4Culture Grants + Calls

WSCC Addition: Boren Avenue + Olive Way

Create site-specific artwork for one of two prominent streetscape locations in downtown Seattle that are part of the new Washington State Convention Center Addition.

Steps to Apply

1 About the Project

1 About the Project

  • Project Budget: Boren Avenue – $500,000 plus applicable construction credits. Olive Way – $285,000 plus applicable construction credits. Project budgets are 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 the Pacific Northwest region: WA, OR, ID, BC.
  • Application: submission of an online application is required for this opportunity.
  • Deadline: Thursday, June 21, 2018 at 4:00 pm PDT.

Note: This is one of two opportunities for WSCC Addition that we currently have available—the other is at Ninth Avenue and Pike Street. If you’d like to apply for both, you must complete two applications.

Public Art 4Culture will manage this art opportunity, from artist selection through onsite installation, on behalf of the Washington State Convention Center (WSCC).

Opportunities + Context

Boren Avenue is a four-lane, fast-moving thoroughfare. The frontage of the WSCC Addition is a steep block rising from north to south at about a 12% grade. The goal of the artwork here is to create a more pedestrian friendly edge condition and experience along Boren while also helping to promote connections to adjacent neighborhoods, particularly Seattle’s Capitol Hill. The landscape, lighting, seating, and building facade are all potential elements of a collaborative artwork opportunity. The selected artist will be encouraged to think holistically about this site as place with the other members of the design team: LMN Architects and GGN Landscape Architects.

The Olive Way site exists in proximity to the interior elevator banks of the Addition. This location presents a collaborative opportunity to engage the kinetic/lighting potential of the moving elevators and the streetscape. This streetscape experience is setting the stage for future mixed-use development across the street at the co-development sites and beyond to the Denny Triangle and South Lake Union.

The artists selected to design site-specific artwork for the Boren and Olive Way sites need to maximize their interaction with the rest of the design team. The selected artists will need to begin design work immediately.

To build the Addition project, the WSCC requested several street and alley vacations from the city. In exchange, the project provided a package of public benefits, including three significant public artworks. These opportunities at Boren Avenue and Olive Way are two of those public benefit artwork sites. All of the public benefit artwork areas are perceived as zones of experience, allowing the selected artists the broadest opportunity to define the intent, materials and possibility of the artwork.


Site Plan showing the WSSC Addition and co-development sites.


Boren Avenue site.


Olive Way site.


Client Background

Washington State Convention Center
Washington State Convention Center Addition

For nearly 30 years, the WSCC has been the Northwest’s premier meetings and events facility. WSCC welcomes thousands of visitors from around the globe each year, offering industry-leading service, award-winning catering, and a comprehensive range of services for event planners, exhibitors, and guests.

Following years of study and continuing demand from convention goers who prefer to meet in Seattle, the WSCC is building an additional facility.

The existing WSCC and its new Addition are located in Seattle’s downtown core at the intersection of several distinct, urban, and rapidly evolving neighborhoods. The Addition project includes two co-development sites and will transform the equivalent of four blocks of downtown streetscape. The design of the WSCC Addition and its public art program aim to create enhanced connections with the surrounding neighborhoods and promote a unique experience that embodies the essence of the Pacific Northwest.

2 Timeline

2 Timeline

Timeline for Selection

Call for artists released: Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Deadline for entry:
Thursday, June 21, 2018, 4:00 pm PDT
Selection panel meeting #1: Friday, July 13, 2018 [selection of finalists]
Finalist orientation: Thursday, July 26, 2018*
Selection panel meeting #2: Friday, July 27, 2018 [finalist interviews] *

*You should be available in this timeframe in order to participate in an in-person orientation and interview if selected as a finalist. 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

August 2018: contract issued
September—October 2018: research and preliminary ideation
November 20, 2018: presentation of conceptual proposal
December 2018–May 2019: design development and final design schedule dependent on approved concept and contractor milestones
TBD 2021: on-site implementation

3 Are You Eligible?

3 Are You Eligible?


This project is open to professional artists and artist-led teams residing in the Pacific Northwest region: WA, OR, ID, BC.

