Artists at Play Art Call

Seattle – Today, Center Art LLC, in partnership with Seattle Center and Seattle Center Foundation, kicks-off an open call for Pacific Northwest-based artist/design teams to design and construct the Artists at Play (AAP) children’s play area at Seattle Center. The privately-funded, million-dollar project will transform up to three acres of asphalt just south of Harrison St. between Seattle Center Armory and EMP Museum into a free, artistically-inspired play area for kids of all ages.

 “Artists at Play is one of the major benefits of the public-private partnership between the City and Center Art, LLC. Engaging local artists to design this playground brings us all closer together and makes this gift from the Howard S. Wright family even more meaningful,” said Michelle Bufano, executive director of Chihuly Garden and Glass.

Initial planning meetings for the project kicked off in 2012. An Artists at Play Advisory Committee convened in the spring and early summer to define project goals and an inclusive artist/design team selection process.  In this next phase, the Artists at Play selection panel, which is drawn from the local community and represents a mix of disciplines including members of the AAP Advisory Group, has been established to review all artist/design team entries. The open call requests that entries include a brief artist statement of what is personally compelling to them about the project and articulate their creative concept.

In September, a shortlist of finalists will be identified, who will each receive a stipend to create a more complete proposal with scope, schedule, budget, and team members identified. Before the end of the year, a finalist will be selected and design work, including public engagement to inform development of the project, will get underway with a targeted opening in summer of 2014.

“We are thrilled to be working with Center Art on the Artists at Play project. It represents a significant gift to the community and an important contribution to the Seattle Center Century 21 Master Plan, which calls for enlivening that part of the grounds with accessible and creative, child-focused activities,” said Seattle Center Director Robert Nellams.

Information on the call for qualifications is available at Seattle Center and the application is available here.  Artists and teams interested in applying can also attend a Question & Answer session related to the call on Tuesday, Aug. 20, 6 p.m. -8 p.m. in Next 50 Pavilion.