Call Detail
King Street Station Plaza Temporary Art Project

Contact Email:
Call Type: Unspecified
Eligibility: Unspecified
State: Unspecified
Entry Deadline: 4/27/11
Application Closed
Media Images:16

INTRODUCTION The Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, in collaboration with the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), seeks an artist or artist team to create a temporary, site-specific public art project for the Jackson Street Plaza at King Street Station. The station is located at South Jackson Street and Third Avenue South. BACKGROUND The Great Northern Railway and Northern Pacific Railway built King Street Station between 1904 and 1906. Designed by the firm of Reed and Stem of St. Paul, Minnesota, who were associate architects for the design of Grand Central Terminal in New York City, the station was part of a larger project that moved the mainline away from the waterfront and into a 5,245-foot tunnel under downtown. The depot's 245-foot tower was modeled after Campanile di San Marco in Venice, Italy, making it the tallest building in Seattle at the time of its construction. The structure was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. Over the years, King Street Station suffered from wear and tear as well as renovation work that eliminated or obscured some of its original historic elements. On March 5, 2008, Mayor Greg Nickels marked the start of a new era for King Street Station with the City of Seattle’s purchase of the landmark building from the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway Company. Under city ownership, King Street Station is undergoing a $50 million renovation. Elements of the renovation include restoration of the building’s historic character and grandeur, upgrading facilities, and LEED Platinum building certification. The work involves replacing the existing roof with the original terra cotta tile roof and restoring interior finishes and exterior building façades, among other things. The Station Plaza, which opens onto Jackson Street, is also being renovated and reopened to the public. The station is served by Amtrak long distance rail, Sound Transit commuter rail and Amtrak intercity buses. It offers convenient access to local and regional buses, Link Light Rail, and, in the future, the Seattle Streetcar. King Street Station is located at South Jackson Street and Third Avenue South at the southern end of downtown Seattle. The station is located in the Pioneer Square neighborhood and next to the Chinatown/International District. Both neighborhoods have distinct cultures and histories. To the south of King Street Station are the SODO and stadium areas. With its location at the nexus of these areas, King Street Station serves as a transportation hub and an important node in the fabric of the city. The new plaza is approximately 13,000 square feet. The station building sits on the south end of the plaza facing north toward South Jackson Street. The north end of the plaza will feature a group of trees in raised planters. The east and west edges of the plaza are delineated by granite railings. The west side of the plaza is flanked by a brick-paved walkway that leads to the grand staircase for the waiting area below. One can look over the east railing to see the active train tracks on the story below. Two busy arterial streets border the plaza, Fourth Avenue South and South Jackson Street. With the exception of the paved walkway on the west and south sides of the plaza, the ground will be finished with crushed marble. At the center of the plaza is a ventilation shaft surrounded by a granite seating wall. Find more information about the King Street Station background here: Renderings of the plaza design: Other photos of the project: Seattle Department of Transportation Webpage Historical Background SCOPE OF WORK The selected artist or artist team will work with staff from the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and the Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs to develop a new temporary, site-specific public art project to be sited at the Jackson Street Plaza at King Street Station. The project will enliven the imaginations of viewers and/or make viewers participants in the project. The artwork will cause passersby to see the historic station and this area of the city in a new and energized light. The project will call attention to the renovated plaza and the station as a hub of the city. The artist will be asked to look at the site of the King Street Station plaza from the perspective of its role in the formation of the city, as a node in a transportation network, and as a potentially vital public space. The primary audience for the artwork will be pedestrians using the plaza to access the grand staircase to the main waiting room at track level, one story below the plaza. The artwork should serve to draw pedestrians into the plaza. The plaza is approximately 150’ x 90’ feet. Possible approaches may include but are not limited to: projections or light, participatory or interactive artworks, and/or a temporary installation in the plaza. Because the plaza is built on the roof of part of the structure, there are limitations in terms of anchoring sculptural works and creating footings. While the artwork is in on view, a 20’ x 90’ section of the plaza near the station building will be fenced off for construction inside the building. The remainder of the new plaza will be open and is a potential site for artwork. The plaza is situated on a highly urban, busy corner. Although the new plaza will have a group of trees adjacent to South Jackson Street, the plaza will not be protected from the noise and activity of the city. On-going construction work will contribute to the atmosphere of flux. The art project should respond to the conditions of the space, be it winter weather or the dynamic unpredictability of the urban environment. The temporary project will be on view for a limited duration. The selected artist will develop a design proposal over the summer and could begin production/fabrication as early as fall 2011. During the