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Why a Public Art Artist Roster?

This Public Art Artist Roster is a pre-selected list of artists who may receive calls for upcoming temporary and permanent public art projects commissioned through the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture. As projects are defined, scoped, and funded, artists on this roster may receive notice and can indicate their interest and availability for the specific project and go through a simplified selection process for a potential commission. The roster will also be publicly accessible and searchable to serve as a tool for other public agencies, private corporations, or other entities that seek to commission new artwork. Inclusion on the roster will be determined by a selection panel composed of artists and community members and based on a series of criteria, with priority given to artists from historically under-represented communities, including communities of color.

For this Public Art Artist Roster 2021-2023 we have defined “public artist” as a visual artist that has past example(s)/experience of the creation of artwork for a public agency or an institutional/organization commission in which the artwork created was part of a collaborative process that went through planning, review, and installation in a venue other than a gallery, home, or studio space. For this Public Art Artist Roster we have put forward a definition of emerging and established in regards the level of experience as an artist working on Public Art projects. As part of the application, each applicant will have the opportunity to provide additional information about their level of experience as oftentimes categories include variables that are outside the provided definition. The emerging and established categories will be used for the selection process and for internal use, but will not be displayed on the publicly facing roster.

This explanatory text leading up to the application is long in order to fully explain the program and answer any potential questions, but please know the application process itself is relatively straightforward.  


Introduction

The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS) is creating an artist roster of approximately 200-300 artists, that will include both artists who are emerging into the field and experienced public artists, who will be pre-qualified for future public art projects in 2021-2023 within city utility facilities, parks, street right-of-way, and other locations.

This roster will serve three functions:

  • As a method of selecting emerging artists to develop permanent or temporary, free-standing or site-integrated artwork projects in a variety of forms, sizes, and complexities, outdoors or indoors, of budgets under $40,000
  • As a method of selecting established artists to develop permanent or temporary, free-standing or site-integrated artwork projects in a variety of forms, sizes, and complexities, outdoors or indoors, of budgets over $40,000.
  • An online searchable portal hosted by ARTS in which the general public and organizations have access to information and work sample images of roster artists.

Applications are due Monday, November 30, 2020 at 5pm (Pacific Standard Time).


Public Art Artist Roster Information & Summary

The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS) commissions a variety of public temporary and permanent artworks through its 1% for Art program. The public art program works with several City departments engaged in capital construction projects and City-wide initiatives. With several projects launching through the City’s utilities, parks, and transportation departments, this pre-qualified artist roster will streamline the selection process and will be used when appropriate. This is one of three methods ARTS uses to select artists:  open calls, invitational calls, and rosters.

The Public Art Artist Roster 2021-2023 will include both emerging and established public artists whose applications will be reviewed and juried separately. 

Emerging Artists:  For this application, an emerging artist is defined as a visual artist who has been awarded three or fewer commissions from public agencies, corporations, or other organizations not exceeding $20,000 (individual budget amounts, not cumulative). Eligibility is limited to emerging artists currently resident in Washington state.   

Established Artists:  For this application, an established artist is defined as a visual artist who has been awarded more than three commissions from public agencies, corporations or other organizations over the amount of $20,000 (individual budget amounts, not cumulative). Eligibility is open to established artists currently resident in the United States.

Acknowledging that the stated definition of “emerging” and “established” has limitations, as part of the application there is an area where applicants can provide additional information in regard to the provided definition. 

ARTS has a commitment to training and building capacity for emerging artists and artists from historically under-represented communities, including communities of color. 

The Public Art Artist Roster 2021-2023 will be used to select an artist when a project’s requirements render it especially suitable for roster artists or when a project’s timeline requires an expedited selection process. Selection will be based on the appropriateness of the artist’s media and experience for specific project requirements and the artist’s availability. We may occasionally ask for roster artists to provide a statement of interest for specific projects. 

Artists who are pre-qualified for the roster may continue to apply to open calls issued by ARTS provided that they meet eligibility requirements and complete the open call's required application. Artists on the established artist roster who receive a commission for a roster project will not be eligible for additional roster projects, but may continue to apply to open calls. Artist on the emerging artist roster who receive a commission shall remain eligible for future roster projects through December 2023. Selected artist will have the opportunity to update their information on an annual basis within the Submittable platform.


