Image by Takiyah Ward.

Pier 63 Call For Artists

Call for youth artists ages 18-24

Future Forward Seattle Waterfront Pier 63 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.”

Recently named Artist in Residence, Takiyah Ward, has designed an artistic framework to activate the Seattle waterfront, focusing on exploration of stories and experiences that illuminate our shared PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE. 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 63 and seeks five youth artists to explore the theme of FUTURE through the creation of 2D artworks that will be digitized for virtual reality and online viewing experiences. Artists may focus on the “future” in general and/or specifically of the waterfront location.

Details of The Artist Call

Location: Pier 63

Theme: FUTURE – How do you envision our future?

Artist in Residence Vision Statement “The future is a time we all like to envision, but it belongs to the youth. The future will be your moment, your movement, your revolution. The beauty of the future is our ability to dream in the present what a future reality can be. Right now, it is more important than ever for us to dream big. And it is equally important for adults and elders to listen to the youth and empower them. Far too long have your voices been filtered thru the adults in charge; I say let the youth lead the way.”

Guiding prompts: Project, Forecast, Predict, Calculate, Gauge, Expect, Extrapolate, Plan, Imagine.

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

2D art that envisions a future by our youth:

  • Applicants submit an idea/concept for original 2D art (paintings, drawings, digital, photography, text, etc). Selected artists will then create the art.
  • Digital files will be converted by New Game Plus for virtual viewing experience accessible through FWS website, QR prompts, and web links displayed on signposts at the waterfront.
  • A total of five artists will be chosen.
  • This call is designed to attract youth artists who are 18-24 years old.

Who Should Apply

  • Artists who are 18-24 years old.
  • Artists residing in or with direct connections to the greater Seattle region. Direct connection to the heritage of the surrounding waterfront is desired, though not required.
  • Artists who are interested in public art and connecting with an artistic community where new norms are being created. Selected artists will have opportunities to meet virtually with other selected artists and Artist in Residence, Takiyah Ward.

This opportunity seeks artists in a particular generational demographic for purposes of elevating the voices of the youth. 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: Five artists will be selected. Once commissioned, artist’s final digital files to be submitted October 23, 2020. Final virtual installation to be completed week of November 2, 2020.

Budget: The total budget for this project is $2,000 per artist (five artists total). This covers materials and production costs for the creation of the original 2D art and final digital file to be submitted on October 23, 2020.

Application Guidelines

  • Please describe your project idea in 250 words or less. A visual sketch is helpful, but not required. Try to describe your inspiration. The guiding prompts are: Project, Forecast, Predict, Calculate, Gauge, Expect, Extrapolate, Plan
  • Please tell us about yourself using 300 words or less including your interests 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 reference names, their relationship to you (ex. Teacher), and contact information. Include those with knowledge of your experience as an artist.
  • Applicants submit an idea/concept for original 2D art (paintings, drawings, digital, photography, text, etc). Selected artists will then create the art.
  • Final art by selected artists must be submitted as a digital file in .png or .jpg file format with 72ppi or better resolution

Artist Selection Criteria – Artists will be selected based on:

  • Creativity of approach
  • Visual quality of past work
  • Relevance and connection to overall theme

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 and selected artists, with support from the Friends team, will collaborate on process and delivery.

Artist Call Timeline

  • Sept. 10, 2020: Artist Call opens
  • Oct. 1, 2020: Artist Call closes
  • Week of Oct. 12, 2020: Finalists notification, informal interviews
  • Oct. 30, 2020: Final digital files of 2D art due
  • Week of Nov. 2, 2020: Final digital experience published

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

Friends of Waterfront Seattle (“Friends”) is the nonprofit partner to the City of Seattle responsible for helping to fund, build, steward, and program the park – today and into the future. In addition to raising $110M by 2024 to fund park construction, Friends will provide funding and manage the programming and operations of the future Waterfront Park through a joint-delivery partnership with Seattle Parks & Recreation. Park construction has begun following the Viaduct’s removal and the first piece of the park — Pier 62 — is planned to open later in 2020.

The Office of the Waterfront and Civic Projects is pleased to support this project that aligns with the City’s Seattle Together program, a series of initiatives responding to communities impacted during these unusual and challenging times. Future Forward: Artist In Residency will provide opportunities quickly to artists and arts groups for activation of the waterfront for the benefit of everyone. Seattle Together is a partnership of city departments that includes the city’s Office of Arts & Culture, which in turn collaborates with the Office of the Waterfront and Civic Projects to bring arts and culture to the waterfront.