Cross Kirkland Corridor Call for Artists

Cross Kirkland Corridor trail and fence Call for Artists

This Call is now closed. Thank you to all our applicants!! 

Cross Kirkland Corridor | Outdoor Public Art Exhibit


The Kirkland Cultural Arts Commission (KCAC) is seeking an artist or artist team to create an ephemeral, temporary or permanent art installation or performance (either a singular piece of art or a series) for positioning along the Cross Kirkland Corridor (CKC). The artwork should be reflective of Kirkland’s rich history, its connected community, stunning beauty, commitment to social justice, and devotion to good environmental stewardship.

Stretching from the southern border of Kirkland at 108th Avenue Northeast to the City’s eastern boundary in Totem Lake, the Cross Kirkland Corridor is 5.75 miles of artistic opportunity. The CKC is a ten-foot-wide crushed gravel trail that connects various City parks, neighborhoods, attractions and public spaces. The corridor is an exciting blend of urban and woodsy rural, with deeply forested segments that merge with enhanced sections, spectacular viewpoints, custom bridges, and much more. The CKC brings a unique opportunity to integrate art in a variety of modes and mediums.

The art installation may consist of one or more elements and should reflect the Corridor’s natural beauty as well as the diverse region of neighborhoods that it connects.

Current art on the Corridor includes a railroad-themed sculpture called “Spikes,” by local artist Merrily Dicks, a community inspired mural called “What is…” by Jake DKOY Wagoner (now Nathaniel Art) & Mike Lucerno, located on the NE 85th Street underpass, and “Community is a Bouquet” by Jean Bradbury, a mural on the 6th Street Railroad Signal Cabinet. We encourage interested artists to seek inspiration from the existing art while letting allowing their creativity to flourish and soar. 

Bright yellow bird in painted mural on underpass along CKC

Artist Eligibility and Selection Process:

This call is open to both emerging and established practicing artists residing in Washington state. Kirkland-based artists are strongly encouraged to apply.

The City of Kirkland Supports Equitable Opportunities

The City of Kirkland seeks to develop accountability strategies for evaluating whether public art, public symbols, special events and City programming in Kirkland are welcoming to all community members, as well as expanding the diversity of public art, symbols, events and programming to be more inclusive of the diversity of our community, including racial and ethnic diversity, diversity of sexual identity and orientation, gender diversity, and diversity of age and ability. 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. 

Application Deadline: Applications with preliminary concepts due: Friday, October 8, 2021

Budget: $8,580 will be paid to the artist or artist team to cover all planning, concept development, coordination, creation/fabrication and installation of the art. Funding will be paid after a City of Kirkland Service Agreement with outlined scope of work is signed by both the artist/artist team and the City. A State of Washington Business License with City of Kirkland endorsement is required of selected artist.

This project is made possible through a grant from 4Culture.

Required Application Materials:  Please provide your resume and a 1-page letter of interest as described below. Additionally, we ask that our artists provide a basic overview of their prospective concept, including sketches and/or renderings, if the art is not already fabricated. If fabricated, provide 1 to 3 images of the art. Whether fabricated or not, please let us know your vision for where on the Corridor your art will enhance and beautify the trail user experience. 


• One-page letter of interest including vision statement describing why you should be considered for this opportunity, and how your vision addresses this specific public art call. Please include preferred site(s) for art installation with broad stroke concept ideas.

• One (1) to three (3) digital images of the work if already fabricated, or a sketch/rendering if not fabricated

• Resume

• Cross Kirkland Corridor application form

Timing Considerations: 

The project must be billed to the City before Friday, December 10, 2021. The art or artworks may be installed later, at a time agreeable to the artist or artist team and the committee, with a final deadline of May 31, 2022. 

Artists should note that interviews for finalists will be conducted on October 15, 2021 (times TBD) and save the date accordingly.

The City of Kirkland is required to have the below-listed documents from a vendor in order to enter into a contractual agreement. To facilitate 2021 contracting, the selected artist should be prepared to present such documentation within 3 business days of selection notification. Required documentation includes:

  • W9
  • Certificate of Insurance showing 1) Commercial General Liability for $1,000,000 each occurrence and Automobile Liability with $1,000,000 per accident with the City named as an additional insured. In addition, the City will ask for the Policy Pages that detail what/who all is covered.
  • State of Washington Business License with City of Kirkland endorsement

Sculpture made from railroad spikes called The Spikes During concept development, artists should consider the following guidelines:

• Appropriate for the surrounding family focused uses

• Cohesive with its proposed location along the trail (in materials and scale)

• Consists of free-standing individual elements

• Reflective of the diverse community that uses the trail

• May be a mural, mosaic, or incorporated into a bench or fence, or rendered as wayfinding elements

The proposed art must fulfill the following:

• Fabricated in ephemeral, temporary or permanent outdoor media that meets or exceeds standards for structural integrity and durability

• Low maintenance, weather, vandal and graffiti resistant

• Meets or exceeds standards for public safety

• Suitable for public viewing by all ages

Additional Information/Historical Context

The Cross Kirkland Corridor is a flat, accessible pathway that is part of a larger King County vision called Eastrail, an uninterrupted 42-mile trail that will eventually connect Renton, Bellevue, Kirkland, Woodinville, Snohomish and Redmond.   