WSCC and Pine Street Group employees and board members, 4Culture employees, selection panel members, WSCC Art Advisory Committee members, 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 and interest in creating site-specific artwork.
  • Perceived ability to create an engaging environmental experience for pedestrians.
  • Ability to think on a macro and micro scale about physical environment, view point connections, public interaction, and street and vehicular uses.
  • Experience working within a multi-disciplinary art/design collaboration.
  • Availability to begin design development work immediately.

Selection Process

The artists for these commission will be selected through an open call process. A six-person selection panel will consider both the Boren Avenue and the Olive Way sites, review the applications and shortlist up to six finalists total for interviews. Prior to the interview, all finalists are asked to attend an orientation so that they can fully understand the site context and scope of the WSCC Addition project, as well as adjacent developments and neighborhood connections. The panel will reconvene to interview the finalists and select one artist for each of the commissions.

All finalists will be asked to attend the orientation on July 26 and the interview session on July 27, 2018. These meetings will be held in Seattle, Washington. Finalists from outside of the greater Seattle area will be reimbursed for travel expenses and hotel accommodation.

The panel reserves the right to make no selection from the submitted applications or finalists’ interviews. The panel’s recommendations are subject to approval by the WSCC Board.

4 How to Apply

4 How to Apply

Applicants must submit the following materials via online application. The Public Art application system is being used for this process. You may be required to create a new account. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with questions.


Your contact information.


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.

Statement of Interest

Write a statement (500 words or less) that addresses the selection criteria and responds to the following questions:

  • Why are you interested in this opportunity? Please state if you are interested in Boren Avenue, Olive Way, or both sites.
  • How does this opportunity relate to your past work? How might it be different?
  • How do you approach the creation of context and site-specific artwork?

Work Samples

You must submit 12 total work samples to be eligible for consideration. Artists whose primary practice includes time-based media may submit up to 5 of the 12 samples as audio or video files, with a cumulative run-time of up to 5 minutes.

  • Digital Images: submit up to 12 digital images of past artwork (no composites) that best illustrate your qualifications. If applying as a team, a maximum of 12 images may be submitted, inclusive of all team members. Images will be projected one at a time during the application material review session. Upload JPG files only (GIFs, TIFFs and other formats will not be accepted). Images must be under 2 MB in size, 1920 pixels on the longest side, and at least 72 dpi. Once uploaded, the system will automatically label the files with your last name, first initial, and a number indicating viewing order.
  • Audio/Video: Submit up to five (5) audio or video samples if these media relate to your art practice (i.e., to show kinetic artwork, gradations of light, sound or media-based art, etc.). Audio samples must be submitted via SoundCloud with the specific URL (e.g., soundcloud.com/29523) noted on the Work Sample Upload page. Video samples must be submitted via Vimeo or YouTube, with the specific URL (e.g., vimeo.com/2992575) noted on the Work Sample Upload page. All submissions must be publicly accessible; password protected files will not be accepted. Timed excerpts are preferred, but longer samples may be submitted with notation in the description field of specific start and stop time for a cumulative run time of up to 5 minutes. Please include the start and stop times for excerpted audio/video samples at the beginning of the descriptive text.

All applicants will be required to list the title, date of completion, medium, and dimensions/duration along with a brief description of 75 words or less for each work sample. Applicants are encouraged to fill out the optional fields that include commissioning entity, budget, project partners, photo credit, and copyright owner.

After your first work sample entry, the text fields will automatically populate with information from the previous work sample upload. This is meant to help expedite the inclusion of multiple work samples per artwork/project and can be easily changed by highlighting and typing over the text. All work samples and descriptive text can be reviewed, edited, or deleted by clicking on the file name in the left hand progress navigation. Work samples can be reordered if needed when the application preview step is reached.

5 Help

5 Help


If you have questions or concerns, please contact:

For project-related questions:
Cath Brunner

For online application questions:
Brennan Jernigan

Download a PDF of this Call for Artists.