Public Art Sought for Pike-Pine Corridor in Seattl...

Public Art Sought for Pike-Pine Corridor in Seattl...


 (206) 684-7309

 Seattle, WA, Unknown

The Office of the Waterfront and Civic Projects, in partnership with the Office of Arts & Culture and Seattle Department of Transportation, seeks an artist/artist team to join a collaborative design team to unify the Pike-Pine corridor, which is a major east-west connection to Seattle’s central waterfront.

Budget: $50,000 for design and $250,000 for fabrication and installation

Eligibility: Professional artists working in the United States

Deadline:  January 22, 2020

The City of Seattle is rebuilding Seattle’s central waterfront. With the removal of the Alaskan Way Viaduct complete, the City will create a park promenade along the water, construct a new surface street along Alaskan Way, rebuild Pier 58 and Pier 62, build an elevated connection from Pike Place Market to the waterfront, and improve east-west connections between downtown and Elliott Bay. This effort, called Waterfront Seattle, is a $724M, multi-year investment between now and 2023. It is led by the City of Seattle’s Office of the Waterfront and Civic Projects.

Prior to embarking on a concept design, Waterfront Seattle outlined a series of guiding principles for the project. Among these guiding concepts of Waterfront Seattle is the commitment to create “A Waterfront for All” and to reconnect the city to its waterfront. The waterfront will strive to engage the entire city, with uses and activities that will attract people from all walks of life. In order to facilitate access to the waterfront, the city will by build a network of green connections and public spaces that connect visually and physically to the water, improving key streets between Pioneer Square to the south and Belltown to the north. Pike and Pine Streets are among two of the streets that will undergo improvements.

A Concept Design and Framework Plan were completed by the design team, led by James Corner of Field Operations, as part of Waterfront Seattle, a cohesive program for re-envisioning the waterfront and its connections to downtown and beyond. The plan includes a diverse range of new public spaces and several new pedestrian connections to the waterfront. Between the street and the water’s edge, a broad promenade will run along the waterfront, and existing piers will be re-constructed as new public open spaces. Waterfront Seattle thus seeks to re-center the city on its bay. The city and state are working collaboratively across agencies and projects to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape Seattle’s waterfront.

As part of the Waterfront Seattle framework plan, the design team, including an artist and arts consultants, completed an art plan entitled A Working Plan for Art on the Central Seattle Waterfront. The art plan identifies the waterfront as the intersection of three forces:  ecology, economy, and community, which have reshaped its function and physical character over long periods of time. Seeing the waterfront as a working waterfront through most of its inhabited history, the art plan proposes arts and culture as active presences on a new working waterfront. Alongside permanent commissioned artworks, the plan calls for events, residencies, cultural and educational institutions, and working artists on the waterfront. The Seattle Arts Commission reviewed and endorsed the art plan, and it guides the development of art projects for the waterfront. Seven artists have been commissioned to create permanently sited or long-term temporary artworks for the waterfront.

Among the various projects that make up the Waterfront Program, the Pike Pine Renaissance Streetscape and Bicycle Improvements Project is one of several that connect the waterfront to the city fabric.

Pike and Pine are the two most important east-west streets in the central part of Downtown, connecting the density and energy of Capitol Hill to the retail core, to the heart of the City at Pike Place Market, and ultimately to the new waterfront. Much of the route passes by major retailers and the Washington State Convention Center and then continues over I-5 up to Capitol Hill, Seattle’s densest residential neighborhood.

A goal of the project is to provide a graceful, interesting, and safe journey for pedestrians along the full length of that route, and a clear indication of how to reach the waterfront. A desired component of that journey is a continuous character and quality, and legibility. Ideally a person would know they are on Pike or Pine compared to other streets (and at the same time, will be able to distinguish Pike from Pine).

The Pike Pine Renaissance Streetscape and Bicycle Improvements Project will improve Pike and Pine Streets between First Avenue and Melrose/Bellevue Avenues. This effort merges the Office of the Waterfront’s streetscape project with Seattle Department of Transportation’s Protected Bike Lane Project and will make improvements for people who walk and people who bicycle on these streets. This project builds on Downtown Seattle Associations’ 2013 Pike Pine Renaissance Design Vision, that reimagined these two streets and adjacent areas. The current project will achieve a key Waterfront Seattle objective to improve east-west connections between the waterfront and surrounding neighborhoods. It also builds on Protected Bicycle Lanes already implemented on Pike and Pine Streets as part of the City Center Bike Network. The City of Seattle will construct improvements as part of Waterfront Seattle construction.


  • Reinforcing the role of Pike and Pine as primary east-west pedestrian streets
  • Offering a generous, safe, and continuous pedestrian experience
  • Providing places to linger and enjoy city life
  • Fostering stewardship and activation by adjacent property owners and tenants


The selected artist or artist team (of no more than two lead members) will collaborate with the Pike Pine Renaissance Streetscape and Bicycle Improvements Project design team, including ZGF Architects, LLP, project stakeholders, and community members to design integrated streetscape elements and/or original artwork or series of artworks on Pike and Pine Streets. The artist(s) will help design elements that may be well-integrated into the site, helping to unify the streetscape, and may also be asked to consider gateway elements (if feasible) or other identifiers for the corridor. These latter artworks should be very legible as autonomous artistic interventions at key intersections.

