August 2021

Introducing the 2021 Public Artist Roster
The Art in Public Places program is excited to share the list of artists accepted to the 2021 Public Artist Roster. The Roster is our primary tool for selecting artists to create new artworks for the State Art Collection. We share Roster portfolios with local art selection committees at K-12 schools, colleges, universities, and state agencies throughout Washington.

At its August meeting, the ArtsWA board unanimously approved 476 artists and artist teams for the Roster. They will serve four-year terms.

We worked hard to make this Roster our most diverse and inclusive ever. Nearly half of the accepted artists were first-time applicants, and many are experienced studio artists new to public art. Washington artists hail from rural and urban locations in 22 counties statewide. The number of artists of color, female, non-binary, disabled, and Central and Eastern Washington artists have all more than doubled from the 2018 Roster. We see this as a great starting point to center equity in our program and to reflect and celebrate Washington’s diverse communities. We can’t wait to start new projects with the 2021 Public Artist Roster.

Small capital projects enliven Creative Districts
In the FY 2021 capital budget, the legislature approved a modest sum for ArtsWA to fund capital projects in Washington’s Certified Creative Districts. Projects were installed in Edmonds, Chewelah, Olympia, Langley, Port Townsend, Twisp, Tenino, and Issaquah.

With these projects, the Creative Districts took the chance to dream big. From walking trails to murals and more, Creative Districts came up with artful ways to brighten the landscape of their communities.

In the Puget Sound, Langley beautified their Community Center and an old bus barn with new murals. The murals are visible to anyone who drives into the city. Jeremy Jarvis, a nationally-known muralist, oversaw the project and took on a local apprentice for training.

In Northeast Washington, Chewelah's bold vision had three parts: outdoor murals, wayfinding signs and an interactive kiosk. The theme for the murals is ‘A Place for All Seasons’ and reflects symbols of the local land and culture. The wayfinding signs are set throughout the Creative District and guide the way to shopping, services and more. In front of City Hall, the new kiosk features an ADA accessible deck and 35 colorful spinning story blocks.

On the Olympic Peninsula, Port Townsend hired local artist Jonah Trople to design and build five Art Markers to celebrate the Creative District. Port Townsend unveiled the Art Markers on June 15, 2021. This celebration featured a visit from ArtsWA staff, the artist, local dignitaries and the public. The city also made 60 wayfinding signs to guide visitors through the Creative District. These signs feature a design inspired by the new Art Markers.

ArtsWA has been granted funding by the state legislature to continue this program in this biennium and fund more capital projects across the state. Watch our website in September for a full report on the completed projects.
A new mural located on the South Whidbey Community Center in Langley, WA welcomes visitors as they enter town. Langley Creates, the city’s creative district program, commissioned Jeremy Jarvis to paint the 70-by-38 foot mural. South Whidbey Island artist Max Cole-Takanikos was chosen to apprentice with Jarvis. Photo courtesy of Langley Creates.