Call Detail
Call for Concepts using salvaged pieces of the Kalakala Ferry
City of Kirkland
123 5th Ave
Kirkland, WA 98033

Contact Email:
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: International
State: Washington
Entry Deadline: 10/16/17
Application Closed
Media Images:10

City of Kirkland

Kalakala Art Concept Request for Qualification

Primary Contacts:

Ellen Miller-Wolfe

Economic Development Manager


Philippa Marsh

Special Projects Coordinator




Budget: $2,500 for each artist selected

Deadline: October 16, 2017


The City of Kirkland is seeking qualified artists or artist teams to develop concepts for artwork using salvaged pieces of the Kalakala – an iconic Art Deco ferry boat that was built in Kirkland and sailed the Puget Sound region. Up to four artists will be selected to develop concepts. These concepts will be reviewed by the Kalakala Committee, representing citizens, local historians and artists, and the Cultural Arts Commission with a final decision by the City Council.



In early 2015, the City of Kirkland purchased several pieces of the historic Kalakala Ferry, which was built at the Lake Washington Shipyards (present day Carillon Point) in 1935. The City of Kirkland has allocated funds for the development of art concepts with future funding to be determined.


Scope of Work:

Artists are encouraged to respond to the following considerations in developing an art concept for repurposing the Kalakala:

  • Use the remnants of the Kalakala to create something that commemorates the vessel, its contribution to Northwest maritime history, its unique expression of Art Deco, and innovative engineering.

  • Consider using new technologies in an art concept.

  • Develop a site-specific installation. There are possible public spaces, the most likely along the Cross Kirkland Corridor, an abandoned stretch of the former BNSF Railroad line that runs north-south through Kirkland with several waterfront overlooks.  


Artist Selection Process:

The Kalakala Committee will review responses to the RFQ and select up to four finalists to develop concepts for public presentation.



  • Letter of Interest (500 words or less) describing why this project is of interest, general approach to concepts and designs for public artwork and relevant skills and experience.

  • Experience interpreting historic material and working with salvaged metal.

  • Digital work samples (.jpg file of no less than 10 images that clearly show past work experience labeled with the name of the team or team lead).

  • Resumes of artist or artists with identification of team leader if that applies.

  • Contact information for three references.

  • Availability during the timeline referenced below



  • Sept 11         RFQ call for artists

  • Oct 16           Artists qualifications due

  • Oct 23-27     Kalakala Committee reviews submissions and chooses 4 artists to proceed

  • Nov 3            Artists advised of their selection and instructed to develop concepts for presentation

  • Dec 15           Final concepts due

  • Jan                 Recommendations secured from applicable Committees

    Jan                 City Council consideration



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