* Western Virginia delegates to the Richmond Convention.
* The election of President Abraham Lincoln and his call for volunteers to put down the rebellion.
* Personal stories of West Virginia's statehood leaders and members of the first West Virginia Legislature.
* West Virginia's Union militia.
* African-American soldiers from West Virginia.
* Locations/sites of significant Civil War/sesquicentennial events.
A jury will announce the 12 artists chosen for the project on May 1. To encourage variety, the jury will give preference to artists who have not painted piers before. But those who have -- several painted piers twice already -- can apply again this year.
Artists have some leeway in how to submit their designs, Brannon said.
"We're asking for enough information to visualize what the concept will look like, whether that's a black-and-white drawing with a color palette or -- last year Janet Chambers, she submitted a water color painting. It was a piece of art you could frame and hang on the wall.
"One time an artist did the drawing and then he pasted it together into a column. People can submit electronically, too."
After two years of organizing the mural project, Brannon said she's learned you can never start preparing too early.
That includes working on safety issues with the city Traffic Engineering Department and state and federal highways folks.
Because half the piers this year lie on a narrow strip between Virginia Street and an on ramp to I-64 West, the city proposes to carve out safety zones on both sides with orange cones and close the sidewalk on the south side of Virginia Street, plus add warning signs.
Artists can start painting as early as June 1 this year and need to finish by July 31, and are expected to work during FestivALL (June 21-30), Brannon said.
"On this project, artists really seem to want to do this," she said. "We haven't really had any trouble getting them to finish.
"When you consider how big a piece of art it is if you flatten it out, some of the artists could get a lot bigger commission. I think we're really fortunate."
Reach Jim Balow at ba...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5102.