Call for Local Artists – Permanent Mural Project

The Alliance for Pioneer Square invites local artists to submit an application to paint a new, permanent mural on the western wall along 4th Ave under the Yesler Bridge. We are seeking an artist or team of artists who are excited to work closely with the Alliance for Pioneer Square, community members, the property owner⁠—Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), and the Pioneer Square Preservation Board to create a work of art that celebrates Pioneer Square’s local culture and community for the years to come. The Alliance for Pioneer Square works to help preserve what makes Pioneer Square the most authentic, engaging and dynamic neighborhood in Seattle.

Funding for this project was made possible by Historic South Downtown.

Project Description

The goal of this project is to implement a collaborative permanent public mural project that builds upon what makes Pioneer Square an authentic, vibrant, and dynamic neighborhood. This project intends to strengthen Pioneer Square’s identity as a center for arts and culture, a place full of historical significance, and an interconnected community of people from all backgrounds and interests. The audience for this mural is the general public, including those who live, work, frequent, or visit Pioneer Square. 

We recently asked the community about what themes they would like to see reflected in a new permanent mural. The themes that rose to the top are Coast Salish Art, The Gold Rush, the Jazz Age, and The History of the LGBTQ+ community in Pioneer Square (See a full list of mural theme ideas at the bottom of the call). These themes are suggestions for consideration and the community is open to theme ideas suggested by the artist. If the artist is excited about a theme that is not listed in the call, please include mural theme ideas that you envision for the space in your application. 

We would like to include one volunteer painting opportunity that community members are invited to participate in as part of the mural implementation. Artists who have the ability to lead a community volunteer paint day as part of the project implementation, will be given extra consideration during the selection process. 

The mural location is on the west side of 4th Ave under Yesler Way. The wall is approximately 15 feet x 84 feet. Please note the project requirements: 

  • Mural designs that cover all or part of the wall will be accepted. Designs that cover more or all of the wall will be given extra consideration.
  • Mural must be coated in anti-graffiti coating upon completion. 
  • Artist signature shall be placed in a location that integrates into the artwork, in a space no larger than one square foot.
  • Artist shall paint the Alliance for Pioneer Square logo, in space no larger than one square foot. 
  • Artist shall paint the Historic South Downtown logo, in a space no larger than one square foot. 

Project Site Images

Project Timeline

July 21-August 9: Call for artists is open

August 9: Call for artists closes at 9:00am 

August 9-13: Public Realm Work Group reviews submissions and makes artist selection

August 13: Selected artist is notified 

September 1: Final Mural design is due to the Alliance for Pioneer Square 

September 30: Approval by SDOT and Preservation Board ideally by September 30

October 1- November 1: Project Implementation (may include one volunteer painting day)

Mural implementation, as well as application of an anti-graffiti coating, must be completed no later than November 1, 2021.

*Extensions would be considered on a case by case basis at the request of the artist at the time of application. 

Eligibility

This call is for original mural proposals only. Proposals which contain imagery that is copyrighted by a different entity, stolen, or copied from any other source will not be considered.

Members of the Public Realm Work Group who wish to participate in this Call for Artists must remove themselves from the application review and selection process. Those who participate in the application review and selection process, including members of the Pride and Resilience Steering Committee and Alliance for Pioneer Square staff, will not be eligible to submit an application in response to this call for artists.

Applicant Guidelines

Applicants must submit all of the materials listed below to sara@pioneersquare.org or arrangements can be made for in person submittals:

