Call for
Mashhad International Urban Arts Festival


Mashhad is a city locate in the northeast of Iran and one of the most important cities in the West Asian region. A city measuring ​​351 square kilometers and having a total population of three and a half million is formed 12 centuries ago when Imam Reza (A.S.), the eighth Shia Imam, was buried there. It is now one of the most important pilgrimage cities in the world annually receiving 30 million pilgrims. Among Persian-speaking countries, Mashhad is the pioneer of culture and literature, and was called the cultural capital of the Islamic world in 2017.

Providing services for the huge numbers of pilgrims of the holy shrine of Imam Reza (peace be upon Him) in Mashhad by its locals has an ancient history and is filled with memories. It is due to the fact that the necessities of pilgrims hosting have always been an important part of the concerns of urban management in this city. Thus, paying attention to the beauty of public places and using the capacity of art for adding meaning and visual quality to the city led to a series of annual festivals since 2008. “Mashhad Urban Arts Festival” has been turning the city space into a large exhibition of works by Iranian artists such as sculptors, architects, graphic designers, painters, etc. for 13 years during the happy days of Nowruz creating a part of the contemporary memories of Mashhad. Now, in the fourteenth year holding the festival, hosting international works of art is to be added to past experiences and it would start a new chapter in urban arts manifestations in “the Metropolis of Munificence and Blessing”.

Conceptual and visual structure of works

The Mashhad International Urban Art Festival will host works that deal with the concepts of “Munificence” and “Blessing” in the form of a pavilion for placing in public places of this city. The works of the festival should express one of the two concepts in the external theme and narrate an example of the main themes in the inner layer and confront the audience with a “story” of a specific “subject”.

It is worthwhile to present the story and the subject in an interactive way and to use the capacity of all kinds of visual methods, visual and auditory tools or new technologies.

In order to get the artists more informed about the accepted conceptual and visual structure, two following appendices will be published on the festival website by November 27.


A- Physical and Technical Specifications

  1. Area up to 30 square meters;
  2. Prefabrication of components, the capability of being transferred and installed in a minimum of time;
  3. The minimal use of connections to the base and no need for construction foundations
  4. Using materials durable at least for one year
  • Note: The work capability of being moved after the first presentation has point.

B. Appearance Features

  1. Paying attention to the symbols, elements and signs of Islamic art;
  2. Appropriate effect amidst the visual pollution of the city;
  3. Enjoying good design for night lighting;
  • Note: Presenting a suggestion for landscaping the environment has point.

C. Operation Requirements

  1. Having the capability to control traffic by the operator (in the case of indoor space)
  2. Providing appropriate indoor conditions for content presentation
  3. Enjoying maintenance and repair capabilities and having materials resistant to human destruction
  4. Taking Mashhad climate change into account at operation time
  5. Observing environmental issues on energy consumption
  6. Presenting a guideline for visitors’ operating, commuting, and visiting

Competition Schedule

  • Receiving works: from November 27, 2021 until the end of Friday, December 24, 2021

  • Judging and announcing selected works: up to December 31, 2021

  • Studying the analyses, reaching an agreement, and ordering performance: up to January 25, 2022

  • Content preparation or production, and delivery for review, then taking license for final presentation: from January 25, 2022 to February 19, 2022

  • Construction and installation of works in designated places in the city: from January 25, 2022 to March 16, 2022

  • Works unveiling: on March 18, 2022

  • The end of the final presentation in the city and the final judging: up to April 20, 2022


It is necessary to send each work separately and in the following steps:

First: Designing and compiling competition documents; including an image file, three horizontal posters (size 50 × 70 cm, 300 DPI resolution, in RGB color mode, PDF format)

  • Poster 1– Pavilion images from different exterior and interior angles; an image of the work located in one of the places introduced in the appendix 2.
  • Poster 2– Images and explanations describing the method of presenting the story and the subject; introducing tools, materials, techniques; scenarios of communication with the audience; together with the possible design and audio or video content.
  • Poster 3– An image of materials measurement and description, construction method, production cost of content products, and tables of material, construction, performance and installation analysis.

Second: Inserting the posters files of each work in a folder named by the name of the artist and the work number, for example (Alizadeh-01), converting the file into zip file and doing the same for all works.

Third: Registering the owner’s information and uploading the file or files on the festival website


Works received at the secretariat office of the festival will be judged in two stages by a group of prominent masters in the fields of architecture, environmental graphics, modern art, etc., whose names will be published on the festival website up to November 27, 2021.

Step 1- Judging all the received works; the winners will receive permission to perform the work in the city.

Step 2- Judging performed works in the city; the winners will receive the festival top awards.

In addition, the people’s choice awards will be determined based on the people’s vote during one-month presentation of works in the city.


First: In order to perform the selected works, according to the materials and construction analysis announced in the third poster and the expert evaluation based on the day price of materials, an agreement will be signed between the organizer and the owner of the work or the performer introduced by him. The maximum payment for all executive expenses, including the materials purchase, construction and execution wages, production of artistic, theatrical or content works, providing workshop space, transportation, reception and accommodation of agents, insurance and taxes and other executive affairs is 16000 $.

Second: In addition to the cost of construction and performance, based on the points of judges, the amounts of 1800 $, 1400 $ and 1000 $ will be allocated to all selected works as intellectual property rights.


The First Work: A plaque of appreciation awarded by the mayor of Mashhad, a statue of the festival and a cash prize of 10000 $;

The Second Work: A plaque of appreciation awarded by the mayor of Mashhad, a statue of the festival and a cash prize of 6000 $;

The Third Work: A plaque of appreciation awarded by the mayor of Mashhad, a statue of the festival and a cash prize of 4000 $;

The People’s Choice Prize: A plaque of appreciation awarded by the mayor of Mashhad, a statue of the festival and a cash prize of 5000$;

Terms and Conditions

  • The accuracy of the registered information is the responsibility of the participant.
  • It is forbidden to insert any name, description, or mark on the submitted works.
  • Each participant can send at most three works to the festival secretariat office.
  • The zip file of each submitted work should not be more than 15 MB.
  • The Secretariat is exempted from accepting works in a manner other than online uploading.
  • The owners of the selected works will accept and apply the furthermore amendments of the jury.
  • The contracting party is responsible for the construction and performance and the final delivery of each work and if a work is selected at the judging stage but is not performed, it will be out of the festival routine.
  • The secretariat has full authority in determining the location and placement of the works.
  • In the stages of construction and installation of works, it is mandatory for executors to observe all the legal regulations reflected in bylaws and technical laws related to the construction and installation of works, insurance of executive agents, and ethical matters in the laws of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
  • If required, the art owners residing abroad can enter into negotiations with the competent executors who will be introduced by the secretariat at the time of the agreement, and agree with them to execute the work (construction and installation). However, they are responsible for the quality of performance and they shall supervise all stages of construction and installation.
  • In case the presenter of the work is a legal entity or a group of artists, the owner of legal entities or the head artist introduced at the time of registration is recognized as the authorized representative, and the secretariat has no responsibilities toward other persons.
  • The Secretariat, if necessary and at its discretion, in order to benefit from the experience of qualified artists, will order some works in the non-competitive section.
  • The publishing the content of each work is subject to Secretariat’s obtaining the relevant permits from concerned authorities.
  • If there is a need to repeat the construction of the work, one third of the intellectual property rights paid in this festival will be paid to the designer of the work for each copy reproduced. This term does not include the displacement of the original effect.
  • The Secretariat is authorized to represent and publish all received works in its documentation products.
  • All information and news that will be published by the Secretariat on the festival website is deemed as a part of this call.