Lone bike rider on CKC with green trees

The City of Kirkland purchased a 5.75-mile section of the 42-mile Eastrail, (formerly the Eastside Rail Corridor) in 2012. A CKC Master Plan was developed in 2013 identifying the distinct character zones along the corridor that directly connect to eight of the City’s thirteen neighborhoods. The Cross Kirkland Corridor is open to leisure and commuter foot and bike traffic. Our audience for this art is our diverse and inclusive community of walkers and wheelers from Kirkland and beyond! Thousands of people use the CKC weekly from Kirkland, the Eastside and the greater Seattle area. The Kirkland Cultural Arts Commission has led and is continuing to lead efforts to plan for and integrate art along the CKC, with emphasis on site-specific opportunities that respond to the character zones identified along the trail.

Accepted Mediums:

Artists are welcome to submit proposals that contemplate artwork in an array of sizes, types and mediums. The proposed medium(s) should be weatherproof and appropriate to outdoor display over a sustained period. The medium(s) should not pose any hazard to the public and be appropriate to securely display along a busy pedestrian thruway.

Some potential art projects that have been identified in the CKC Art Integration Plan and by the Art Committee include murals, painted rock garden, themed rock formations along the entire corridor, an art installment/sculpture at the newly constructed picnic pavilion located at the site of the historic Northern Pacific Railway station (see relevant notes below), Tibetan prayer wheels and carved wooden sculptures cohesive with the City’s greenways project. However, other ideas presented by artists are strongly encouraged.

Possible Sites for Public Art

This list in not meant to be inclusive of all potential locations for art along the Cross Kirkland Corridor. We highly encourage applicants to visit the trail and walk its different segments to find the area or areas that inspire them the most. (NOTE: the I-405 underpass off 120th Avenue Northeast is not a viable location as this is a WSDOT underpass and under WSDOT regulatory control.)

  1. Picnic Pavilion* (see note) at the site of the former Northern Pacific Railway station
  2. The NE 85th Street Underpass
  3. The NE 68th Street Underpass
  4. Near the pedestrian crossing bridge at Crestwoods Park

*Note: While this Call for Art does not have a specific theme overall, art proposed at this location should be in alignment with the City’s railroad history. Further, any art proposed for the picnic pavilion and/or the area immediately surrounding Kirkland Way and Railroad Avenue should seek to complement the existing signage and aesthetic found along this section of the Corridor. Art proposed for this specific region will require additional vetting through the Rotary Club of Kirkland and the nearby Everest neighborhood. Additionally, art proposed for the Kirkland Way overpass/underpass must preserve and protect the recently painted Northern Pacific Railway emblems on each side of the Corridor/low clearance bridge. 

Artist Selection Process:

The Art Committee will review responses to the Cross Kirkland Corridor Call for Art and narrow the pool to three finalist(s). The three finalists will be asked to give a brief overview of their concept including their vision for its location on the Corridor. The Art Committee will select the artist/artist team based on their presentation, taking into consideration references, their artist statement and resume. The Art Committee will present its recommendation to the Kirkland Cultural Arts Commission (KCAC) for final approval at the October KCAC meeting. The Committee reserves the right to select three finalists for this opportunity and from the three finalists, a single awardee or more. The Committee also reserves the right to not select any artists. Artists will be expected to provide written qualifications, concept sketches/renderings and or photographs of proposed art and be available for an interview.

Project Timeline:

Friday, October 8, 2021:  Applications with preliminary concepts due

Wednesday, October 13, 2021:  Finalists Selected by Committee for Artist Interviews

Friday, October 15, 2021:  Artist Interviews

Monday, October 18, 2021:  Finalist Selected

Wednesday, October 20, 2021:  Final KCAC Approval

Friday, October 19, 2021:  Contract Awarded

Art Installed: November – May 31, 2022

December 10, 2021:  Deadline to invoice the City 

The Cross Kirkland Corridor Call for Art is funded through a grant received from 4Culture, the cultural funding agency for King County, Washington

Public Art Vision 

Kirkland maintains 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. 


Cross Kirkland Corridor Information

Cross Kirkland Corridor Map

Cross Kirkland Corridor Art Integration Plan

Kirkland Cultural Arts Commission Art on the CKC

CKC Master Plan

Words painted on underpass mural