design phase, the artist(s) will work with the Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs and SDOT to determine an appropriate schedule based on the nature of the artwork and other site considerations. The artwork may be on view for a maximum of one year, but the duration may be shorter depending on the medium and concept of the artwork proposed. The project should be completed by summer 2012. The selected artist will participate in public presentations and community outreach relating to the artwork and will present their proposal to the Pioneer Square Preservation Board for approval. King Street Station is part of the Pioneer Square historic district, which is protected by an ordinance and design guidelines focused on preserving its unique historic and architectural character. BUDGET The total project budget is $35,000, all–inclusive of travel expenses, taxes, and all project costs for design, fabrication/production, installation and removal of artwork. ELIGIBILITY This call is open to artists living in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Alaska, British Columbia and California. Artists may apply as a team, but the application should clearly describe the contribution of each collaborator. The Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs encourages diversity in its collection. Artists whose work is well represented in the city’s collection are eligible to apply, but the artist selection panel will consider artistic diversity as one factor in the selection process. Students are not eligible to apply. APPLICATION DEADLINE 11 p.m., Pacific Daylight Time, Wednesday, April 27, 2011 APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS A note on work samples:Applicants may submit still images or both still and moving images, or audio samples on a CD-R/DVD-R. In CaFÉ, applicants will be asked to indicate if still or moving images are the primary work sample. The media (still image or CD-R/DVD-R) that you select as your primary work sample will be shown to the selection panel. The Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs reserves the right not to show secondary work samples during the selection process. Submit online using CaFÉTM by 11 p.m., Wednesday, April 27:
  • Letter of interest (not to exceed 2,000 characters). Please read the question in CaFÉ before uploading your letter of interest.
  • Résumé
  • Up to 16 images. If you choose to submit fewer than 16 images, you will still be required by CaFÉ to submit a total of 16 image files. Please submit blank images to bring your total image count to 16 before you submit your application.
  • Work Sample Identification List. List should include information about all work samples, including both still images and samples submitted on CD-R/DVD-R.
Submit via mail or hand-deliver by 5 p.m., Wednesday, April 27: Video work samples totaling three minutes submitted on CD-R/DVD-R (Optional) The selection panel will review a total of three minutes maximum from each applicant. The three-minute sample may include clips from multiple works. The CD-R/DVD-R should be formatted so your work samples are arranged in the order you want them seen. The samples can be played using either Windows Media Player or Quicktime. Work samples must be delivered to our office by 5 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time, Wednesday, April 27, 2011. This is not a postmark deadline. Late samples will not be reviewed. Please submit the following information on/with your CD-R/DVD-R:
  • Artist’s name
  • Artist’s address, phone and email
  • Title of artwork(s) and running time of each clip. Titles must match the information submitted online in the work sample identification list.
Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope: Applicants who want their work samples returned by mail must include a self-addressed envelope with adequate postage. Applicants may also pick up work samples at the Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs after receiving notification of results. Work samples without postage will be discarded 60 days after the notice is sent. Every effort is made to ensure safe handling of work samples, but the city of Seattle cannot assume responsibility for loss or damage. Mail to: Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs City of Seattle PO Box 94748 Seattle, WA 98124-4748 FedEx, UPS or hand-deliver to: Address FedEx, UPS, other delivery to: Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs City of Seattle 700 Fifth Ave., Ste 1766 Seattle, WA 98104 SELECTION CRITERIA The artist or artist team will be selected on the basis of the following criteria: strength and artistic merit of past works, ideas expressed in the letter of interest and in-person interview, visual and technical sophistication, creativity of approach, ability to complete a project on time and within budget, references, and the contribution of the artist’s work to the diversity of the city’s art collection. The Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs is committed to reflecting the diversity and cultural richness of our city in the selection of artists and artworks. References provided as part of this application will be contacted prior to artist interviews. SELECTION PROCESS The selection process will occur in two phases: 1) a selection panel will review all applications and select up to four finalists or finalist teams, 2) the selection panel will meet for a second time to interview finalists/ finalist teams and select one artist/artist team for the project. NOTIFICATION OF RESULTS The Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs will notify the selected artist/artist team at the conclusion of interviews and panel deliberations. Please do not call the office. Applicants will receive notification of the panel’s decision by e-mail. The Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs reserves the right not to select any of the applicants. WE’RE HERE TO HELP Please contact Patricia Hopper at 206-684-7311 or 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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