Welcome to the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS) online application system.

Applications and support materials must be submitted through Submittable. Follow Submittable instructions to:

  • Register for a Submittable applicant account
  • Create your applicant profile
  • Submit applications

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to call ARTS at 206.684.7171 or email arts.culture@seattle.gov. Staff is on-hand to assist applicants during business  hours, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. PT, Monday through Friday. 


About the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture

The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS) manages the city's public art program, cultural partnerships grant programs, ARTS at King Street Station, the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, and The Creative Advantage initiative in the effort to foster a city driven by creativity that provides the opportunity for everyone to engage in diverse arts and cultural experiences. In alignment with the City's Race and Social Justice Initiative, we work to eliminate institutional racism in our programs, policies and practices.   

Introduction

The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS), in partnership with Seattle Public Utilities, is seeking emerging artists to develop new temporary public artworks for FLOW 2021-2022, an exhibition project to enliven construction walls and fences for infrastructure projects that are part of the Ship Canal Water Quality Project. The artworks will be installed on construction walls and fences at four locations in Ballard, Fremont and Wallingford on a rotating basis starting in mid-2021. The walls and fences will be a mixture of 8’-12’ tall wood sound walls and 6’-8’ tall chain link fences, and artists are invited to use a variety of materials including but not limited to paint, photography, murals, sculptural attachments, rope or ribbon woven into fences, plastic puck attachments, or innovative approaches. 

Artists will receive a budget of $10,000 all-inclusive to create, install and de-install artworks that will be displayed for a period of six (6) months. Up to 11 artists will be selected to create works during the 2021-2022 exhibition cycle. This call is open to artists residing in Washington State.

If you are interested in being considered for this project, please submit work samples, statement of interest, artist bio, and concept proposal (via written, audio or video submission) specific to the scope of work (listed below). The concept statement should convey your idea for how you would approach the project, including methods, materials and themes. The concept statement must convey ideas in a clear and descriptive way, but does not need to be a detailed proposal.

The deadline to apply is 5:00 pm (Pacific Standard Time), Tuesday, February 2, 2021. Please allow ample time to complete and upload your application; applications will not be accepted after the 5:00 pm (PST) deadline.


Background

The Ship Canal Water Quality Project (SCWQP) is a massive infrastructure project that runs through the Wallingford, Fremont, Queen Anne, and Ballard neighborhoods to improve water quality along the Ship Canal in Seattle. Construction started in 2018 and will continue through 2024. The major work of the SCWQP will be taking place underground, as a tunnel boring machine moves under the neighborhoods. Meanwhile, several sites in Ballard, Fremont, and Wallingford will have an ongoing above-ground construction presence. Check out the Ship Canal project website for more information and images of current FLOW projects. 

The Drainage and Wastewater Art Master Plan, developed by Vaughn Bell, identifies construction walls, fencing, and other elements as potential sites for art. Click here for SPU Drainage and Wastewater Art Plan Book 1 and click here for SPU Drainage and Wastewater Art Plan Book 2.

From the DWW Art Master Plan:

The elements of construction projects, such as fencing, conveyors, and sound walls, are all possible sites for art. Art can tell the story of the project, communicate about water quality, and contribute to the aesthetic qualities of the neighborhood during construction. This is a good opportunity for emerging public artists and artists whose work is primarily two-dimensional.

Four areas of the project are surrounded with either plywood walls or chain-link fencing. These sites are the West Shaft Site-Ballard Tunnel Effluent and Pump Station site, 11th Ave Shaft area (East Ballard), Fremont Siphon area, and East Shaft Site in Wallingford. The West Shaft Site-Ballard site has a wooden sound wall, while the other sites have chain link fences.

Sites will host a changing rotation of artworks attached to the walls and fencing. Artists are invited to work in various media that can be attached or applied to these structures. Artwork designs will need to reviewed for safety and structural concerns before installation.

The Ship Canal and surrounding neighborhoods have been changed quite dramatically by human interventions over time, and continue to change and evolve. Construction projects call into focus this aspect of the changing city, as terrain is changed, while memories continue to reside in places and past stories continue to live on. The past and present lives of this place exist as layers in peoples’ experiences.

The first round of FLOW occurred beginning in August 2020, and a second installation will be in place beginning in February 2021. We anticipate that the first round of artworks from this current call for artists will be installed in August 2021. Each artwork will be in place for six (6) months. While each artist’s contribution will be unique, the various works in multiple locations will create a multi-faceted art experience. For example, a cyclist commuting on the Burke Gilman trail will see multiple artworks along their route, and the artworks will change every six (6) months creating an on-going transformation.


Eligibility

This call is open to emerging artists residing in Washington State. Students (enrolled at the time of the commission dates) are not eligible to apply.


Scope of Work

The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS), in partnership with Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) is seeking emerging artists to develop temporary public artworks for FLOW 2021-2022, an exhibition of temporary artworks for construction walls and fences as part of SPU’s Ship Canal Water Quality Project.