Online & Publicly Accessible Roster

The Public Art Artist Roster 2021-2023 will be a juried pool of pre-qualified emerging and established artists that will be one method of selecting artists for 1% for Art projects in 2021-2023. The roster will also be available on the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture website, allowing the public and other agencies to search and have access to specific application information about and work sample images of roster artists. 

The interface is Submittable's Gallery View feature and by applying you agree to allow the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture to share specific application information and work sample images. We have included an application question where you may opt-out of participation in the publicly accessible roster. Application information that will be publicly viewable in Gallery View is clearly indicated in the application form. 

In order to facilitate the searching and filtering of applications, each applicant will be asked to self-identify their own artistic practice, art medium, and racial identity; your responses to these questions will not be seen by reviewers and will not be part of the selection process. 


Eligibility

This call is open to established artists currently residing in the United States and emerging artists currently residing in Washington state. Artists will be asked to self-identify as either an emerging or established public artist, please see ARTS' definition for each category above or in the application form to determine which option you should select.

Artists who apply as a team may not also apply as individual artists. 

The Office of Arts & Culture encourages diversity in its collection. Artists whose work is well represented in the city’s collection are eligible to apply, but the artist selection panel will consider artistic diversity as one factor in the selection process. Priority will be given to artists from historically under-represented communities, including communities of color. Artists must be at least 18 years of age to apply. Students are not eligible to apply.


Timeline

Call to Artists Opens:  Monday, September 28, 2020

Application Workshop:  Thursday, October 8, 11am (Pacific Standard Time)
You may access a recording of the application workshop held on Thursday, October 8, 2020 via YouTube at this link

Application Deadline:  Monday, November 30, 5pm (Pacific Standard Time)

Selection Decisions:  January & February 2021

Artist Notification:  March 2021

The deadline for applications is Monday, November 30, 2020 at 5pm (Pacific Standard Time). Applications submitted after the deadline will not be reviewed. 


Application Requirements

Your letter of interest and biographical statement 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 through the letter of interest (for example for applicants for whom English is a second language and/or other considerations).

  • 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.
  • 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 10 Work Sample Images. We suggest not submitting more than two images of the same work. Composite images are not recommended. You will be asked to provide image identification information including title, year created, commission amount (if applicable), and project role (if applicable) as part of the image upload.
  • Application Questionnaire. This series of questions will help sort and organize the roster based on self-identified areas of interest and expertise. Your responses to the questions in this section will not be viewable by the selection panel, but will be viewable as part of the publicly accessible roster. 


Selection Criteria

Artists will be selected the roster based on the following criteria:

  • Strength of past artworks, in a variety of expressions and media
  • Experience working as a Public Artist in private and/or public settings 
  • Letter of interest 
  • Emerging Roster:  Experience creating personal work and demonstrated interest in and/or creation of 3-D public artwork
  • Established Roster:  Experience fabricating and installing temporary or permanent artwork 
  • Ability to complete a project on time and on budget
  • Priority will be given to artists from historically under-represented communities, including communities of color


Selection Process

The selection for the roster is a one-step process. In January and February 2021, a panel of art and design professionals and City departmental representatives will review applicant’s work samples and applications and select a varied list of emerging and established artists who will be pre-qualified for future projects. 

When select public art commissions become available, staff will present roster artists’ qualifications to a stakeholder-based selection panel who will select candidates to interview or to commission for a proposal. In some cases, staff from the Office of Arts & Culture will contact roster artists about a project prior to their materials being presented to a stakeholder-based selection panel. The selected artist will be commissioned for the project based on the interview or proposal and references. 


Notification of Results

Applicants will be notified of the panel’s decision by email by the end of March 2021. Inclusion in the Public Art Artist Roster 2021-2023 does not guarantee a commission of artwork. 

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 Maija McKnight at maija.mcknight@seattle.gov or 206.684.7311.

  • Attend the online 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. You may access a recording of the application workshop held on Thursday, October 8, 2020 via YouTube at this link.
  • 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 and/or technical difficulties

City of Seattle Public Art Artist Roster Online Workshop

Thursday, October 8, 11am (Pacific Standard Time)

You may access a recording of the application workshop held on Thursday, October 8, 2020 via YouTube at this link


Questions about this opportunity? Please contact project manager Maija McKnight at maija.mcknight@seattle.gov or 206.684.7311.

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.

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.