4Culture Grants + Calls

2+U: 2nd Avenue Lobby

Create site-specific artwork or offer existing work for a prominent interior lobby location in a new office, retail, and cultural space building in downtown Seattle.

Steps to Apply

1 About the Project

1 About the Project

  • Project Budget: Up to $250,000 [Artist’s project budget is inclusive of artist fees, materials, fabrication, on-site installation, travel and transportation, and Washington State Sales/Use Tax.]
  • Eligibility: Open to professional artists and artist-led teams residing in WA, OR or BC.
  • Application: Submission of an online application is required for this opportunity.
  • Deadline: Tuesday, January 28, 2020, 4:00 pm PST

Public Art 4Culture is supporting the artist application process, on behalf of Skanska.


Skanska seeks an artist or artist-led team to create artwork for a dramatic, highly visible new Class A office, retail and cultural space development in downtown Seattle. At 2+U, commerce and culture blend seamlessly, steps from businesses, arts, and entertainment that make Seattle unique.

The lobby artwork is envisioned as a major piece within a collection of artwork, art experiences and events at 2+U that engage artists with international reputations, emerging local talent, and 2+U’s creative tech tenants. The art collection is intended to reflect a sensibility grounded in the Pacific Northwest, celebrate the creative process that is at the heart of Seattle’s past and its future, and underscore the unique nature of the 2+U development.

Due to the compressed timeline, Skanska is open to commissioning site-specific artwork or purchasing existing artwork.


2+U is located at Second Avenue and University Street, at the intersection of Seattle’s central business district, major cultural institutions, waterfront access, and neighborhood destinations in Pioneer Square and Pike Place Market. The office tower is lifted 85-feet creating a unique, covered, multi-level, outdoor, public space envisioned as an urban village that showcases the best of the Pacific Northwest in food, retail and arts.

Urban Village

The 24,000 square foot Urban Village fuses local retail, art, culture and nature into a first-of-its kind three-level public gathering space. The Urban Village includes The Studio, a cultural rehearsal space for dance, music, vocal performance and theater, managed by Shunpike, and The Square plus The Lookout, outdoor, public spaces programmed by the Downtown Seattle Association. The open-air Urban Village also features five points of access encouraging foot traffic between First and Second Avenues. The entire development is designed to foster creativity and collaboration and to enhance connections to surrounding neighborhoods.

The Lobby

The lobby, which is accessed from Second Avenue and serves as an access point for office tower tenants, will set the tone for the entire development. The west elevation of the entry lobby comprises several monolithic concrete walls that flank the elevator banks. This is the location for the lobby artwork. The lobby artwork is visible from Second Avenue through the glazed building façade.

Potential artwork media and application are open including 2D and 3D wall-mounted works. Some freestanding sculptural works may also be possible as long as lobby access and operations are not impeded. There is no opportunity to pull power through the concrete walls, so light and digital-based media are not possible in the lobby location. The selected artist will be encouraged to think broadly about the possibilities for the art, and the client is open to using one or more of the wall spaces available. There will be technical parameters to consider for this artwork including utilizing the existing light levels and site installation logistics.

Site Views

Client Background


Skanska is a world leading project development and construction group in select markets in the Nordic region, Central Europe and USA. In the USA, our development offices are located in Seattle, LA, Washington DC, Boston, and Houston. Driven by the Group’s values, Skanska wants to contribute to a better society. Skanska provides innovative, sustainable solutions for both simple and complex assignments. Since 2009, Skanska USA Commercial Development has invested more than $2 billion in office and multi-family projects in the U.S.

Located on Yale Street in the Cascadia neighborhood, Skanska’s Seattle development team has completed three projects in the greater Seattle market since 2011 including office developments 400 Fairview and Stone34, and residential development Alley111.

2 Timeline

2 Timeline

Timeline for Selection

Call for artists released: Friday, January 3, 2020
Deadline for applications: Tuesday, January 28, 2019
Selection panel meeting #1: Thursday, February 7, 2020 [selection of finalists]
Finalist orientation: Thursday, February 13, 2020*
Selection panel meeting #2: Friday, February 14, 2020 [finalists’ interviews]*

*Applicants should be available in this timeframe to participate in an in-person or video conferencing orientation and interview if selected as a finalist. If in-person attendance is required, out-of-town finalists will be reimbursed for travel and lodging expenses to attend both the orientation and interview in Seattle, Washington. If applying as a team, the allowance for travel may not fully reimburse all team members.

The panel reserves the right to make no selection from the submitted applications or finalist interviews.

Project Timeline

February 2020: contract issued
Mar—April 2020: research and conceptual proposal development
May 18, 2020: conceptual proposal due
June 2020—January 2021: design development and fabrication
February 2021: on-site installation completed

3 Are You Eligible?

3 Are You Eligible?


This project is open to professional artists and artist-led teams residing in Washington, Oregon or British Columbia.

Skanska employees, selection panel members, and project personnel including design consultants, and immediate family members of all of the above are not eligible to apply.

Selection Criteria

Finalists will be selected on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Quality and strength of past work as demonstrated in the submitted application materials.
  • Perceived ability to create a meaningful and timeless artwork through conceptual content and exceptional craftsmanship.
  • Ability to contribute to the lobby experience as the entry portal to the entire 2+U development.
  • If applying to create a commissioned work: Ability to use materials and scale that is appropriate for the site and project.
  • If submitting existing work for purchase: Materials, scale and concept is appropriate for the site and project.
  • Availability to begin project work immediately.

Selection Process

A five-person selection panel will review the applications and select three finalists for interviews. Prior to the interview, all finalists are asked to attend (either in-person or through an on-line conferencing option) an orientation so that they can fully understand the site context and scope. The panel will reconvene to interview the finalists and select one artist for the commission.

The panel reserves the right to make no selection from the submitted applications or finalists’ interviews.

4 How to Apply

4 How to Apply


Applicants are required to create an individual account or log in to an existing 4Culture account to access the application.


Contact information for yourself or all members of your team if applying as a team.

Statement of Interest

Write a statement (500 words or less) explaining why you are interested in this opportunity and how you would approach this commission considering your past work. Consider the selection criteria as it relates to your experience and interests. Applicants are NOT asked to submit a proposal as part of the application. Applicants submitting existing work for purchase are asked to explain that work(s) in the statement of interest.


Two-page (maximum) current professional résumé. Keep the formatting as simple as possible. PDF is preferred; text (.txt) files will also be accepted. Teams should upload one document with two-page résumés for each team member.

Work Samples

You must submit 10 total work samples to be eligible for consideration. If you are interested in creating a site-specific commission, we encourage you to submit work samples that best illustrate your qualifications for this opportunity. If you are interested in submitting an existing work for purchase, please include images of that work(s) along with the sales price (placed in the description text box).

  • Digital Images: submit up to 10 digital images of past work. If applying as a team, a maximum of 10 images may be submitted, inclusive of all team members. Upload JPG files only; images must be under 2 MB in size, 1920 pixels on the longest side, and at least 72 dpi.

Each work sample requires a brief description (75 words or less). Descriptions should include the following information if applicable: project location, commissioning agency, budget (or price for existing works), project partners, photo credit, and copyright owner. If submitting existing work for purchase, the description should note that this is existing work offered for sale and the sales price.

5 Help

5 Help


If you have questions or concerns, please contact:

For project-related questions:
Cath Brunner

For online application questions:
Andy Le

Deadline: applications must be received no later than 4:00 pm PST on Tuesday, January 28, 2020.