Calls for Artists

Fresh Perspectives II

A young Chicana
Detail from "Artista" by Jake Prendez, 2018, Oil on canvas

The Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS), in partnership with Seattle Public Utilities (SPU), invites artists to submit images of two-dimensional artwork and wall hanging sculptures for a competitive purchase for SPU’s Portable Works Collection. Maximum measurements for work is 48 x 48 x 5 inches and should not weigh more than 50 pounds. Artwork not conforming to these qualifications may be disqualified. The artwork will enter a rotating portable works collection and objects may need to be moved by one person.

Artists working with a colorful palette are encouraged to apply. The artwork must be available for purchase. Purchases will be chosen by a panel who are charged with selecting artwork that reflects diversity of expression.


This call is open to professional artists who are residents of the Pacific Northwest (Washington, Oregon, British Columbia, Montana, Idaho, and Alaska). Galleries may submit applications on behalf of their artists; please see gallery-specific application instructions in the full call on CaFÉ.


A total of up to $100,000 for all artworks is available for this direct purchase


10:59 p.m. Pacific, Friday, July 5, 2019. Please allow ample time to complete your application; applications submitted after the 10:59 p.m. Pacific deadline will not be accepted.


We strongly encourage you to participate in an information session, especially if you are a first-time applicant. Staff from ARTS will share more information about the project and will review steps of the CaFÉ application.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019, 6:00 - 7:00 p.m. Pacific
Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute
104 17th Ave S.
Seattle, WA 98144

If you are interested in attending this workshop, RSVP via email with "Add me to the online workshop" in the subject line to


Apply on CaFÉ. For assistance with the CaFÉ online application process, email CaFÉ tech support or call them at (888) 562-7232, Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pacific.


For questions about the program or for help with the online application, please contact Blake Haygood or Elisheba Johnson.

Blake Haygood

Blake Haygood

Curator and Collections Manager

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(206) 684-7132

Blake helps rotate and maintain the Portable Works Collection, with more than 2,800 works; assists in curating city exhibitions; and provides handyman services in the office when needed. He is a practicing artist and his work can be viewed at

Elisheba Johnson

Elisheba Johnson

Project Manager

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(206) 684-0182

Elisheba Johnson is a life-long participant in the arts. Most recently she owned Faire Gallery Café, a multi-use art space that had art exhibitions, music shows, poetry readings and creative gatherings. Being a visual artist, Elisheba brought the community together to create multidisciplinary arts projects at Faire. Elisheba has also volunteered at various arts organizations to help broaden the impact the arts has in the Seattle area. She is now writing for "Curating a Life" her parenting blog, creating mixed media art pieces, and finishing up work on a children's book she co-authored with her father, Charles Johnson. When she is not enjoying an art exhibit with her son, she is volunteering with the parenting support group "Rooting for Mama".


Shoko Zam workshop
Shoko Zam workshop, photo by Naomi Ishisaka

The CityArtist program supports Seattle-based individual artists/curators and the research, development and presentation of their work. Awarded artists will need to offer a public presentation within city limits of Seattle. We support a broad range of artistic and cultural expression reflecting Seattle’s diversity.

NEW ELEMENTS: The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture’s 2020 CityArtist application has been simplified with these elements. Project description, budget and outreach plan are NOT required. These are determined AFTER awards are official. Artists now have two years to create and present a creative idea.


Applications will be accepted this year in these art forms or disciplines:

  • Literary (including screenwriting)
  • Media/film
  • Visual

Traditional/ethnic and multi-disciplinary projects are always welcome, as long as a primary art form is one of the eligible disciplines listed.


Applicants may request the following set amounts: $2,000, $5,000, or $8,000.


Wednesday, July 17, 2018 at 11 p.m. Pacific.