  • Artworks must be durable and low maintenance in this urban environment.
  • Following approval of an art concept, the selected artist(s) will continue to design development, construction documents, and implementation (fabrication and installation) of the artwork.
  • In addition to providing renderings and construction documents, the selected artist(s) will be expected to meet regularly with the design team in person and via teleconferencing to discuss integration of the art components of the project. Artist collaboration with the design team will be required in order to incorporate artistic elements into the street improvement project. The selected artist(s) will be expected to provide construction documents that include details, specifications, and cost estimates of the work associated with their design.
  • The selected artist(s) will also attend stakeholder and community meetings as part of the design team.
  • The artist(s) will be expected to make public presentations, including to the Public Art Advisory Committee (PAAC), staffed by the Office of Arts & Culture; the PAAC will make recommendations for approval.
  • The artist(s) will be contracted for design, and upon approval of design, the artist(s) will be expected to enter into an agreement to fabricate and install any discrete artworks, if applicable. There is no guarantee that all elements of the artist(s)’ design will be realized.
  • The artist(s) will work under the general direction of the Seattle Office of the Waterfront and Civic Projects.
  • The artwork will enter the collection of the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture.


  1. To lead people to the new Waterfront for All:  The development of the waterfront is intended to engage everyone and all communities. Marking a legible route will help people reach this important civic amenity.
  2. To unify corridor character and continuity:  Pike and Pine are the two most important east-west streets in the central part of Downtown, connecting the density and energy of Capitol Hill to the retail core, to the heart of the city at Pike Place Market, and ultimately to the new waterfront. A goal of the project is to provide a graceful, interesting, and safe journey for pedestrians along the full length of that route. A desired component of that journey is a continuous character and quality, and legibility. Ideally a person would know they are on Pike or Pine compared to other streets downtown. The artist(s) may work with the design team to explore ways to reinforce or foster continuity along the corridor. This might take the form of physical elements such as, but not limited to, paving or crosswalks, sculptural elements attached to poles, banners or signs, lighting, video screens, and more. Depending on the nature of the design, some elements, if fully integrated, may be able to leverage construction funds for implementation and may be executed by the project contractor.
  3. To create gateways and nodes and activate existing dead zones: The artist(s) may also be asked to look at developing site-specific artwork at key locations such as gateways, key nodes of activity, or specific places where the quality of the pedestrian environment is lacking. Gateways include the crossing of the freeway and the entry to the Pike Place Market zone. One idea is to provide an art element that serves as a bookend to the large Pike Place Market signs at the opposite end of the corridor. The gateway at First Avenue on the threshold of the Market calls for something that supports and does not compete with the existing big Pike Place Market signs and iconic historic architecture. Nodes of activity include Westlake Park, the proposed new public plaza space between 3rd and 4th on Pine, and the intersections of 3rd and Pine and 3rd and Pike, which are key nodes of activity where the city’s main transit street meets the two highest volume pedestrian streets. In certain circumstances, site-specific artworks at nodes and gateways could satisfy the goal of corridor unification.


  • Open Call for Artists:  Wednesday, December 18, 2019
  • Application Deadline:  Wednesday, January 22, 2020
  • Selection:  February / March 2020
  • Artist Notification:  March / April 2020
  • March 2020:  30% Streetscape Design Review
  • Design/Construction Document Completion:  March 2021
  • Spring 2021:  100% Streetscape Design Completed
  • Spring 2022:  Streetscape Construction Start (projected)
  • October 2023:  Streetscape and Artwork Completion

The selection will take place in two parts. During the first round of the selection process a panel of arts professionals, client representatives, and community members will review the applicants’ work samples, qualifications, and other materials. The panelists will identify up to four finalists to interview at a second panel meeting two to four weeks later. The panel will select one artist or artist team to be awarded the commission. The city reserves the right not to select any artists for this commission.


  • Quality of concept, design, and craftsmanship of past artworks.
  • Propensity for innovation or experimentation.
  • Past experience working in public, site-specific contexts and demonstrated ability to produce durable outdoor art.
  • Experience working with and proven ability to coordinate and collaborate in design teams, with design professionals, project managers, and community stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated ability to complete projects on time and within budget.
  • Relevance of letter of interest.
  • Availability to work in a compressed timeframe.
  • References.

The Office of Arts & Culture is committed to reflecting the diversity and cultural richness of our city in the selection of artists and artworks.

Applicants will be notified of the panel’s decision by the end of April 2020. The Office of Arts & Culture reserves the right not to select any applicants.


  1. 12 to 16 images. Images should concentrate on completed projects that show potential or demonstrated skill to produce three-dimensional public artworks and/or integrated design elements.
  2. Letter of interest (not to exceed 2,000 characters including spaces). Please describe your interest in and qualifications for this specific opportunity and how you might generally approach this Pike Pine commission (no proposals please). Please address the selection criteria and include specific references to your previous artworks in public places. Describe your availability and ability to work within the compressed timeline.
  3. Resume (not to exceed two pages) or a biography (not to exceed one page) about yourself.
  4. Three references. Please include the reference’s name, email address, phone number, and how you know this reference. If you are applying as a team, please include three references for each team member.
  5. Work Sample Description List (not to exceed 500 characters for each image). Please explain clearly and include artwork title, year installed, media, dimensions, and a description. If you completed a project as a team member, the image identification should indicate your role for each image submitted.


Submit ONLINE ONLY via the CaFE system. For assistance with the CaFÉ online application process, please contact CaFÉ tech support at 888.562.7232 or, Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Pacific Time).

QUESTIONS? Contact Ruri Yampolsky:; 206.684.7309.