City of Seattle Public Art Plan

City Center Public Art Plan

UPDATED CALL: The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, (ARTS) in partnership with Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will commission one artist, or artist team of no more than two, to work with SDOT and ARTS staff to research, develop, and create a Public Art Plan for downtown Seattle based on current capital projects in Seattle's downtown core. SDOT's Center City projects include, but are not limited to: the Center City Connector (1st Avenue streetcar), Third Avenue Transit Corridor Improvements, and Pike/Pine Improvements Project. The selected artist will guide and influence the development of a public art plan that creates a robust, cohesive, and long-range vision for SDOT's 1% for Art programming in Seattle's downtown core.


This call is open to all professional artists residing in the United States and British Columbia and who are eligible to work in the U.S.


The new budget for this project is $45,000. The artist will receive $22,500.00 for phase I, the initial six months of the residency. $22,500.00 will be available for the art master plan development and delivery. All project fees are all inclusive of travel expenses, taxes and other project costs. Current Washington state sales/use tax rates apply to all artist contracts issued during the project, regardless of where the artist resides. This project is funded by Seattle Department of Transportation 1% for Art funds.


February 9, 2016


Phase I – Research/Residency
The selected artist will be commissioned to guide and influence the development of a public art plan that creates a robust, cohesive, and long-range vision for SDOT’s 1% for Art programming in Seattle’s downtown core. The artist will work for approximately six months, beginning April 2016 and running through September 2016. During Phase 1 of the project, the artist will work with SDOT staff, project design team consultants such as SvR Design Company, and project stakeholders and community members, in addition to other city partners, such as the Department of Planning and Development, Department of Neighborhoods, Lake2Bay, and Downtown Seattle Association/Municipal Improvement District to examine Seattle’s capital projects in the downtown core. A work space is available in SDOT, if helpful to the position, but some work may be conducted remotely. SDOT liaisons will help the artist understand the work of the department, arrange meetings and site visits, facilitate meet-the-artist activities, staff meetings, and one-on-one meetings with SDOT and partner staff.  The artist may also interview community members, business stakeholders, or government departments participating in downtown developments.
The artist's study and research activities will inform a public art master plan that willbring cohesion to the various capital projects slated for downtown Seattle. At mid-point of the first six-months of the research period, the artist will present a progress report to SDOT and ARTS staff indicating possible directions for the art master plan. Upon completion of the six-month research, the artist will prepare and deliver a final report including an outline for the art master plan. The artist’s proposal will be reviewed by SDOT and the Office of Arts & Culture.

Phase II – Public Art Master Plan
Using the information gathered during the research phase, the artist will develop a Public Art Master Plan that outlines potential for public art projects to be incorporated into SDOT’s capital projects in downtown Seattle. The artist will be encouraged to develop a plan that provides the following:

  • Cohesive Vision: outlines a conceptually cohesive, multi-disciplinary approach to art projects and programming that connects individuals and communities to SDOT’s efforts to enhance the experience of all users; pedestrians, cyclists, transit riders, and drivers.
  • Budgets: works with Office of Arts & Culture to coordinate SDOT 1% for Art allocations and develop appropriately scaled and budgeted artwork projects while allowing future commissioned artists to develop their own conceptual approaches.
  • Equity and Cultural Space: creates a plan that is inclusive of and addresses the broad diversity of Seattle’s communities
  • Artistic Elements: creates a typology for public art by examining what artistic elements are appropriate and where; including, but not limited to, lighting, sound art, sculptural objects, wayfinding, temporary projects, and more. The artist can show successful precedents and may have the opportunity to propose future projects for their own work.
  • Impactful Sites: identifies highly visible, easily accessible, and symbolic sites shared by many user groups while providing history and context of downtown as a whole.
  • Programmatic Directions: identifies project types, precedents, partners, and resources; with a special focus on opportunities for temporary projects, community engagement, broader city priorities, and diverse disciplines.
  • Public Art and Private Development: acknowledges and provides guidelines and tools for private artwork, linking developers’ public art investments to broader urban design and aesthetic goals.


Tuesday, February 9,  2016, 11 p.m. PST – deadline for application
Tuesday, February 23, 2016 – selection panel convenes to review applications
Tuesday, March 22, 2016 – finalists interviewed by selection panel
April 2016 – artist contracted