IMPORTANT! Due to the response to Coronavirus (COVID-19) events on this site may be postponed or canceled.CLICK HERE for More Details.

City of Seattle Seeks Artists for Public Art Roster

Posted by Seattle Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS) ; Posted on 
Public Art; Visual - DEADLINE :  
City of Seattle Seeks Artists for Public Art Roster




The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS) is creating a Public Artist Roster of approximately 160 emerging, mid-career and established artists who will be pre-qualified for future art projects at city utility facilities, parks, street rights-of-way and other locations. This roster is one method of selecting artists to develop temporary, permanent, free-standing or site-integrated artwork projects in a variety of forms, sizes and complexities, outdoors and indoors.

The Office of Arts & Culture defines emerging, mid-career and established as the following:

  • An emerging artist is at an early stage in their career, who may/may not have specialized training, and who has created a modest body of artwork.
  • A mid-career artist has created an independent body of work over several years and who has received regional or national commissions. A mid-career artist may have had a significant number of solo exhibitions at galleries and museums, located nationally or internationally. “Mid-Career” doesn’t refer to the age of the artist or even a specific number of years in their careers.
  • An established artist is an artist who is at a mature stage in their career and who has created an extensive body of independent work. An established artist has had several permanent public art projects or has had significant number of solo exhibitions at galleries and museums, located nationally or internationally. “Established” doesn’t refer to the age of the artist or even a specific number of years in their careers.


This call is open to professional artists residing in the United States. Artists who apply as a team may not also apply as individual artists. Artists should be interested in working collaboratively in public settings. Applicants must be over 18 years old. Students are not eligible to apply.


Project budgets for roster-based selections will range up to $175,000, depending upon project complexity.


We strongly encourage you to attend one of these free and optional workshops, especially if you are a first-time applicant. The same content will be covered at each workshop.

Introduction to the Public Art program and CaFE online application system.
Saturday, March 18, 2017, 12–1:30 p.m. (PST)
The Hillman City Collaboratory
5623 Rainier Ave South
Seattle, WA 98118

Wednesday, March 22, 2017, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (PST)
Online Webinar
Registration URL:
Webinar ID: 966-346-235

The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture commissions a variety of public artworks through its 1% for Art program. The public art program works with several city departments engaged in capital construction projects. 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. In addition to using the roster, for selection ARTS will continue to issue open and invitational calls for artists.

The Artist Roster will be used as a pre-qualified pool to select an artist when a project’s requirements render it useful to rely on a roster: an expedited selection process, need for a specific skillset, or a curated opportunity. Selection of an artist off the roster will be based on the appropriateness of the artist’s media and experience for a specific project requirements and the artist’s availability. We may occasionally ask for roster artists to provide a statement of interest for specific projects.

Note there is no guarantee that artists on this roster will receive a commission.

When select public art commissions become available, staff will present artists’ qualifications to a stakeholder-based selection panel who will select candidates to interview or to commission for a proposal. In some cases, ARTS staff will contact roster artists for a project prior to 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.

Artists who are pre-qualified for the roster may apply to open calls issued by ARTS provided that they meet eligibility requirements. Artists included in the Artist Roster must apply separately to additional open calls issued by ARTS if they wish to be considered. Once an artist has been selected from the roster for a project, they are not eligible for additional roster projects, but may continue to apply to open calls.


  • Letter of interest (not to exceed 2,000 characters).
  • Resume (limit to 1-2 pages)
  • Three references (please include a brief statement about your working relationship to the reference)
  • Up to 12 images (If an artist does not submit 12 images, they will need to submit blank slides. Click here to download a blank slide.) Do not include more than two images of the same artwork. We will not accept composite images.
  • Image Identification List (not to exceed 500 characters for each image). If you completed a project as a team member, the image identification should indicate your role for each image submitted. Do not omit the Image Identification List or your application will be incomplete.


Artists will be selected for pre-qualification based on the following criteria: strength of past artworks, in a variety of expression and media; experience working in private and/or public settings; letter of interest; experience fabricating and installing temporary or permanent artwork; ability to complete a project on time and on budget; references

The selection for the Artist Roster is a one-step process. In June 2017, a panel of art and design professionals and departmental representatives will review applicants’ slides and other materials and select a varied list of artists ranging from emerging, mid-career and established, who will be pre-qualified.



Apply ONLY through the CaFE system.  No emailed or mailed applications will be accepted.
QUESTIONS?  Contact Elisheba Johnson (206) 684-0182 or Marcia Iwasaki (206) 233-3946. 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 Standard Time.