Last call for artworks to adorn vacant storefronts

Mar 14, 2013

A nonprofit arts group is looking for art installations to feature around town. 

Storefronts, a program which showcases artworks in empty storefronts, is accepting applications for the year.

Works of chosen artists will appear in 35 vacant storefronts in Seattle — in Pioneer Square, International District and South Lake Union — as well as in Bellevue, Auburn, and Mount Vernon. Each artwork will be showcased for three months as long as the storefront remains available.

“The nature of the beast is that these are spaces for lease, so when they lease, we disappear,” said Matt Richter, program manager of Storefronts.

The program accepts both two-dimensional and three-dimensional installations of all shapes and sizes.

“Please bear in mind that some of our storefront spaces are large, deep, expansive spaces with giant windows. Some are shallow display windows and relatively small. Some are tall and skinny, some are short and wide. There is no standardized Installations window or storefront. Think broadly about your work and about the potential spaces in which it could be installed,” said Storefronts Seattle on its website.

Several pieces curated by the program can already be seen around the city.

A lighted sign that spells out “Somewhere out there” adorns the windows of the Publix Hotel in the International District. And a kinetic sculpture of two metallic “fans” can be seen moving robotically in the window of a closed shop at 400 South Maynard Street.

Storefronts, which began as a city project, has expanded since the nonprofit group Shunpike began overseeing it in 2011. Shunpike provides back-office services for small art groups.

This is the first year Storefronts, which received approximately 400 applications last year, is expanding beyond Seattle.

Artists can apply online at storefrontsseattle.com until 11 p.m. PST on March 17.