Call Detail
Seattle City Light Denny Substation Site: Performance & Temporary Artworks

Contact Email:
Call Type: Unspecified
Eligibility: Unspecified
State: Unspecified
Entry Deadline: 2/19/14
Application Closed
Images - Minimum: 16, Maximum: 16
Video - Minimum: 0, Maximum: 3
Total Media - Minimum: 16, Maximum: 19

INTRODUCTION The Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, in partnership with Seattle City Light (SCL), is seeking a multi-disciplinary art curator, curator team or arts professionals with established curatorial experience to develop, manage and coordinate temporary arts programming at the future site of Seattle City Light’s Denny Substation in the Cascade neighborhood. The curator or curator team will work with the Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs and SCL to develop a series of free and open public artwork performances and temporary artwork installations that will start in November 2013 and last up to 18 months at the future facility. The call is open to established professional curators residing in Washington or Oregon. Applications are due 11 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013 (Pacific Standard Time). BACKGROUND Seattle City Light (SCL) acquired property for a new electrical substation in the Cascade area of South Lake Union (SLU) in 2009. The new Denny Substation will serve high-density electrical load in the SLU urban area and north downtown, and provide added capacity for serving the Denny Triangle and First Hill areas. This is the first new SCL substation to be added to the electrical grid in more than 30 years. SCL is conducting an environmental remediation (cleanup) project on the property to be completed by October 2013, while developing the substation design and conducting environmental studies. Breaking ground for construction of the substation is anticipated during the second quarter of 2015. This call seeks a curator or curator team to develop, manage and coordinate a series of performance, film and/or site-specific temporary artworks to occur on the SCL property after it is cleaned up and before construction begins - an approximate 18-month period from November 2013 to April 2015. SCL wishes to celebrate and usher delivery of the new substation with artworks that evoke the vibrancy of the city, community values and the public-service mission of the utility. Artist team Lead Pencil Studio and Ned Kahn have been commissioned to work with the substation design team to develop permanent artworks for the new substation. SITE LOCATION, CONDITIONS & SURROUNDING USE The SCL substation property consists of three parcels separated by Pontius Street, and an alley (see attached map). It is bordered by Denny Way to the south, Minor Avenue to the west, John Street to the north and Yale Avenue to the east. The largest parcel is the site of the former Greyhound Bus garage. The other two parcels have functioned as parking lots. (SCL is considering substation alternatives that would require vacation of a portion of Pontius Street). Properties immediately surrounding the SCL property are largely residential with some mixed commercial and office use. Residential properties include the Mirabella, Brewster Apartments, Plymouth Housing Group's Coldwell Building and Cancer Care Alliance short-term housing for patients and their families. Site programming must be suitable for the location, compatible with the surrounding uses, reflect the vitality and diversity of nearby residents, and comply with Seattle Municipal Code requirements. Environmental remediation is being conducted to meet residential cleanup standards in state environmental law. No limitations on use are anticipated due to the environmental conditions at the completion of the cleanup by SCL. After the remediation is complete, asphalt on the two parking lot parcels will be restored and crushed rock will be placed on the large parcel where the bus garage was located. The site will be secured with fencing that may be adapted as needed to support temporary performances and artworks. SCHEDULE Phase I - Site Preparation Environmental Remediation – September 2012 through October 2013

  • The design team artist will be selected December 2012 and start work January 2013.
  • The site curator will be selected April 2013 and plan work for implementation beginning November 2013.

