Call to Artists: Commission Opportunity at Fire Station 26


This call is now closed.

Submissions Deadline is August 18, 2023

The City of Kirkland is seeking a qualified Artist for a public art commission in the new Fire Station 26 (9930 124th Avenue NE, Kirkland, WA 98033) to be installed in December of 2024. This public art commission is funded by the city of Kirkland’s 1% for Art program. 1% for Art is assessed on qualified capital improvement projects (CIP) that are undertaken by the City of Kirkland. The Kirkland Cultural Arts Commission (KCAC) together with City staff curates and advises the City Council on public art acquisitions and loans, and it reviews and recommends projects under the City's "1% for Art" program.

The Fire Station Art Steering Committee (Steering Committee), consisting of the art consultant, representatives from the project teams, the Kirkland Fire Department, the City Manager’s Office and the Kirkland Cultural Arts Commission will select the art commission.

The City of Kirkland Fire Department is a pillar of the Kirkland community providing a sense of safety and stability helping individuals in need and supporting the city as a whole. 

The art commission will honor the fire department history and promote a bright future with themes of hope, resiliency, positivity, and inclusivity.

Visual elements will strive to reinforce the unconditional response and community support that is emblematic of fire department services.

Key themes:

Spirit of service | Inclusive | Accessible | Historic | Commemorative | Luminous | Cohesive| Dynamic | Hopeful | Relatable

The selected artist should plan to install the Commission December 2024.

This call is open to any artist.

  • Individual artists or collaborations
  • Demonstrated experience working with communities
  • Ability to work with architects, designers, fabricators to successfully achieve concept to install
  • Successful experience working on time and within budget
  • Artists with training and desire, but no previous opportunity in public arts projects are encouraged to explore applying where locations may match skill and readiness levels.

The City of Kirkland Supports Equitable Opportunities
The KCAC, in alignment with the City Council, seeks to dismantle structural racism and inequities in Kirkland. The KCAC affirms that all people, their cultures, and their art contribute to the meaning and understanding of our shared humanity and should be honored and celebrated. The KCAC strives to proactively solicit and curate art that reflects the diversity of the Kirkland community, encourages a sense of belonging for all people, and supports the expression of historically marginalized communities. The art created by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color performs a unique role in our community and helps provide inspiration to resolve societal inequity and injustice. This important work of bringing equity to art is pivotal to the KCAC’s efforts to confront injustices of the past and reveal inequities of the present in order to build a more diverse, inclusive collection of public art, now and in the future.

The Fire Station Art Steering Committee composed of members of the Kirkland Cultural Arts Commission (KCAC), the art consultant, city staff and project team members and other relevant stakeholders when appropriate, will make the selection for this call.  In accordance with Kirkland R-5213 and the City of Kirkland 1% for Art Policy Guidelines, the Fire Station Art Steering Committee will present the recommended art concept and artist to the KCAC for approval, and subsequently to the Kirkland City Council for final approval of the artist and art concept.

The selection process will include two phases.

The first phase will be based on the evaluation of preliminary submissions. Preliminary submissions will be selected based on the following:

  • Quality and craftsmanship of past works
  • Creativity of approach
  • Relevance of, and familiarity with, the Kirkland community
  • Visual and technical sophistication

The second phase will include a list of finalists who will be awarded a stipend to create a site specific project concept design. The selected concept design will be based on the Scoring Rubric Criteria (below). The Fire Station Art Steering Committee will present its recommendation of artist and concept to the full KCAC for its approval, and finally to the review, with Kirkland City Council for approval.

The Fire Station Art Steering Committee reserves the right not to select any submissions received from this call for artists. Finalists should be prepared and available to present their concept designs virtually during an interview process if so selected. Submitting artists must be able to meet the project timeline.

Artists will be selected on the basis of the fit of their concept for this project and the strength of their past work. For applicants without a history of past public art commissions, you will need to describe why you would be a good fit for this project. Previous public art experience is not required.

Commission Art Site

There are three potential art locations for Fire Station 26. The finalist will be asked to select one of these locations for their final artist concept design. (Potential locations are shown in red.) Final locations are subject to approval by the City and other stakeholders.

Required Application Materials

  1. Artist Name (or names of team members if applying as a collaboration), Phone number and email
  2. Website and/or Social Media Links if applicable
  3. Five to ten images of relevant examples of past work (video accepted). Images should represent the artist’s style, format, medium, or breadth of work. Please include scale and medium for all works—and if a public installation, include the year installed and its location.
  4. Resume or CV
  5. In 150 words or less, please describe your project approach and intention to create connections to the Kirkland community
  6. Two references

Additional Requirements

  • Low maintenance; primer coat; anti-graffiti coating; weather, vandal and graffiti resistant
  • Suitable for public viewing by all ages.


