Call Detail
Midtown Square Public Art Call

Entry Deadline: 9/17/19
Application Closed
Number of Applications Allowed: 2
Work Sample Requirements
Images | Minimum:Min. 1, Maximum:Max. 8
Total Samples | Minimum:Min. 1, Maximum:Max. 8
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: National
State: Washington

Midtown Square Public Art – Call for artists

Contact Email:
Eligibility: See below
State: Washington
Entry Deadline: September 13, 2019

The Midtown Square, located at 23rd & Union in the historic Central Area of Seattle, project has eight opportunities for public art, including a number of locations that were added as a direct response to community feedback received at the Community Design Open Houses on October 24th, 27th and November 17, 2018.

The Community Design Open House process provided opportunities for designers to listen to the desires of current and former residents who articulated the significance of both building and public space design. Through this process, it was made clear that the Midtown Square development should bring new opportunities to regard the past with respect, honor the current with dignity, and give inspiration to the future.  The project is a private development of Lake Union Partners.

Overarching Arts Plan Theme:

This art plan is rooted in the values of reverence and discovery and takes into account responses from community members around their desires for how the project functions as a community space that is friendly, representative of an aesthetic that boldly recognizes the area’s rich heritage, and welcomes multi-generational interaction.

The public art will present opportunities for the building to further reflect the heritage and culture of the Central Area, and for local artists to collaborate with the community, the architects, and the developer on public installations, which will have an immediate and lasting impact on the built environment of this neighborhood. A broad selection of diverse artistic styles, perspectives, and mediums will be represented in the selected artworks.



  • Visual artists with strong connections to the Central Area’s predominately AFRICAN AMERICAN history and culture
  • Individual artists or collaborations
  • Demonstrated experience working with communities
  •  Ability to work with architects, designers, fabricators to successfully achieve concept to install
  • Successful experience working on time and within budget
  • Emerging artists are encouraged to apply where locations may match skill and experience level.


National call

Location descriptions: All location descriptions are included in the art plan which can be found at

Artists are welcome to apply for up to 2 locations. Applications can be submitted by a collaboration between more than one artist as well.

 Location #1: Northwest Building

  • Budget:
  • Commission $15,000
  • Materials - $46,200
  • Total = $61,200


Location #2: 23rd Ave & Union

  • Plaza
  • Budget:
  • Commission $8,000
  • Materials - $24, 000
  • Total = $32,000


Location #3: Panels on 23rd Ave.

  • Budget:
  • Commission - $6,000
  • Materials - $18,000
  • Total = $24,000


Location #4: 23rd Ave portal

  • Budget:
  • Commission - $5, 000
  • Materials - $10,000
  • Total = $15,000


Location #5: Central Square

  • Budget:
  • Commission - $10,000
  • Materials - $25,000
  • Total = $35,000

Location #6: Northeast Building

  • Budget:
  • Commission -$8,000
  • Materials - $24,000
  • Total = $32,000


Location #7: 24th and Union Plaza

  • Budget:
  • Commission - $5,000
  • Materials - $10,000
  • Total = $15,000


Location #8: 24th Ave. Portal

  • Budget:
  • Commission - $5,000
  • Materials - $10,000
  • Total = $15,000


The full art plan with descriptions, opportunity and scope for each location can be accessed here:



(OPTIONAL) APPLICATION WORKSHOP - August 24th, Saturday; 10:00a.m.- 11:30a.m. Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, 104 17th Avenue South, Seattle, 98144.



1. Written, artist bio (not to exceed 2500 characters, approximately 500 words).

Please provide a short artist bio speaking directly to your history and experience as an artist.   Please include information on your history working with community.  Include contact information for two professional references who can speak to your experience, capability, ability to work on time and on budget, and the quality of your work. Contact information only.

2. Communicate your connection to the Central District (not to exceed 1500 characters, approximately 300 words)

3. Please describe roughly what you might install. Describe the methods and materials you plan to use in the installation. Discuss your inspiration and what themes you might address in the project and how your work will connect to the overall public art theme. (Not to exceed 1500 characters, approximately 300 words) No full design proposals should be submitted at this time. Finalists will be notified and provided a stipend to submit a full design proposal.

4. Provide up to eight (8) images of past artworks. 

Artists will be selected on the basis of the fit of their concept for this project and the strength of their past work. For applicants without a history of past public art commissions, you will need to describe why you would be a good fit for this project. Previous public art experience is not required.

Applicants will be reviewed and ranked on the following:

  • Quality of concept, design, and craftsmanship of past works;
  • Creativity of approach; and
  • Relevance of concept proposal
  • Visual and technical sophistication;

An (optional) artist workshop will take place on Saturday, August 24, 10-11:30 at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, 104 17th Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98144.

The commissioned artist will work with Lake Union Partners, the general contractors, the arts consultant team - Vivian Phillips, Rico Quirindongo, and Aramis Hamer, and other project stakeholders to plan fabrication and installation of the permanent artwork. All parties will work together to assure that all elements meet the specifications outlined for each art location.


The selection process will include a review by a peer panel and advisors who will review all interested applicants’ proposals and materials. Finalists will be asked to make a formal presentation before the review panel. Finalists will be provided with a stipend to cover costs for submission of a full proposal.


If you are applying using CaFÉ for the first time we suggest applying in advance of the application deadline to allow for formatting of your images and uploading of all application requirements. Do not wait until the last days as problems frequently occur and may cause your application to become ineligible.


August 9th – CALL OPEN

August 24th – (Optional) Artist Workshop

September 13th – CALL CLOSES

September 20th – October 4, Jury Application Review Period

October 10/11 – Panel deliberations, artist shortlist

October 18th – Artist finalists notified

November 14/15 – Finalist presentations to panel

November 18 – 22 – Finalist references confirmed, additional information gathering period

December 1 (week of) – Public announcement, artist gathering, photo ops, etc.

January 2020 - Artists begin prep and interactions with contractors

Winter/Early Spring 2021
· Installs
· Documentation – photos, interviews, etc.
2021(Specific dates TBD)
Art unveiling, public tours

(All dates are subject to change)

Application Requirements

Eligibility Criteria