Image by Takiyah Ward

Pier 62 Call For Artists

Seattle Waterfront COVID-19 Rapid Response Plan for Art

Future Forward Seattle Waterfront Pier 62 Call For Artists

Seattle’s future Waterfront Park is more than a park — it is a once-in-a-generation opportunity where the community’s values, vision, and investments align to achieve lasting economic, social, and environmental value — now, and for the benefit of future generations. This monumental opportunity has led to development of an Artist-In-Residence program that brings new energy and vision to creating a “waterfront for all.”

Takiyah Ward was recently named the Future Forward Virtual Artist In Residence by Friends. Leading the artistic vision, Takiyah designed the framework for engaging artists in a range of opportunities to activate the Seattle waterfront. This framework focuses on creative projects that invite exploration of stories and experiences focused on insights of the past, engagement with the present, and vision for the future — PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE. In this context, three distinct projects will be implemented with activities, activations, and installations to illuminate each theme.

The current call for artists is for Pier 62 and seeks an artist collective (a group of two or more artists) to explore the theme of PRESENT through the creation of a temporary light sculpture and up to 40 lanterns or luminaries.

Details Of The Artist Call

Location: Pier 62

Theme: PRESENT – How do we honor our elders, determine our self, and protect our youth?

Artist In Residence Vision Statement“Using varying scales and quantity, Pier 62 will be the canvas for embodying the ideas of artists speaking to present circumstances in relation to elders and youth. Recognizing a certain plurality of existence that requires multiple levels of navigation, responsibility, and response, the present acts as an intersection of identities that cross numerous spectrums. How do you plant seeds in soil that is in constant motion? How do we honor the pasts of our elders, while maintaining space for self and making room for the next generation? What does this look like?”

Guiding prompts: Determine, Learn, Establish, Settle, Decide, Divine, Confirm, Discern

Artist collectives are invited to propose a project that responds to the vision and prompts following the parameters listed below.

A Central Temporary Light Sculpture

  • A central temporary light sculpture structure that is less than 200SF at base.
  • The structure can make use of traditional and/or technological mediums
  • The design should enhance the natural and manmade elements of Pier 62, creating daytime experiences that transform in evenings
  • Should be less than 20 feet tall, ballasted to withstand winds without the need for drilling into the pier; can make use of existing tie-downs
  • Must be less than 250 pounds per square foot
  • Must be made of flame-retardant material
  • Should be designed to secure an engineering stamp of approval for structural integrity – support available for artists unfamiliar with this process


  • Luminaries that are lightweight (less than two pounds per object), ideally solar powered
  • Designed to withstand wind and rain elements
  • Made of flame-retardant material
  • Possesses the ability to be safely suspended on a 12-foot pipe (pipe structure provided by FWS) out of reach of the public.
  • Eligibility
  • This call is designed to attract artists who self-identify as members of the “Wedge” Generation — those caring for elders and children. Broadly, this covers Gen X and Gen Y/Millennials.

Who Should Apply

  • Artists who self-identify as the “Wedge” Generation (see above)
  • Artists residing in or with direct connections to the greater Seattle region, including a direct connection to the heritage of the surrounding
  • waterfront
  • Artists with multi-disciplinary experience and interest in becoming part of an artistic community where new norms are being created
  • Artists whose adaptive creativity is responsive to new guidelines governing public gathering
  • This opportunity seeks artists in a particular generational demographic for purposes of elevating the voices of the “Wedge” Generation’s lived experience. Within the overall thematic framework, there are targeted demographics not intended to be discriminatory, rather, designed to present a diversity of presentations that leverage the authentic stories of the past, present, and future. Implementation of the final projects will be completed in full partnership with Friends, City of Seattle, and community partners.

Timing: To be installed in mid-October with support by Friends

Budget: The total budget for this project is $30,000 for the artist collective. This includes materials, fabrication, installation, and removal.

Background InformationIn response to the economic stresses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and in an effort to support artists, the City of Seattle, under #SeattleTogether, is assisting partner organizations to provide funding for artistic endeavors. Friends of Waterfront Seattle is supporting this effort with an artist residency and additional artist opportunities.

The Future Forward Virtual Artist-in-Residence, Takiyah Ward, designed a framework for engaging artists for a range of opportunities to activate the Seattle waterfront. These activities, activations, and installations will occur through Fall 2020 and are funded by a partnership between the City and Friends and dedicate a total of $100,000 in support of the #SeattleTogether initiative, which is a partnership among the Office of Arts & Culture, Office of Economic Development, Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, Seattle Public Library, and the Mayor’s Innovation and Performance Team who have come together to build city-wide COVID-19 community response plan. This funding will provide a total of three arts opportunities for the Seattle waterfront. This PRESENT call is the first of the three arts project that aligns across all partnerships to elevate the voices of Black, Indigenous, People of Color communities.

Coinciding with the opening of Pier 62, Friends of Waterfront Seattle (Friends) has partnered with the City of Seattle’s Office of Waterfront and Civic Projects (OWCP) to create this fund for artist calls and commissions to fund temporary art projects. Funding for this project is provided in part by 1% for Art funds generated by the OWCP’s construction of the waterfront, and in conjunction with the Office of Arts & Culture.

With the recognition that park programming in the near term will need to respond to a “new normal” created by the pandemic, and that public health officials will likely recommend continued social distancing for the foreseeable future, these projects bring to life the significance that the arts play in our daily lives as well as in our ability to be “in community.”

About The Future Waterfront ParkFriends of Waterfront Seattle (Friends) is the nonprofit partner to the City of Seattle responsible for helping to fund, build, steward, and program the new Waterfront Park – today and into the future. The operations of the future Waterfront Park will be carried out by Friends and Seattle Parks & Recreation (SPR) through a joint-delivery model, with SPR responsible for horticulture and basic maintenance and Friends providing programming of the public spaces with cultural, recreational, and educational activities designed by and for all communities and cultures.

Park construction has begun following the Alaskan Way Viaduct’s removal. The first piece of the park, Pier 62, will open Fall 2020.

Application Guidelines

  • Please describe your proposed project in 250 words or less. Try to describe your inspiration and paint a narrative picture. The guiding prompts are: Determine, Learn, Establish, Settle, Decide, Divine, Confirm, Discern
  • Please describe the medium, methods, and materials you propose to use in your installation. Include a project budget.
  • Provide a written bio, not to exceed 300 words, and describe your history and experience as an artist. Please include a description of your connection to Seattle and any specific connection to the Seattle waterfront.
  • Provide up to 10 images of past work to be uploaded with your application.
  • Provide three references including those with knowledge of your experience as an artist including contact information and project(s).Artist Collective Selection Criteria – Artist collective will be selected based on:
    • Quality of concept and design
    • Creativity of approach
    • Relevance and connection to overall theme
    • Visual and/or technical sophistication

Selection ProcessThe Artist In Residence and review panel will select a group of applicants to be considered as finalists. Based on the panel review, a final recommendation will be made. Upon selection, the Artist In Residence, selected artist collectives, with support from the Friends team, will collaborate on final design, installation parameters, and implementation.

Artist Call Timeline

  • August 13, 2020: Artist Call opens
  • September 2, 2020: Artist Call closes
  • September 4-8, 2020: Finalists selected by Artist In Residence and Future Forward Panelists
  • September 10-11, 2020: Finalist notification, informal interview
  • Mid-October: Installation

Contact/Support: Contact [email protected] with questions about the application process.