‘WAYFINDING’ — Illuminated Art in Freeway Park

The Freeway Park Association (FPA) seeks artists to add wonder and inspiration to Freeway Park this winter with short-term public art installations. We have identified 2-3 gateway locations and 1-2 interior park locations for impactful, artist-created, illuminated installations to welcome visitors into the park and draw them through this unique, downtown public space.

This call is open to any artist or artist group interested in creating art that will remain in an urban park location for 2-4 months seen by thousands of park visitors. We invite applications from artists who have or want to develop a relationship with Freeway Park and want to create work that is responsive to place. Artists who live and/or work in Seattle’s center city neighborhoods and artists who are members of BIPOC communities are encouraged to apply.

LOCATION

Freeway Park is located at 700 Seneca St. Seattle, WA. It is 5.2 acres of meandering pathways, concrete plazas, mature trees, grassy lawns and brutalist architecture. The park bridges I-5 from 6th Ave and Seneca St to 9th Ave and University St. 

CONCEPT

At this time, as we are all recovering and re-emerging from the Covid crisis, we are returning to public life with feelings of excitement and also some uncertainty. A lot has changed over the last year and a half. Many people are seeing the world through a new lens. A desire to connect with others is coupled with a desire to self protect. How do we find each other to re-engage? How do we take these tentative steps forward with hope and curiosity?

With this unique moment in mind, we are excited to approach this event using the theme of “Wayfinding” or finding one’s way.  Selected artists will be invited to create work that will punctuate the walk through the park with welcoming, illuminated installations that will bring light and color to both well trodden plazas and unexplored corners, providing inspiration while enhancing safety.

WHAT IS WAYFINDING?

Technically, wayfinding can be thought of as spatial problem solving, the process of orienting oneself and planning a route or following a path. Designing for wayfinding often means providing simple clues and signals to help people find their way through or between spaces.  

CALL 

The FPA is inviting visual artists to submit their ideas related to the theme of wayfinding or finding one’s way, thinking of the definition broadly and metaphorically. How do we get from A to B? How will we find each other and make connections? How do we navigate between spaces physical, racial, cultural, historical? How do we find a path literally, culturally, spiritually, emotionally? Can artists provide a beacon, or a signal, or a new way forward?

We seek proposals from artists and artist teams for temporary site-specific installations. Installations must use light, be elevated at least 10’ to be out of reach and be large enough to make an impact in the expanse of the park. We invite submissions from all visual arts disciplines: painting, video projections, textile art, printmaking, sculpture, etc. Ideas to activate the art with performance, music or sound are also welcome.

SELECTION CRITERIA

  • Call is open to artists or artist teams age 18+ residing in the Pacific Northwest. 
  • We are looking for illuminated art that is site-specific and creatively integrates the theme of ‘wayfinding.’ Applicants are encouraged to visit Freeway Park to experience the space first hand and consider how the art will interact with or respond to place. 
  • Our panel will consider both the quality of concept in the current proposal and the excellence of past work examples.
  • Artists must provide a clear timeline to complete the project by the installation date and be willing to work with the Seattle Parks Department and Freeway Park Association to ensure the feasibility and safety of their pieces. Because the site is an outdoor location, the art must be able to withstand the elements for the duration of the event. Art that can be illuminated independent of electrical outlets is encouraged.
  • Proposed art must be original to the artist or artist team although existing work may be used if appropriate.

FUNDING

Funding has come from both the FPA and community sources with the goal of supporting art and diverse artistic expression. The funds available will be distributed depending on the number and quality of proposals we receive, with a minimum award of $2000 per selected artist.

PROJECT TIMELINE

  • September 14th – Call to artists open
  • October 1st – Submissions due
  • October 5th – Selected Applicants notified
  • November 1st – Installations begin
  • Artists are responsible for deinstallation by January 15 (unless a different timeline is agreed upon with FPA)

APPLY

Please include all of the following in one PDF or file folder for ease of viewing

  • Project narrative/letter of interest:  Describe your interest in this call and specify how your submission will address the theme of ‘wayfinding’.
  • Project description: Briefly outline and/or illustrate your proposal for this project. If it helps to include visual aids, feel free to include sketches, maquettes, photos, etc. Please include the proposed scale and preferred location of the final work. Include a description of your plan for illuminating and installing the art including whether you need access to power or if the work can be battery, solar, or otherwise supported. 
  • Attach up to 8 work samples that best illustrate the quality and style of your work

If you would like to schedule a site walk with FPA or have any questions, contact Carrie Barnes at info@freewayparkassociation.org.

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