4Culture Grants + Calls

Protecting Our Waters: Cohort 1 | CSO Associate Artists

We are commissioning innovative, new work by artists who can create an emotional connection to one of the most important resources of our world: water.

1About the Project

1About the Project

  • Budget: $190,000, $100,000, $80,000, AND $40,000. Budgets are inclusive of artist fee, travel, and implementation.
    Washington State Sales/Use Tax may apply depending on the artists’ works.
  • Eligibilityopen to artists or artist-led teams residing in the United States. Artists and artist-led teams in all disciplines may apply, including performing, literary, visual, time-based media, and social practice. Four artists/teams will be commissioned. A wide range of outcomes is expected and encouraged, including residencies, performances, publications, film and video, events, installations, and permanent visual art, as well as temporary interventions and artist-initiated actions.
  • Application: submission of an online application is required for this opportunity.
  • Deadline: Thursday, July 27, 2017 by 4:00 pm PDT.

NOTE – PUBLIC ART IS USING A NEW APPLICATION SYSTEM SO WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO START YOUR APPLICATION EARLY. The system is user friendly but as with anything new, please allow time to register an account and apply in advance of the deadline. We are here to help with any troubleshooting. Contact Brennan Jernigan at brennan.jernigan@4culture.org or 206-263-1587 if you have any questions.

Opportunity

4Culture and King County’s Wastewater Treatment Division (WTD) want to commission four Associate Artists to create intrigue and stimulate curiosity, raise awareness, and foster an emotional connection to the largely invisible Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) system and make its importance resonate at a city-wide scale. Through new, commissioned work centered on a curatorial framework of topics developed by lead planning artists Sans façon, we envision a program of global significance and reputation. The works and experiences created throughout the Seattle CSO system by a cohort of artists should engage an international audience and reflect practices at the forefront of contemporary art in relation to water, infrastructure, society, and the environment.

Selected Associate Artists will have the opportunity to create meaningful artwork that engages issues of social, economic, and environmental relevance. They will build relationships with a cohort of other committed Associate Artists responding to related themes and working in a diversity of disciplines to produce a variety of outcomes. Throughout the project, Associate Artists will enjoy support from and close dialogue with both WTD staff and lead planning artist team Sans façon.

Sans façon, Fire Hydrant Drinking Fountains: Family.

Background

In the 1950s, +20 billion gallons of untreated or poorly treated wastewater flowed from combined sewers into major Seattle lakes, the Duwamish River, and Puget Sound. The CSO Program began in the 1970s to address this problem. King County is committed to limiting combined sewer overflows to one per year at each outfall by 2030 through its adopted policies and control plan and agreement with the U.S. Departments of Ecology and Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency.

King County’s CSO control plan in Seattle is a complex network of facilities, treatment, and conveyance. Seven projects will be built throughout the city’s diverse neighborhoods—including Montlake, University, Beacon Hill/Rainier, Georgetown, Pioneer Square, and SODO—and within the industrial lands along the Duwamish corridor.

Understanding and caring about the CSO system and its impact on water quality and public health is important. Since the beginning of public art programs in this area, artists and their works and ideas have been incorporated into the planning and design of regional transportation and water infrastructure systems to help engage the public and to express these systems as a unique part of civic life. As part of an art program that will span 15+ years and 7 projects, we want to enhance awareness and understanding of the Seattle-area CSO system and increase a sense of ownership and connection to the system for the public at large. Instead of commissioning unrelated and isolated artworks and amenities, this system-based approach requires a comprehensive vision and a conceptual framework that brings both broad artistic thinking and solid understanding of the physical, social, economic, and environmental context to ensure continuity over a multi-year implementation process.