Phase II - Design Development Substation Design, Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), Permitting – June 2012 through January 2015

  • The design team artist will work with the team throughout Phase II and into Phase III
  • The site curator's work will begin November 2013 and be completed by the end of April 2015

Phase III - Construction Substation Construction – May 2015 through November 2016 ABOUT SEATTLE CITY LIGHT Created by the citizens of Seattle in 1902, Seattle City Light has served customers with electricity and related services for more than a century. Over the years SCL has worked very hard to keep Seattle's electricity affordable, reliable and environmentally sound. Today SCL is a recognized national leader in energy efficiency and environmental stewardship. SCL looks forward to continuing this tradition in the 21st century and beyond. ELIGIBILITY The call is open to established professional curators residing in Washington or Oregon. Curators may apply as a team of no more than two. Students are not eligible to apply. SCOPE OF WORK The selected curator or curator team will develop, manage and coordinate an arts program to present artworks in a variety of media at the future site of SCL’s Denny Substation. The curator will develop a range of artwork presentations and performances to introduce the future facility to its neighbors by presenting arts events that will celebrate the arrival of the Denny Substation as the delivery vehicle for bringing power to the people and businesses of the South Lake Union, north downtown and First Hill areas. A multi-disciplinary approach to programming is encouraged and could include, but is not limited to, temporary visual art installations, performance, video/film, dance and music/sound. As part of the project, the curator will be asked to create an ongoing visual presence at the future substation location that consists of temporary visual artworks. Temporary artwork installations should complement other artwork programming. The curator or curator team will work with SCL to determine artwork performance and presentation locations within the future substation’s project site (attached). The curator will work with the Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs and SCL to develop a programming schedule and budget for performances and presentations within Phase II (Substation Design & Permitting) that begin in November 2013 and run for up to 18 months. The curator or curator team will work with the Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs to develop calls for artists and will facilitate the artist selection process under the guidance of the Office. The hiring of consultants to assist with the production and presentation of artworks will be the responsibility of the curator. The curator will work with OACA and SCL to develop public outreach and marketing plans. The curator or curator team shall maintain at their own expense at all times during the periods of performance Commercial General Liability insurance with minimum limits of liability of $1,000,000 for each occurrence of bodily injury and property damage combined single limit. Curators shall have their authorized insurance representatives issue certification of insurance with an attached copy of the actual blanket or designated additional insured policy provision documenting that the city of Seattle is an additional insured for primary and non-contributory limits of liability. BUDGET The total budget for the project is $200,000, inclusive of all taxes, fees, travel, permits, etc. The selected curator will receive a fee of $40,000, and will have an artwork programming budget of $160,000. The project is funded by SCL 1% for Art funds and administered by the Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs. APPLICATION DEADLINE 11 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013 (Pacific Standard Time). APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS

  • Concept proposal (not to exceed 4,000 characters). Describe roughly what vision you have for an arts program and what your approach would be for this project. Please read the prompt in CaFÉ before uploading your concept proposal. If you are applying as a team, the letter should clearly describe the contribution of each collaborator
  • Résumé
  • Three references
  • Up to 16 images of past projects
  • One (1) to three (3) video(s) of past projects.
  • Image identification list (not to exceed 500 characters for each image). If you are applying as a team, the image identification should list the name of the artist for each image and video submitted. Do not omit the image identification list or your application will be incomplete.
  • All applications must be submitted digitally through the CaFÉTM online system. Link to the online application via to view the full application requirements. Refer to CaFÉTM “Cafe Help” page for image and video specifications. SELECTION CRITERIA The artist will be selected on the basis of the following criteria:
    • Quality of concept and vision of past works
    • Visual and technical sophistication
    • Creativity of approach
    • The ability to produce and organize outdoor contemporary art events
    • A proven ability to coordinate and collaborate with project managers, arts professionals and community stakeholders
    • A proven ability to develop effective partnerships
    • Demonstrated ability to complete and present projects on time and within budget
    SELECTION PROCESS The selection process will take place in two parts. During the first round, a panel of arts professionals, client representatives and community members will review the applicants’ images, qualifications and other materials. The panelists will identify up to four finalists to interview. Finalists will have four weeks to further develop their proposals and present them to the selection panel during interviews. The panel will select one curator or curator team to be awarded the commission. Finalists will receive a $1,500 stipend for their proposal. NOTIFICATION OF RESULTS Applicants will be notified of the panel’s decision by e-mail by end of April 2013. The Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs reserves the right not to select any of the applicants. WE’RE HERE TO HELP Please contact Jason Huff, public art project manager, at or (206) 684-7278. 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.
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