Call Detail

City of Seattle: Art Interruptions 2014

Entry Deadline: 5/2/14
Application Closed


Media Images: 8

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The Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS), in partnership with the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and Seattle Parks & Recreation (Parks) is seeking emerging public artists to create temporary art installations in the First Hill neighborhood for the project Art Interruptions. The temporary artworks will inhabit city sidewalks and parks to offer passers-by a brief interruption in their day, eliciting a moment of surprise, beauty, contemplation or humor. Possible locations for artworks include street and park infrastructure, trees, tree pits and street furniture. Up to 10 artists will be selected to develop a series of artworks that can be temporarily attached or applied to city-owned street or park furniture/infrastructure (e.g., utility poles, street trees, walls, railings, stair risers, etc.) in summer 2014. One application workshop is offered on Thursday, April 17, 2014. The call is open to artists residing in Washington state. The application deadline is 11 p.m. Friday, May 2, 2014 (Pacific Daylight Time).
The city of Seattle is committed to improving our walking and bicycling environments, particularly in urban villages and in neighborhoods. SDOT has developed policies and action plans to make Seattle's transportation system more accessible and enjoyable for its users. As part of its strategy, the department adopted the SDOT Art Plan in 2005, funded by ARTS. The SDOT Art Plan identifies temporary, small-scale artistic interventions in the right-of-way as a way to enliven the pedestrian realm and contribute to the aesthetic experience of the streetscape. In collaboration with ARTS, SDOT is continuing temporary art projects to fulfill these goals. 
This call is open to emerging public artists living in Washington state. ARTS defines emerging public artists as artists who have a documented track record of making art, are interested in creating art in public places, and may or may not have a formal art education. Applicants must be over 18 years old and interested in working collaboratively in public settings. Applicants are not eligible if they have received a permanently sited public or private art commission of more than $15,000.
ARTS is committed to reflecting the cultural richness of our city by promoting opportunities for emerging and diverse artists.
Scope of Work
Working with SDOT, Parks and ARTS, the selected artists will design and develop a series of small-scale temporary artworks to be installed on city-owned street furniture, infrastructure (e.g., signal boxes, utility poles, railings, sidewalks, street trees, tree pits, etc.) for an eight to ten week period in the First Hill neighborhood.  The artworks should draw the attention of pedestrians through surprise, contemplation, beauty or humor, and enliven the pedestrian experience by introducing an element of the unexpected into the everyday sidewalk or right-of-way or park environment. The artworks should not cause damage to property.
Artwork location: First Hill Neighborhood
Artists should consider proposing artwork(s) within the following coordinates:
East boundary: Broadway
West boundary: I-5
North boundary: Union Street
South boundary: Yesler Way
Areas of interest within this scope could include:
  • Boren Place Park
  • First Hill Park
  • Horiuchi Park
  • Freeway Park (east of I-5)
Public City-Owned Right-of-Way
Artists should consider medians, planting strips, street trees and tree pits, signal boxes, street furniture, etc. within these areas of interest:
  • Broadway Avenue & Boren Street
  • Cherry Street & Terry Avenue
  • 9th Avenue & Marion Street
  • Madison Street in between Broadway Avenue & Boren Avenue
  • University Street & Boylston Street
  • University Street from Broadway to I-5 (proposed greenway route)
  • Union Street & Harvard Avenue
  • Terrace Street & 9th Avenue
  • Areas around Town Hall
  • Bridges over I-5 on Seneca Street and Madison Street
 Private property
If artists are interested in private property that aligns with right-of-way and the pedestrian user environment, city staff may be able to negotiate an agreement between the property owner and the city. If you are interested in siting artwork(s) on private property, please indicate so in your proposal and identify an alternate location in the event that the agreement cannot be secured.
 The selected artists may consider different options for materials and approaches for the artworks and will be encouraged to make use of street infrastructure in a unique and interesting way.  The artwork must be designed so that it can be easily installed and de-installed by the artist, and will not cause permanent damage to city property. Artwork must not be a distraction to drivers and cannot limit or obscure city signage. Proposed artworks must comply with all SDOT and Parks guidelines. Please see project guidelines for details.