In 2014, 4Culture and King County hired Sans façon (Charles Blanc and Tristan Surtees) to create the CSO Art Master Plan. The plan articulates the context of the system, a curatorial framework, and a process that focuses on topics and the nature of the whole CSO system. It creates opportunities for the artist and client (WTD) to have ongoing dialogue and for artists to work deep in context and in relation to one another. All the commissions are cumulative, connected to, and built upon each other. As there will be commissions taking place simultaneously and addressing the same topic, it is intended that there be a relationship between the Associate Artists and their research, ideas, and responses. This dialogue and exchange will provide a richness and depth to the experience of each project and of the art program. It will nurture a stronger, more impactful outcome.

The CSO Art Master Plan describes five topics in the curatorial framework.

The first cohort of Associate Artists will be asked to address three of those topics:

  • Hidden Rivers \ Invisible Architecture – this is all about the miles of pipes, tanks, and tunnels that keep the system running but are largely unseen; contemporary understanding as well as historical perspectives are desired.
  • The Intangible – this is about the scientific data: the graphs, numbers, charts, and spreadsheets that provide so much information and control on the system.
  • The Magicians – this is about the 500+ people that keep the system running day-in and day-out.

Project Locations

The civic scale of the CSO system necessitates the “site” to be the city, the audience, or the people it is engaging and serving. The topics were chosen in relation to specific projects in the system and their unique context and treatment options, as well as timeline. Three Seattle facilities will be involved in this first round of Associate Artists project development: Georgetown Wet Weather Station (4th Avenue S and S Michigan Street in the Georgetown neighborhood), Chelan (Chelan Avenue and the Duwamish Waterway in the Delridge/South Park/Highland Park area), and Rainier Valley wet weather storage (S Hanford Street and 27th Avenue S in the Beacon Hill/Mt. Baker neighborhood).

Research the Client

Download the CSO Art Master Plan
King County Wastewater Treatment Division
The history of our mission
Protecting Our Waters (CSO control)
Wastewater Services Education programs
WTD flickr

2Timeline

2Timeline

Timeline for Selection*

  • Application Deadline: 4:00 pm PDT, Thursday July 27, 2017
  • Tier 1 Selection Panel: August 23—25, 2017
  • Tier 2 Selection Panel: September 18—20, 2017
  • Finalist Notification: September 20 and 21, 2017
  • Finalist Subject Matter Orientation: October 24—26, 2017*
  • Finalist Interviews: Friday, October 27, 2017*

*Applicants should be available in this timeframe in order to participate in an orientation and interview if selected as a finalist. Out-of-town finalists will be reimbursed for travel and lodging expenses to attend the interview and orientation 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.

Artwork Project Timeline

2018—2022

The commissioning structure sets up a process that marries topics with capital project parameters and defines two commission types: long-term and short-term. These two types of artist involvement provide a range of possibilities for artists to work in different ways and in overlapping timelines.

3Are You Eligible?

3Are You Eligible?

Eligibility

This project is open to artists or artist-led teams residing in the United States.

Artists and artist-led teams in all disciplines may apply, including performing, literary, visual, time-based media, and social practice. Four artists/teams will be commissioned.

A wide range of outcomes is expected and encouraged, including residencies, performances, publications, film and video, events, installations, and permanent visual art, as well as temporary interventions and artist-initiated actions.

Selection Criteria

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

  • Quality and strength of past work as demonstrated in submitted application materials.
  • High level of critical thinking and conceptual ability.
  • Ability to realize innovative, artist-initiated, community-based artwork that engages the public.
  • Perceived ability and desire to address the topic areas.

Selection Process

Tier 1: Staff and Discipline Expert Review
4Culture staff from Public Art and Arts program areas will work with “discipline leads” and Sans façon to review all incoming applications and select those from a variety of disciplines and artistic practices that best meet the selection criteria. These applications will be forwarded to Tier 2 review.

Tier 2: Finalist Selection
A five-person selection panel (plus advisors that include discipline experts and Sans façon) will review the applications forwarded from the Tier 1 review. The panel will select up to 12 finalists for interviews. The panel will include two WTD staff and three neighborhood arts representatives.

Tier 3: Finalist Interviews and Commissioned Artist Selection
Finalists will be matched with subject matter experts from each of the topic areas, given an opportunity to learn about and consider a topic area, and participate in an orientation of the Seattle-area CSO system before the interview.

