ArtsWA Seeks Artists for Future Public Art

ArtsWA Seeks Artists for Future Public Art



 Olympia, WA, Unknown

The Washington State Arts Commission’s (ArtsWA) Art in Public Places program (AIPP) works with K-12 public schools, colleges, universities, and state agencies to obtain artwork for their campuses and buildings.  The Public Artist Roster—a list of pre-qualified, professional artists—is the main tool for choosing artists to create artwork. Local Art Selection Committees choose artists from the roster for roughly 40 new projects each year.  Artists are added to the Roster every three years through the Public Artist Roster Call for Applications, which is open now.  The next open call will be in 2021.

Full information about this call is available online.

Eligibility:  Professional visual artists working in the U.S. or the province of British Columbia, Canada

Budget:  No fee for being on the roster; if selected, project budgets range from $45,000 to over $200,000

Deadline:  June 26, 2018

Applying for the Roster indicates a willingness to:

  • Design and propose artworks for review and approval by program staff, professional conservators, and local Art Selection Committees;
  • Travel to the project site up to three times during the proposal/design process to meet with the local Art Selection Committee and project managers;
  • Work within fixed budgets and with committees that include non-arts professionals;
  • Maintain registration as a WA State vendor and adhere to relevant state permitting and licensing requirements, including those relating to contracting and the paying of prevailing wages; and
  • Enter into contracts with ArtsWA and fulfill those requirements, including paying applicable taxes.


Project funds can range up to $200,000 or more, though most budgets generally fall between $45,000 and $125,000. Funds cover all design/proposal costs, engineering, transportation, fabrication, installation, and other related costs. Artworks created through the program become part of the State Art Collection, managed by ArtsWA. When an artist enters into a commission contract for fabrication and installation with ArtsWA, they become ineligible for new projects managed by the program for a period of two years.


To ensure that the Roster includes a range of artists working within budgets that are proportional to projected project opportunities, ArtsWA will divide applications into two categories for the panel review:

  • Those who would accept projects with budgets below $100,000, and
  • Those only comfortable working on projects with budgets above $100,000.


Please allow sufficient time to develop and submit the application prior to the deadline. You can complete the application in more than one sitting; save the application and return later. ArtsWA staff is unavailable after 5pm (Pacific) or on weekends to provide technical support or retrieve passwords.

Artists should carefully consider and review all materials. If accepted to the Roster, submitted portfolios will be the same ones reviewed by local Art Selection Committees.

The following materials are required:

  • 8 digital images of applicant’s artworks (in jpg format, 1200 pixels on longest side, under 1.5 MB);
  • Artwork information for each image (title, date, medium, project budget, commissioning agency, etc.) and a short descriptive statement for each submitted image (250 character limit per image);
  • Artist’s statement (1,000 character limit);
  • A resume (PDF, DOC, or RTF format; PDFs are strongly preferred); and
  • Current contact information.

The online application includes more detailed information. Applicants should keep a digital copy of submissions for reference.


Program staff will pre-screen applications to confirm each meets the eligibility requirements as stated in the “Eligibility” section above. This includes the receipt of completed, on-time materials and residency. Staff will forward complete and eligible applications to the selection panel.


The panel will review and score portfolios based on the following criteria:

  1. Appropriateness (5 pts):  Evidence of the artist’s ability to execute artwork at an appropriate scale and using materials suitable for permanent artwork in public places, or demonstrated potential for successful transition to public art;
  2. Site Responsiveness (5 pts): Evidence of the artist’s ability to create artwork that addresses the physical and/or community context of its placement; and
  3. Artistic Excellence (15 pts): Evidence of some or all of the following: mastery of skills and techniques, professional approaches to process and presentation, and/or communication of unique vision or perspective.


Visit the online submission site to upload your materials.  Deadline is June 26, 2018.