The project budget range is $50,000 Total. This amount will be paid to the artist or artist team and is inclusive of artist’s fees, materials, insurance, fabrication, on-site installation, travel and WA State sales/use tax (10.2%). Funding will be paid in phases after a City of Kirkland Service Agreement with outlined scope of work is signed by both the artist and the City. The City of Kirkland is required to have the below-listed documents from a vendor to enter into a contractual agreement. Required documentation includes:

  • IRS Form W-9
  • Certificate of Insurance for the duration of the project showing 1) Commercial General Liability for $1,000,000 each occurrence with the City named as an additional insured
  • If artist(s) plans to drive their vehicle onto the work site (City property), the City will require proof of automobile liability insurance with minimum coverage of $1 million during the project.
  • State of Washington Business License with City of Kirkland endorsement

The Kirkland Cultural Arts Commission (KCAC) uses a scoring rubric—based on City of Kirkland Public Art Policy Guidelines and funders’ intent—in its selection process.  The KCAC recommends selections to the Kirkland City Council for final approval based on the total points scored in these following categories:

  1. Responsiveness to the Project Call: Theme and Other Project Specifics—50 points.

    How well does the proposed work respond to the specifics of the call, in terms of theme, location (if applicable), and medium (if applicable)?

    Scale: not competitive (1-9); fair (10-19); good (20-29); great (30-39); excellent (40-45); exceptional (46-50).

  2. Overall Alignment with City of Kirkland Public Art Policy Guidelines – 20 points

    Does the proposed work reflect Kirkland’s Public Art Vision to maintain a diverse public art collection that values and honors artistic endeavor and the creative process, recognizes the role of public art in a welcoming and inclusive community, invites interaction, fosters civic identity and community pride, inspires a sense of discovery, stimulates cultural awareness, and encourages economic development?

    Scale: not competitive (1-2); fair (3-6); good (7-10); great (11-15); excellent (15-19); exceptional (20).

  3. Artistic Merit – 20 points

    How well does the proposed work show artistic value, including formal qualities, technical ability, relevance to the current historical context, and the creative expression of content?

    Scale: not competitive (1-2); fair (3-6); good (7-10); great (11-15); excellent (15-19); exceptional (20).

  4. Artist’s Capabilities – 10 points
    Does the proposal, including the artist’s statement and submitted work samples, demonstrate the artist’s ability to meet the project requirements and fully realize the project.

    Scale: not competitive (1); fair (2-3); good (4-5); great (6-7); excellent (8-9); exceptional (10).

Fire Station 26 Additional Information Packet

Respect and Honor Fire Services

The artwork should respect and honor fire services. Both a recently renovated Kirkland fire station (Fire Station 25) and a recently completed fire station (Fire Station 24), include/will include Station number signage and public art that features the Maltese Cross, the international symbol of firefighting and a symbol of protection. There is a strong desire to maintain that similarity between all the artwork for the fire department. However, whether or not it is ultimately decided to keep this theme, the artwork should represent fire services, aid the station in being recognized by the public as a fire station, and provide a sense of community and welcoming to all.

People in Fire Services have saved lives, repaired lives, provided protection and safety for those in need, whether it be rescue, medical aid, or fire control. 

We have an opportunity to elevate the public awareness, through art, about the important role fire departments play in the community, beyond their role in responding to emergencies. 

City of Kirkland

The City of Kirkland is located on the eastern shore of Lake Washington. It is a suburban city, surrounded by other suburban cities and pockets of unincorporated King County. The City is near several major transportation routes including Interstate 405, State Route 520, and Interstate 5. These routes connect the City economically and socially to the greater Seattle area.

At the time of incorporation in 1905, the City of Kirkland’s population was approximately 530. The current estimated population is 88,940. Kirkland is the thirteenth largest city in the State of Washington and the sixth largest in King County.

Since its incorporation, Kirkland has grown in geographic size to eighteen square miles - approximately twenty times its original size. This growth occurred primarily through the consolidation of the cities of Houghton and Kirkland in 1968, the annexations of Rose Hill and Juanita in 1988 and the annexation of North Juanita, Finn Hill, and Kingsgate areas in 2011.

