The First Hill Improvement Association (FHIA), in partnership with the Seattle Office of Economic Development, seeks an artist or artist team to develop an art concept to be painted on the columns below Interstate 5 between Cherry and James Street.


The artist will work with project managers, a steering committee and the public to develop a design to be painted on  the columns underneath Interstate 5 between Cherry Street and James Street in Seattle’s First Hill neighborhood. Urban Artworks will be responsible for painting and installation of the art design. The final deliverable is a full design and site plan that is approved by WSDOT, adopted by the community, and executable by the installation team.


FHIA received funding from the Seattle Office of Economic Development’s Infrastructural Improvement Program to improve and signal and important and prominent vehicular and pedestrian entry into First Hill, beautify the streets near coming redevelopment projects and organizations, enhance place-making and identity for First Hill, create opportunities for art in our community. and make significant visual and safety improvements to a harsh edge where First Hill meets Downtown.

This project will be a highly visible and prominent series of paintings on the columns for a busy junction in Seattle. The design will need to be approved by WSDOT based on their evaluation criteria.


  • January 23rd – Applications Due
  • January 30th – Interviewees Notified
  • February 17th – Proposals Due
  • March 3rd – Artist or team selected
  • March – April- Design iterations with WSDOT, and other stakeholders
  • April  – Design completion
  • Spring 2017 – Art work painted and installed


This call is open to professional artists or artist teams residing in King County. The First Hill Improvement Association Association encourages diversity in its choice of vendors. Artists who have worked with partnering organizations within this project are welcome to apply however the artist selection panel will consider artistic diversity as one factor in the selection process.


The budget for artwork and design is $10,000. We anticipate the artist or team will be available to consult with project painting and installation, though not expected to participate in execution. The total project budget is all inclusive of travel expenses, taxes and other project costs. Contracting will be done in two phases: concept design and engineering will be reimbursed at $5,000 once a design proposal is received, and after final design as approved by WSDOT and the steering committee the remainder will be dispersed.


Please email all application materials to: alex@firsthill.org by 5pm January 23rd.


All applications must be submitted digitally by 5pm January 23rd by emailing: alex@firsthill.org

Applications must include:

  • Letter of interest (not to exceed 2,000 characters). Please provide a statement describing your interest in this project, addressing how you are qualified, as well as your interest in improving the public realm, urban design, and community engagement and familiarity with the site.
  • Résumé
  • Three references
  • Up to 16 images. Where possible, submit examples of projects completed in the streetscape
  • Image Identification List (not to exceed 500 characters for each image).


The artist will be selected on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Quality of concept, design and craftsmanship of past works.
  • A proven ability to collaborate in design teams, with design professionals and with community stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated ability to complete projects on time and within budget.
  • Experience with integrated design and urban infrastructure.


The selection will take place in two parts. During the first round of the project steering committee and WSDOT staff members will review the applicants’ images, qualifications and other materials. The panelists will identify up to three finalists to ask to submit full proposals, which will be shared with the broader community for input as the Steering Committee selects the preferred artist. Artists asked to submit proposals but not selected will receive a $300 stipend.

Applicants will be notified of the panel’s decision by e-mail in February 2017. The First Hill Improvement Association reserves the right not to select any of the applicants.


Please contact Alex Hudson, FHIA Director, at alex@firsthill.org or 206.486.0007 with any questions concerning the application process.

Download this document here: Call_For_Artists

Read more information about how to apply here!

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