The Seattle Children’s Museum, the region’s pioneer in coupling museum experiences with early childhood education, seeks multiple individual artists from Washington state tribes to provide artifacts and artwork for an upcoming permanent exhibit. This exhibit imparts to our visitors the tradition of building communities through sharing stories, and highlights the prevalence and vibrancy of indigenous societies within our state. This project is broken into different artistic tasks that will be awarded to multiple artists so an array of artists, tribes, and styles are represented within the exhibit, reflecting the diversity of our state’s indigenous population. The Seattle Children’s Museum specifically seeks graphic designers, woodcarvers, and potentially textile artists and weavers. Emerging and student artists are encouraged to apply.

Project components (to be divvied up between commissioned artists):

  • Textile or carved artifact production to replace artifacts on loan from other institutions
  • Carved “puppets” for storytelling, based on stories provided by the project’s partner authors
  • Graphic rendering of Puget Sound map showing tribal territories prior to colonization of the Pacific Northwest
  • Storytelling carved piece to be secured above the puppet theater window
  • Storytelling carved piece to be installed behind the audience seating area
  • Graphic illustrations of stories provided by partner authors in a storyboard style
  • Graphic design representing a fire pit and fire to be installed via wall cling beneath the puppet theater window.

Project compensation will be discussed during interviews. Artists producing non-digital pieces will be allotted a materials stipend.

Deadline for application submission: Friday, August 31st, 2018

Application Requirements: Applications submitted for consideration must include the following:

  • Artist resume (or timeline of relevant art projects for emerging artists/students without significant experience in commissioned works)
  • Statement of interest – how is this project personally engaging to you (500 words or less)?
  • A selection of images or files (compressed into a ZIP file) showcasing a minimum of 6 different art pieces. For photos of woodworking, textile or woven pieces, please include images from multiple angles.
    • File names should be formatted as artist initials, piece name, and subsequent numbering for multiple files showcasing the same piece from different angles.

Artist – Jane Doe                                Piece Title – Masterpiece
Primary file name – JDMasterpiece
Additional files for the same piece – JDMasterpiece2, JDMasterpiece3, etc.

  • Annotated list for all art pieces presented in ZIP file, including the following information:
    • Piece name and description
    • Client or Commissioning organization, if applicable
    • Budget
    • Approximate time from beginning until completion
    • Any other relevant information
  • Optional: Info for accessing artist website or art-related social media accounts
  • Optional: Letters of recommendation (particularly for emerging artists/students)

Selection Process and Criteria: Applications will be reviewed by a panel of SCM employees and/or community partners. Selected applicants must be members of one of Washington’s Native American tribes, and must be able to provide a portfolio of past work illustrating their artistic capacity. The judging team will be selecting graphic designers and woodcarvers, and will also consider the potential to hire artists focused in textile artistry and weaving.

Applicants identified from the initial pool to continue in the selection process will be invited for an interview with the panel on SCM campus. Any travel expenses incurred in attending the interview will be managed by the artist and not reimbursed by SCM. Finalists will be selected by the panel based on portfolio compositions, capacity to incorporate traditional Coast Salish art forms into their work, demonstrated ability to manage deadlines and project expectations, and membership in a Washington State tribe. Selected artists will be notified within two weeks of the completion of interviews.

Submission details: Online submissions only. Send submissions to Submissions must be received in full by 11:59pm Friday, August 31st 2018.

Project Timeline: Commissions will begin in August of 2018. Each project will have a varying timeline depending on its anticipated install in the exhibit (installation is expected to occur in phases). Timelines will be determined between artists and the Seattle Children’s Museum. All commissions will be scheduled to be completed within, at maximum, a year of August 2018.

For questions and clarifications, please reach out to


Project supported by funds from the Nordstrom Foundation, the Tulalip Tribes, the McEachern Trust, and Burns & Sanders