Artists will be selected by a peer panel on the basis of submitted qualifications and a written concept proposal. Selected artists will present their artwork proposals to SDOT, Parks and ARTS office staff in July 2014. Upon approval, the artists/artist teams will install their work in August 2014 at the identified locations in the First Hill neighborhood. Selected artists will work with the ARTS office to determine artwork locations based on site availability and relationship to other existing artworks and selected artwork proposals. Artworks created for this project are temporary and are intended to remain on display for a minimum of eight to ten weeks or other time period (depending on the artwork media) to be negotiated with the ARTS office.
Schedule (tentative):
  • Notification of selected artists by: May 30, 2014.
  • Commissioned artists meeting by: June 6, 2014
  • Delivery of final artwork proposals to ARTS staff and city advisers by: June 30, 2014
  • Installation of artworks by artists: August 1, 2014
  • Removal of artworks by: October 5, 2014
Each selected artist will receive a $1,800 stipend. Artists will receive 40 percent of the total commission upon acceptance of the final artwork proposal, 40 percent after documented installation of the artwork, and the remaining 20 percent after documented de-installation of artwork and a brief project summary have been delivered.
Art Interruptions is commissioned with SDOT 1% for Art funds and administered by ARTS.
Application Deadline
11 p.m., Friday, May 2, 2014 (Pacific Daylight Time)
If you are applying using CaFE for the first time we suggest applying in advance of the application deadline to allow for formatting of your images and uploading of all required application requirements.
For assistance with the CaFE online application process, contact CaFE tech support at
(888) 562-7232 or, Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Pacific Daylight Time).
application requirements
  • Eight (8) images of past artworks. Concept proposal images are not necessary at this time.  CaFÉTM image format instructions can be found at image prep. If you have fewer than eight quality images, you will need to insert a blank slide. Click here to download a blank slide template.
  • Letter of interest (not to exceed 2,000 characters)
  • Concept proposal (not to exceed 2,000 characters) Describe roughly what you plan to install and the type of location where it could be located.  If you have a specific site in mind, please provide a detailed description of the site and why you would prefer to site the artwork at that particular location. Describe the methods and materials you plan to use in the installation.
  • Resume
  • References
Selection Criteria
The artists or artist teams will be selected on the basis of the following criteria:
  • strength and artistic merit of past works
  • quality and ideas expressed in the concept proposal
  • visual and technical sophistication
  • creativity of approach
  • ability to complete a project on time
  • references
ARTS is committed to reflecting the diversity and cultural richness of our city in the selection of artists and artworks.
Selection Process
The selection will take place on one day.  A panel of arts professionals, SDOT representatives and Parks staff will review the applicants’ images, qualifications, concept proposal and other materials.  The panelists will select 10 artists who will be awarded commissions. 
Notification of Results
Applicants will be notified of the panel’s decision by e-mail in late May.  ARTS reserves the right not to select any of the applicants.
We’re here to help
For questions about the project or the selection process, please contact:
Laura Becker at (206) 615-1095 or
Laura’s office hours are Monday through Friday, 9am – 5pm.
 Attend a Workshop   Arts staff will review each step of the CaFE application. If available, bring your draft application to be reviewed by a staff member.  Please bring your materials on your own computer, a flash drive, CD, or as a hard copy.
  • Read the Public Art Call Guidelines, the online instructions and if need be, contact CaFE for technical assistance.
  • Talk with the Program Staff.  Discuss questions, problems, and budget specifics. It is fine to call before you have the application written. We can help!  The earlier you contact the project manager the better.
We strongly encourage you to attend the workshop, especially if you are a first-time applicant.
Project Overview: A free, optional workshop will be available, offering an introduction to the Art Interruptions program and CaFE online application system.
 Thursday, April 17 2014 from 5:30pm to 7pm
The Frye Art Museum – Art Studio Classroom