then decide on the final images and may suggest minor changes.

Artists will be contacted if their design is selected before Monday, October 11th. Should any revision be needed on any selected artwork, the final designs will be needed by Monday, October 30th to give time to expose silkscreens prior to the November 10th-12th MFT/SPFT Art Build.

Credit/Future Use of the Images:

The artist retains the copyright to their work and can use their image in other venues/purposes in the future. The artist must agree that MFT59 and SPFT28 may use the image as they see fit (to use the image for campaigns, to share on social media, to adapt for future banners, t-shirts, etc.) in perpetuity. Full credit will always be attributed to the artist.