4How to Apply

4How to Apply

Applicants must submit the following materials via online application.

Please note that we are using a new application system, apply.4culture.org, so we encourage you to start your application early. The system is user friendly but as with anything new, please allow time to register an account and apply in advance of the deadline. We are here to help with any troubleshooting. Please contact Brennan Jernigan at 206-263-1587 or brennan.jernigan@4culture.org.

Resume

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 include two-page resumes for all members as one document.

Statement of Interest

Write a statement (500 words or less) explaining why you are interested in working within the context of the CSO system and/or water infrastructure and how you would approach this commission opportunity considering your past work. If there are multiple artists or collaborators as part of your team, please explain how you work together. Consider the selection criteria as it relates to this opportunity. Applicants are NOT asked to submit a proposal as part of the application.

Work Samples

All applicants must submit work samples to be eligible for consideration. Requirements vary by discipline. Artist-led teams must adhere to the same restrictions listed below. All artists are encouraged to submit work samples that best illustrate their qualifications for this opportunity. If you have questions about which category fits you best, please contact us.

    • Visual artists may submit up to 10 digital images maximum. If applying as a team, the team may submit no more than 10 images. Artists whose primary practice includes multi-disciplinary elements may follow the instructions Multi-Media/Transdisciplinary Artists below. Images must be uploaded as JPG files only; images must be 1920 pixels on the longest side and at least 72 dpi. Files must be less than 2MB in size.
    • Musicians/sound artists may submit up to 5 cumulative minutes of audio maximum by uploading to SoundCloud and pasting the specific URL (e.g., www.soundcloud.com/29523) in the “URL – For Video or Audio” field in the corresponding work sample. Timed excerpts are preferred, but longer samples may be submitted with specific notation of start and stop times included in the corresponding Work Sample Narrative.
    • Filmmakers/video artists/performers may submit up to 5 cumulative minutes of video maximum by uploading to Vimeo or YouTube and pasting the specific URL (e.g., www.vimeo.com/2992575) in the “URL – For Video or Audio” field in the corresponding work sample. Timed excerpts are preferred, but longer samples may be submitted with specific notation of start and stop times included in the corresponding Work Sample Narrative.
    • Writers/literary artists may submit one or more writing work samples of up to 2,000 cumulative words maximum, submitted as PDFs (preferred) or as Word or text files (.doc, .docx, or .txt).
    • Multi-media/transdisciplinary artists may submit a combination of up to 7 digital images and up to 3 audio/video work samples (3 minutes cumulative run-time maximum)—for a total of 10 work samples maximum. Video and audio work samples must be uploaded and shared following the instructions for Musicians/Sound Artists and Filmmakers/Video Artists/Performers above.

All uploaded work sample file names should indicate the order in which they are to be reviewed by the peer-review panel and correspond to work sample numbers from the online application. We recommend naming your work sample files like this: 01 LastName (e.g.: 01 Rodriguez.jpg, 02 Rodriguez.jpg). Work samples will be presented to the peer-panel, one at a time, in the order you indicated by file name.

Work Sample Descriptions

The title of the artwork/project name, completion year, dimensions/scale, and budget are required for each work sample. In addition, each work sample submitted will require a brief narrative description (125 words or less). This narrative description should include the following information, as applicable: applicant’s role in the creation of the artwork, project location, commissioning agency, project partners (architecture, engineering, and/or landscape architecture firms, etc.), and medium(s).

5Help

5Help

Please note that we are using a new application system, apply.4culture.org, so we encourage you to start your application early. The system is user friendly but as with anything new, please allow time to register an account and apply in advance of the deadline. We are here to help with any troubleshooting.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact:

Brennan Jernigan
brennan.jernigan@4culture.org
206-263-1587

Cath Brunner
cath.brunner@4culture.org
206-263-1596

Download the Protecting Our Waters: Cohort 1 | CSO Associate Artists call.