4Culture Grants + Calls

Sound Transit Art Program: 2018 Artist Pool Expansion RFQ

The Sound Transit Art Program (STart) has identified many art opportunities to enrich the experience for riders using our transit systems and for the communities surrounding our facilities in the greater Seattle and Central Puget Sound area.

1 About the Project

1 About the Project

  • Art Budget Range: $3,000—$750,000 for designing and fabricating a variety of large-scale, discreet, temporary, and community engagement art projects.
  • Eligibility: professional artists or artist teams living and working in the U.S. are eligible to apply.
  • Application: submission of an online application is required for this opportunity.
  • Deadline: Friday, February 9, 2018 at 4:00 pm PST.

4Culture will manage the application for this Sound Transit opportunity. The artist selection process and future use of the selected artist pool and associated projects will be managed by STart.


Sound Transit (ST) is expanding its pre-qualified artist pool for eligibility to be further considered in developing artwork for ST facilities. Seeking artists to produce permanent and temporary art in a wide range of styles, scales and perspectives for Sound Transit public spaces.

    • Artists selected for the pool expansion will remain eligible for STart projects for three years.
    • Artists from the pool short listed for specific stations will be notified to gauge their interest in the project.Inclusion in the artist pool does not guarantee an art project.
    • STart reserves the right to supplement the pool as project needs arise.
    • Artists who were previously qualified for the STart 2016 Roster are still included in the pool and need not apply.
    • The pre-qualified artist pool is a key method for involving artists in upcoming Sound Transit projects, but will not be the only method for selecting artists.

Seeking Artists

To produce permanent and temporary art in a wide range of styles, scales and persepctives for Sound Transit public spaces.

    • Artists experienced in creating art for the public realm.
    • Emerging artists ready for a larger project.
    • Artists working in both two- and three-dimensional media.
    • Experienced artists who have not previously participated in public art.


Sound Transit is committed to integrating art and artists’ thinking into the design and construction of transit facilities and public spaces by involving artists in the design process. STart has completed over 100 art projects, with dozens more currently in process. For more information and to view past projects visit: www.soundtransit.org/Rider-Guide/public-art.

Sound Transit is a regional transit agency serving the greater Seattle area of Washington State, which is expanding its light rail, commuter rail and express bus systems with a number of new stations and parking garages that are in the early design stage. For more information on ST projects: www.soundtransit.org/Projects-and-Plans.

STart values the contributions of artists from a wide variety of backgrounds and with many practices. While valuing artists who have highly developed careers, STart is also actively seeking ways to lower the entry barriers for emerging artists, and to provide opportunities for artists from under-represented populations in our service area.

Sound Transit is committed to a policy of providing fair and representative employment and business opportunities for minorities and women in the procurement of non-professional and professional services, consistent with Sound Transit’s policies, procedures and guiding principles for employment and contracting.

Art Budget Range

$3,000 – $750,000 for designing and fabricating a variety of large-scale, discreet, temporary and community engagement art projects.

Artists who are awarded art commissions may:
1. Design, fabricate and install artwork through a single artist-held contract.
2. Or design artwork through an artist contract, with continued artist oversight for artwork fabricated through a STart-held contract.

2 Timeline

2 Timeline

Timeline for Selection*

Notification of acceptance into the artist pool: March, 2018.

*The panel reserves the right to make no selection from the submitted applications and to adjust the selection timeline.

3 Are You Eligible?

3 Are You Eligible?


Professional artists or artist teams living and working in the U.S. are eligible to apply. Sound Transit staff, project personnel and immediate family members of all of the above are not eligible.

Selection Criteria

Request for Qualifications (RFQ) application materials based on past work will be evaluated by a panel of public art professionals from across the Sound Transit service region. Artists will be evaluated based on their perceived ability to meet the following criteria:

  • Artistic merit.
  • Artistic content and relationship to the existing STart collection.
  • Appropriateness to specific sites, and responsiveness to working with a variety of community cultures.
  • Relates to and/or enhances the surrounding station area.
  • Creates visual landmarks.
  • Draws pedestrians in from the adjacent community.
  • Provides visual interest both day and night.
  • Is safe for public interaction.
  • Constructability and long-term low maintenance of materials.

4 How to Apply

4 How to Apply

Applicants must submit the following materials via online application.


Two-page (maximum) current professional résumé. Keep the formatting as simple as possible. Only PDF documents will be accepted. Teams should include two-page resumes for all members as one document.

Statement of Interest

Write a statement (300 words or less, about 2-3 paragraphs) explaining why you are interested in being included in the STart pre-qualified artist pool, how your work is appropriate for the opportunity, and relevant past experience. If submitting as a team, include a description of how the team works together and clearly explain any collaborative work experience.

Work Samples

Please submit between 6 and 15 total digital images of past artwork (no composites) that best illustrate your qualifications. If applying as a team, a maximum of 15 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, 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.

You will be required to list the title of your artwork/project, medium/media format, date and dimensions/duration. Optional fields include project location, commissioning agency, budget, project partners, photo credit, and copyright owner. Applicants also are encouraged to include a brief description (75 words or less) of each project. After your first 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 Helping You Succeed

5 Helping You Succeed


Join staff from the Sound Transit Art Program in workshops, where you can learn more about the artist pool expansion RFQ, the application and selection process, and upcoming projects.

Thursday, January 18, 6:30–8:30 pm
Feast Arts Center, 1402 S 11th St, Tacoma, WA 98405

Tuesday, January 23, 6:30–8:30 pm
Federal Way Community Center, 876 S 333rd St, Federal Way, WA 98003

Thursday, January 25, 6:30–8:30 pm
SoulFood Coffee Shop, 15748 Redmond Wy, Redmond, WA 98052


If you have questions or concerns, please contact:

Regarding the artist roster or STart:
Mylinda Sneed

Online application questions:
Brennan Jernigan

You can download a PDF of this call here.