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Kirkland News Room

City Seeks Artist for Kalakala Installation

Public Art Call for Repurposing Pieces of Historic Kalakala Ferry

Contact: Ellen Miller-Wolfe
City Manager’s Office

KIRKLAND, Wash. – The City of Kirkland seeks qualified artists to transform salvaged pieces of the historic Kalakala Ferry into an art installation. Letters of interest and other submittal requirements as outlined on the City's request for proposal are due July 14, 2017.

“We’re excited about the historical significance of this new piece of public art,” said Ellen Miller-Wolfe, Economic Development Manager for the City. “Significant parts of the ferry, including the wheelhouse, ornamental railing, several portholes and large car doors, are just some of the raw materials that can be incorporated into an art concept.”

An icon of the mid-twentieth century, the Kalakala Ferry was built in 1935 at the Lake Washington Shipyards, now Carillon Point. From the outset, the Kalakala was recognized for many notable characteristics including its art deco design, streamlined structure and the first commercial radar system. The Kalakala was featured prominently in the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair before being removed from commercial service in 1967.

In early 2015, the City purchased several pieces of the Kalakala Ferry and has allocated funds for the development of art concepts for the public to review. To help with the artist search and art concept review process, the Kalakala Committee was created with members from the City’s Cultural Arts Commission, Park Board, Transportation Commission, interested citizens and Kalakala advocates.

Up to four artists or artist teams will be selected to present art concepts. With input from the public and other stakeholders, the Kalakala Committee and Cultural Arts Commission will make a recommendation to City Council on which artist concept to pursue.

For more information on the Kalakala Ferry, watch an award-winning documentary produced by Kirkland Television. For more information on the artist request for qualifications, visit the City’s Business Opportunities webpage or download the Request for Qualifications PDF online.