Get insider tips on how to submit a strong application. A workshop and draft review will be held:

Program Overview Workshop
(Past awardee will share tips at 12 p.m.)
Thursday, May 23, 2019; 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Seattle Public Library-Ballard
5614 22nd Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107

(Past awardee will share tips at 6 p.m.)
Tuesday, June 4, 2019; 5-7 p.m.
Seattle Public Library-Douglass-Truth
2300 E Yesler Way, Seattle, WA 98122

Draft Review (Individual appointments):
Please RSVP for an appointment.

Friday, July 5, 2019; 12-4 p.m.
ARTS at King Street Station, Top Floor, Rm 306
303 S. Jackson St., Seattle, WA 98104

Tuesday, July 9, 2019 from 2-6 p.m.
ARTS at King Street Station, Top Floor, Rm 313
303 S. Jackson St., Seattle, WA 98104


The application and guidelines are available on our CityArtist page.


For application or eligibility assistance, please contact Project Manager, Irene Gómez.

Irene Gómez

Irene Gómez

Project Manager

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(206) 684-7310

Irene administers ARTISTS UP and CityArtists Projects funding programs in addition to related technical support. She's an active member of the city's Race & Social Justice Initiative Change Team and volunteers on several boards and committees of a community foundation, artist collectives and heritage organizations. Film, travel, friends and being parent of an emerging media artist balance interests outside of work.

ARTS at King Street Station Portal

Lummi Blackhawk Singers, photo by Sunny Martini
Lummi BlackHawk Singers, photo by Sunny Martini

ARTS at King Street Station is a new cultural hub that promotes cultural participation, celebrates diversity, builds community connections, and enhances the visibility of artists of color. The Portal is a rolling application for exhibitions and events that will take place at ARTS at King Street Station.

The Portal accepts ideas and proposals for events, performances, and exhibitions which will be funded by the Office of Arts & Culture, which manages the space.


  • Individuals, artist teams, curator(s), or groups seeking support for a unique exhibition/art installation involving arts and culture.
  • People of all ages, especially youth and older adults, are encouraged to apply. Youth under 18 must include an adult contact.
  • Proposals that reflect emerging, established and mid-career work are welcome.


  • Mission may be focused on arts and culture or other areas.
  • Organizations are NOT required to have 501(c)(3) non-profit status.
  • Grassroots or business organizations are welcome to apply.
  • For-profit and/or touring exhibitions are NOT eligible.


Applicants can request funding for the following set amounts:

  • Exhibitions - in-kind only, under $2,500, $2,500, $5,000, $10,000, $25,000
  • Events - in-kind only, under $500, $500, $1,000, $2,500, $5,000


Ongoing; there is no deadline. Applications are reviewed every three months by the King Street Station Advisors.

Application review and contracting take time. Please share your event proposals at least three months prior to the desired date, or your exhibition/installation application at least six months prior to the desired opening date. You will receive a response within 90 days.


For exhibitions and events, apply via this survey.


If you want to work on it offline, you can download the ARTS at King Street Station Portal application.

ARTS at King Street Station Portal Guidelines

ARTS at King Street Station Portal budget form

ARTS at King Street Station information packet:


For more information or help on your application, please contact King Street Station Program Lead, S Surface, or drop in during ARTS at King Street Station programming office hours: 11am-12:30pm on the Third Wednesday and Third Saturday of each month EXCEPT December.

S Surface

S Surface

King Street Station Program Lead

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(206) 256-5484

S Surface is a Seattle-based curator of art, design and architecture, and the King Street Station Program Lead with ARTS. Previously, Surface was co-curator of The Alice, an artist-run exhibition space and writers' residency, and Out Of Sight 2017, a regional survey of Pacific Northwest artists. As Program Director at Design in Public, Surface organized the annual city-wide Seattle Design Festival and curated at the Center for Architecture & Design. Trained in graphic design, photography and entrepreneurship at Parsons School of Design, and with a M.Arch from Yale School of Architecture, research coordinator and editor with C-LAB, Volume Architectural Journal, and the Network Architecture Lab at Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation; and a teaching fellow in the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies department at Yale University. Surface served on the Seattle Arts Commission and on the board of Architects, Designers and Planners for Social Responsibility

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