  1. A completed application form, which includes the following (#2-6 below) and required attachments (#7-8): 
  2. Contact Information
  3. Demographic Information
  4. An artist statement of up to 1,000 words that describes the following:
    • Why the artist is interested in painting the mural
    • Previous experience working on public art projects
    • Previous experience working with and providing direction to community members on a volunteer paint day(s), if applicable
    • The artist’s connection to the Pioneer Square community, if applicable 
    • A theme that the artist envisions for new art in the space (see community survey results below or suggest a theme idea of your own). Please explain why that mural theme is a good fit for this project. 
  5. Artist Biography
  6. Include two (2) references of individuals who can attest to your commitment completing public art projects or equivalent skills.
  7. Attach at least two (2) samples of previous projects. At least one work sample must be a mural project. The other work sample can be a different scale or a different medium. It is preferable if both work samples are mural projects, but only one mural sample is required. You may submit up to three work samples total. Please include a brief description of each sample. You may submit a more detailed image of each sample. You may also submit a website link with additional work.
    • File format: JPEG only   
    • File dimensions: No larger than 1080 pixels on the longest side (15 inches x 15 inches/72ppi)
    • File resolution: 72ppi (standard web resolution)
    • Name your files: lastname_01, lastname_02
    • Name your details: lastname_01_detail, lastname_02_detail
  8. Please attach at least (1) one conceptual drawing of what you would propose for the 4th Ave west wall mural design. You can submit up to (3) conceptual drawings, if you would like. Once an artist is selected for the project, the artist will work on a full mural design. 

Materials must be received by August 9 at 9:00am. Materials may be submitted by email to sara@pioneersquare.org or arrangements can be made for applicants to submit materials in person at the Alliance for Pioneer Square’s physical office. Please email sara@pioneersquare.org to make in person drop off arrangements. 

Artist Selection Criteria and Process 

Artists will be considered based on the following criteria:

  • Artistic excellence, innovation and originality
  • Documented potential and experience to complete the project successfully and within the required time frame
  • Level of community involvement
    • Extra consideration given to artists who have experience leading interactive volunteer paint days 
  • Extra consideration will be given to artists who live or work in Pioneer Square 
  • Extra consideration will be given to artists who identify as BlPOC and other underrepresented groups (i.e LGBTQ+, artists with disabilities, gender minorities, immigrants, etc.)

The Public Realm Work Group, which consists of Pioneer Square business owners, employees, residents,and property owners, will make the artist selection. 

Awards and Funding

The artist selected by the Public Realm Work Group will be notified by Alliance for Pioneer Square staff via email or phone call. 

The final mural design, location, and implementation methods, must be approved by the property owner (SDOT) and the Pioneer Square Preservation Board. In cooperation with the artist and property owner, The Alliance for Pioneer Square will submit the Certificate of Approval Application to the Department of Neighborhoods for Pioneer Square Preservation Board Approval. The artist can only begin project implementation once the design is approved by both SDOT and the Pioneer Square Preservation Board.

The funding available for this project is up to $25,000 and the artist(s) are responsible for providing all materials required to complete the project. (One exception: The Alliance can supply the anti-graffiti coating but the artist will be required to apply it to the finished mural).

Please note, the property owner will obtain all rights to the artwork and must retain the right to alter or remove the artwork as needed (i.e. if damaged or in need of repair). Additionally, the artist(s) and the completed project will be featured on the Alliance for Pioneer Square and Pioneer Square websites, newsletters, social media platforms, and all other neighborhood promotional communications, giving proper credit to the artist. Information about the completed project will be sent to SDOT and Historic South Downtown in a final report prepared by the Alliance for Pioneer Square. The artist and completed project may also be featured in Historic South Downtown’s promotional materials. 

To learn more about the Alliance for Pioneer Square and Historic South Downtown, please visit:

https://allianceforpioneersquare.org/wp/

http://www.historicsouthdowntown.org/ 

DEADLINE FOR CONSIDERATION: August 9, 2021 at 9:00am

Full List of Mural Theme Ideas 

(Sourced from an online community survey)

  • Coast Salish Art 
  • The Gold Rush
  • Jazz Age
  • The history of the LGBTQ+ community in Pioneer Square
  • Pioneer Square arts 
  • Music legacy in Pioneer Square and greater Seattle (historical and current)
  • Natural environment/forest/Puget Sound 
  • Pioneer Square history and industry 
  • Seattle’s historic female leaders 
  • Historic People of Seattle
  • Maritime history
  • Pioneer Square architecture
  • Commemoration of mural work by community artists during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Let the artist choose the theme 

For any questions about this call for artists, please contact Sara Pizzo, Public Realm Manager, at sara@pioneersquare.org.