Kirkland operates under a Council-Manager form of government. The City Council is the policy making branch of Kirkland’s government and consists of seven members elected at large to staggered, four-year terms. The Mayor is elected from within the Council. The City Council is supported by several advisory boards and commissions and the City Manager. The City Manager is appointed by the City Council and serves as the professional administrator of the organization, coordinating its day-to-day activities.

City of Kirkland Demographics

According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Kirkland was:

  • White: 75.70%, Asian: 14.43%, Two or more races: 5.66%, Other race: 2.50%, Black or African American: 1.36%, Native American: 0.26%, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.08%,
  • Kirkland is currently growing at a rate of 3.23% annually and its population has increased by 103.36% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 48,787 in 2010. Spanning over 22 miles, Kirkland has a population density of 5,571 people per square mile.
  • The average household income in Kirkland is $153,012 with a poverty rate of 6.11%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to $1,861 per month, and the median house value is $662,300. The median age in Kirkland is 37.4 years, 36.8 years for males, and 38.3 years for females. 

The Kirkland City Council has taken action to ensure that the City is safe and welcoming for residents and visitors. With this project, the City seeks public art that addresses those aspirations and reflects the City’s diversity, including racial and ethnic diversity, diversity of sexual identity and orientation, gender diversity, and diversity of age and ability. This Commission project has been funded by the city council to further these goals.


The artwork should invigorate, inspire and energize the Kirkland community, communicate Kirkland as a safe, inclusive and welcoming place, celebrate diversity and honor social and racial justice qualities that are in accordance with Kirkland Resolution 5240 (2017) which affirms that Kirkland is a safe, inclusive and welcoming community, and/or Resolution 5434 (2020) which affirms that Black lives matter.

The City of Kirkland Art Policy

1% for Art is assessed on qualified capital improvement projects (CIP) that are undertaken by the City of Kirkland. The Kirkland Cultural Arts Commission (KCAC) together with City staff curates and advises the City Council on public art acquisitions and loans, and it reviews and recommends projects under the City's "1% for Art" program.

Each of the four fire station projects is assigned an art budget commensurate with 1% of the total project budget.

The Kirkland Cultural Arts Commission (KCAC) The Kirkland Cultural Arts Commission is responsible for helping the City Council implement the Public Art Vision in Kirkland. The KCAC is a volunteer advisory board that works to help arts, culture and heritage grow and thrive in the City of Kirkland. Along with supporting art and cultural initiatives, the KCAC promotes strategic arts planning and advises the City Council on art acquisition in Kirkland. A copy of the KCAC Public Art Guidelines is available here:

Public Art Vision Kirkland maintains a diverse public art collection that invites interaction, fosters civic identity and community pride, inspires a sense of discovery, stimulates cultural awareness, and encourages economic development.

KCAC Goals: 

  • Curate a diverse public art collection representing various cultural and ethnic communities and perspectives 
  • Facilitate exposure to public art 
  • Encourage community dialogue through public art 
  • Use public art to reflect the characteristics of the greater Kirkland community 
  • Determine that the art is appropriate for its location 
  • Regularly re-evaluate the Commission’s policies, practices, and programs to ensure there are no structural barriers to artists from historically marginalized communities

Kirkland Fire Department The Kirkland Fire Department provides a wide range of critical fire and life safety services to Kirkland’s 93,000 residents

Washington became a state in 1889.  That same year the Great Seattle Fire destroyed much of the heart of that city and the people of Kirkland watched as smoke rose across Lake Washington for days.  One year later, in 1890, the Kirkland Fire Department was formed. 

Since those austere beginnings, the department has added Hazardous Materials, Technical Rescue, Emergency Medical Services, Emergency Management and Water Rescue to our list of services.  Emergency Medical Services (EMS) now constitute nearly 75% of our calls for service.  The Fire Department is truly an “all hazards” response team.

The dedicated men and women of the Kirkland Fire Department are committed to providing the best services possible, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Kirkland Fire Department employs approximately 115 employees who are involved in a diverse range of activities. The department provides 24-hour coverage for fire suppression, technical rescue, hazardous materials and emergency medical responses. The department also provides fire prevention and education, fire investigations, inspections, code compliance and disaster preparedness services to the population. The City of Kirkland has six fire stations

Station 21-Forbes Creek (expansion and remodel)
9816 Forbes Creek Drive

Station 22-Houghton (expansion and remodel)
6602 108th Ave NE

Station 25-Juanita
12033 76th Place NE

Station 26-North Rose Hill (expansion and remodel)
9930 124th Ave NE

Station 27-Totem Lake (new station forthcoming)
11210 NE 132nd St.

Station 24 – New station is open!
NE 132nd St. and 100th Ave NE