The Yellow Staircase is an iconic interior space at OCAD U, displaying the energy and vitality of the student body. It is the structural spine of 100 McCaul, connecting all faculties and floors. Students are drawn to this arena, expressing a range of thoughts, feelings, and moods.  OCAD U is a school with very little common areas for students to exchange and collaborate together; add commuter culture, high stress levels, living costs and you have cause for concern that students can feel isolated and frustrated with university culture.

Launched in 2018, the Yellow Staircase Yearbook mural project challenges these issues through the annual addition of four murals in The Yellow Staircase. Instead of condemning artistic expression and continuously painting over graffiti, we seek to turn this phenomenon into a positive and community-minded project, taking advantage of how the staircase is currently functioning in the interest of the school and the student body. 

We are currently seeking proposals for murals by current OCAD University students or student collectives that creatively represent a student community or an official student group at the school. Successful proposals will receive a flat fee of $250 which includes the artist fee and money for materials. The Student Press will provide ladders, drop cloths, and will prime the mural surface with white paint.

Important Details

  • Students may submit as individual artists or as groups.

  • The murals must be painted between 18 March and 19 April, 2019.

  • The murals will be painted between the 5th and 6th floors of the Yellow Staircase.

  • The average mural size is 5x4 feet, but you are welcome to suggest other dimensions. Your mural does not have to be rectangular!

  • You can use acrylic paint, or acrylic paint markers to create the mural. Spray paint can not be used.

Submission Guidelines

Proposals should be emailed to with the subject line “Yellow Staircase Proposal”. Any images included should be attached to the email, or you may provide a link to a Google Drive folder. Please email us if you have any questions about submitting!

In your submission, please include the following:

  • A sketch of the mural design.

  • A photo of the wallspace between the 5th and 6th floors that you would like to use. Please make sure some identifiable graffiti is visible so that we can locate it :)

  • 1 to 2 sentence artist biography that includes your name(s) and program(s).

  • A short artist statement that explains what student community the mural represents and how. For examples of the communities represented last year, please see the murals below.

If you have any questions about the project or the submission guidelines, please email us at