Working with SPU and ARTS, selected artists will design and develop artworks that can be affixed or applied to wood construction walls or chain link fences. The selected artists will create artwork specifically for one of the four artwork construction sites. Artists are invited to use a variety of materials including but not limited to paint, photography, murals, sculptural attachments, collage, relief, rope or ribbon woven into fences, plastic puck attachments, or many other approaches. Artists are encouraged to utilize innovative approaches to materials and attachments. Artists will explore themes and ideas that are relevant to their own practice. If they wish, the artists may also respond to the site context and histories, water quality issues, and the presence of drainage and wastewater facilities.

Artwork proposals will need to consider safety issues related to visibility, excessive weight, and wind loads. Selected artists will have to submit their proposal to ARTS and SPU for a safety review.

At each site (see below), the amount of wall space varies, but ranges between 100-300 feet in length for the 6-8’ high chain link sites or 32 feet in length on the 12’ plywood wall at the Ballard site. Artworks do not need to cover the entire area of the wall, but rather may be episodic or focus in a specific zone of the wall or fence.

Artists will be notified of their selection as well as the location and time slot (between mid-2021 and mid-2022) of their installation by late March 2021. The selected artists will refine their concept statement to create a final proposal submitted to ARTS and SPU before proceeding with fabrication and installation of the artwork.


Locations

Please see the PDF at this link for site information, maps, and photos


Budget

Artists will receive a budget of $10,000 all-inclusive to create, install, and de-install artworks that will be displayed for a period of six (6) months.


Application Deadline

The deadline to apply is 5:00 pm (Pacific Standard Time), Tuesday, February 2, 2021. Please allow ample time to complete and upload your application; applications will not be accepted after the 5:00 pm (PST) deadline.


Application Requirements

Your letter of interest, biographical statement, and concept proposal may be submitted either in written form or in a video/audio statement that includes the information below. Please note that this should not be a highly produced/edited video, a short recording that speaks directly to your interest in this project will suffice. The intent of this option is to provide an opportunity for individuals who feel they can represent themselves better verbally versus in writing. More information about creating and submitting audio or video responses is available here

  • Letter of interest (not to exceed 300 words or 90 seconds). Please provide a statement describing your artistic practice and experience in the public art field.
  • Biographical Statement (not to exceed 200 words or 60 seconds). The biographical statement replaces a request for a resume and is a space where you can summarize your experiences as a creative individual.
  • Concept proposal (not to exceed 300 words or 90 seconds) Describe roughly what you might install. Describe the methods and materials you plan to use in the installation (for example:  mural painting, objects attached to fencing, woven materials in fence, etc.) Discuss your inspiration and what themes you might address in the project. 
  • Supplemental Questions. What type of location you prefer (a wall or chain link fence or either) and is there a specific timeframe (August – January or February – July) in which you prefer to exhibit your work? Responses to these questions are not a guarantee of placement or timing; please note that selected artists may be assigned a different location or timeframe than requested. 
  • Three references. Please include the name, a brief statement about your working relationship, and contact information (email and/or phone number) for each of your references.
  • Up to eight (8) work sample images. We suggest not submitting more than two images of the same work. Composite images are not recommended. Image identification information including title, year created, commission amount, and brief description is included as part of the image upload.


Selection Criteria

The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture is committed to reflecting the diversity and cultural richness of our city in the selection of artists and artworks. Artists will be selected on the basis of the strength of past work and the fit of their concept for the project. It is not required that they have previous public art experience. Artists will be selected on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Quality of concept, design, and craftsmanship of past works
  • Visual and technical sophistication
  • Creativity of approach
  • Relevance of concept proposal


Selection Process

The selection process will include a review by a peer panel and advisors who will review all interested applicants’ proposals and materials.


Notification of Results

Applicants will be notified of the panel’s decision by email by late March 2021.

The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture reserves the right not to select any of the applicants.


We’re here to help

Application questions should be directed to Jason Huff at jason.huff@seattle.gov or 206.684.7278.

  • Attend a Virtual Workshop (optional). We highly encourage you to attend the online workshop, especially if you are a first-time applicant. ARTS staff will share more information about the public art artist roster and will review steps of the Submittable application process. A recording of the webinar will be available on YouTube a few days after the session is held and a link to the recording will be added here. 
  • Read the call guidelines, online instructions, and, if need be, contact Submittable for any technical questions
  • Submit your application early – do not wait until the last day to avoid errors or last minute technical difficulties


FLOW 2021 - 2022 Virtual Workshop

Friday, January 15, 1:00 pm (Pacific Time)

Please RSVP for the virtual workshop at this link. This is an online workshop and you will receive the link to the workshop the day prior to the workshop. The virtual workshop will be recorded and made available approximately one week after the workshop. A link to the recording will be added here once available. 


Questions about this opportunity? Please contact project manager Jason Huff at jason.huff@seattle.gov or 206.684.7278.

Questions about using Submittable? Submittable maintains an FAQ and offers step-by-step guides on their help platform here. For further assistance with the Submittable online application, please contact Submittable tech support at support@submittable.com.