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Public Art Sought for WA Convention Center

Posted by 4Culture ; Posted on 
Public Art; Visual - DEADLINE :  
Public Art Sought for WA Convention Center
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4Culture and the Washington State Convention Center announce an opportunity to commission an artist for a major work of public art bridging the existing Convention Center and the new Convention Center Addition.

Budget:  $800,000

Eligibility:  Professional artists based in the U.S. and Canada

Deadline:  June 21, 2018

Project Background

For nearly 30 years, the WSCC has been the Northwest’s premier meetings and events facility. WSCC welcomes thousands of visitors from around the globe each year, offering industry-leading service, award-winning catering, and a comprehensive range of services for event planners, exhibitors, and guests.

Following years of study and continuing demand from convention goers who prefer to meet in Seattle, the WSCC is building an additional facility.

The existing WSCC and its new Addition are located in Seattle’s downtown core at the intersection of several distinct, urban, and rapidly evolving neighborhoods. The Addition project includes two co-development sites and will transform the equivalent of four blocks of downtown streetscape. The design of the WSCC Addition and its public art program aim to create enhanced connections with the surrounding neighborhoods and promote a unique experience that embodies the essence of the Pacific Northwest.

To build the Addition project, the WSCC requested several street and alley vacations from the city. In exchange, the project provided a package of public benefits, including three significant public artworks. This opportunity at Ninth and Pike is one of those public benefit artwork sites. All of the public benefit artwork areas are perceived as zones of experience, allowing the selected artists the broadest opportunity to define the intent, materials, and possibility of the artwork.

Site Information

The intersection of Ninth Avenue and Pike Street in downtown Seattle presents an opportunity for a large-scale artwork that can enhance the pedestrian experience and create a memorable and dynamic connection between the existing Washington State Convention Center (WSCC) and its new Addition. While this site is not part of the Addition re-development, it does offer the possibility for an artist to envision an urban “room” that creates a space of its own, while supporting other civic developments and connections. The site is an important location in the context of the city’s Pike Pine Renaissance: Act One initiative. The WSCC and this location are also adjacent to Freeway Park, a 5.2-acre masterwork designed by Lawrence Halprin and Angela Danadjieva. Freeway Park is currently undergoing a community engagement and schematic design process to envision and create improvements to connectivity, visibility, and public safety.

Pike Street creates a strong link from the WSCC to Seattle’s waterfront via Pike Place Market and Westlake. Several notable landmarks are in proximity to the site along Ninth Avenue, including the historic Paramount Theatre and the WorldMark Seattle – The Camlin.

Artwork information

Artwork is not limited to vertical application on the building façade. Property boundaries, pedestrian movement, and transportation mobility will be considerations, but finalists will be encouraged to think broadly about the possibilities for the art.

Timeline for Selection

  • Deadline for entry: Thursday, June 21, 2018, 4:00 pm PDT
  • Selection panel meeting: Friday, July 20, 2018
  • Finalist notification: Monday, July 23, 2018
  • Finalist orientation: Wednesday, August 8 and Thursday, August 9, 2018*
  • Proposal presentation: Friday, October 19, 2018*
  • Final design and reviews: November 2018 to June 2019

*You should be available in this timeframe in order to participate in an in-person orientation and proposal presentation if selected as a finalist. Out-of-town finalists will be reimbursed for travel and lodging expenses to attend both the orientation and proposal presentation in Seattle, Washington. If applying as a team, the allowance for travel may not fully reimburse all team members. The panel reserves the right to make no selection from the submitted applications or finalists’ proposals.

Criteria for Selecting Finalists
Finalists will be selected on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Quality and strength of past work as demonstrated in the submitted application materials.
  • Experience with art projects of a comparable scope and scale, preferably in exterior locations with streetscape frontage and/or pedestrian interaction.
  • Command of dynamic spatial relationships and demonstrated understanding of complex sites with multiple viewing points.
  • Perceived ability and interest in creating site-specific artwork.
  • Availability to begin proposal development work immediately.

Selection Process
The artist for this commission will be selected through an open call process, with the final artwork decided on the basis of competitive proposals. A six-person selection panel will review the applications and shortlist three finalists to develop proposals. Finalists will receive an in-depth orientation so that they can fully understand the site context and scope of adjacent developments and city initiatives. The panel will reconvene to review the finalists’ proposals and select one artist for the commission.

Finalists will each receive an $8,000 stipend to attend the orientation, develop a conceptual proposal, and present the proposal to the selection panel. In addition to the proposal fee, out-of-town finalists will be reimbursed for travel and lodging costs for two trips to Seattle to participate in the orientation and proposal presentation.

All finalists will be expected to attend the orientation on August 8 and 9, 2018 and proposal presentation on October 19, 2018. These meetings will be held in Seattle, Washington.

The panel reserves the right to make no selection from the submitted applications or finalists’ proposals. The panel’s recommendations are subject to approval by the WSCC Board.

Submission Requirements

You must submit the following materials via online application. The Public Art application system is being used for this process. You may be required to create a new account.

  • Profile
  • Your contact information
  • Résumé
  • Two-page (maximum) current professional résumé. Keep the formatting as simple as possible. PDF is preferred; text (.txt) files will also be accepted. Teams should upload one document with two-page résumés for each team member.
  • Statement of Interest:  Write a statement (500 words or less) that addresses the selection criteria and responds to the following questions:
    • Why are you interested in this opportunity?
    • How does this opportunity relate to your past work? How might it be different?
    • How do you approach the creation of context and site-specific artwork?
  • Work Samples: You must submit 12 total work samples to be eligible for consideration. Artists whose primary practice includes time-based media may submit up to 5 of the 12 samples as audio or video files, with a cumulative run-time of up to 5 minutes.
    • Digital Images: submit up to 12 digital images of past artwork (no composites) that best illustrate your qualifications. If applying as a team, a maximum of 12 images may be submitted, inclusive of all team members. Images will be projected one at a time during the application material review session. Upload JPG files only (GIFs, TIFFs and other formats will not be accepted). Images must be under 2 MB in size, 1920 pixels on the longest side, and at least 72 dpi. Once uploaded, the system will automatically label the files with your last name, first initial, and a number indicating viewing order.
    • Audio/Video: Submit up to five (5) audio or video samples if these media relate to your art practice (i.e., to show kinetic artwork, gradations of light, sound or media-based art, etc.). Audio samples must be submitted via SoundCloud with the specific URL (e.g., soundcloud.com/29523) noted on the Work Sample Upload page. Video samples must be submitted via Vimeo or YouTube, with the specific URL (e.g., vimeo.com/2992575) noted on the Work Sample Upload page. All submissions must be publicly accessible; password protected files will not be accepted. Timed excerpts are preferred, but longer samples may be submitted with notation in the description field of specific start and stop time for a cumulative run time of up to 5 minutes. Please include the start and stop times for excerpted audio/video samples at the beginning of the descriptive text.
    • All applicants will be required to list the title, date of completion, medium, and dimensions/duration along with a brief description of 75 words or less for each work sample. Applicants are encouraged to fill out the optional fields that include commissioning entity, budget, project partners, photo credit, and copyright owner.
    • After your first work sample entry, the text fields will automatically populate with information from the previous work sample upload. This is meant to help expedite the inclusion of multiple work samples per artwork/project and can be easily changed by highlighting and typing over the text. All work samples and descriptive text can be reviewed, edited, or deleted by clicking on the file name in the left hand progress navigation. Work samples can be reordered if needed when the application preview step is reached.

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