City seeks proposals for underpass artwork

City’s One Percent for the Arts program funds public art projects

November 03, 2022 - by Shannon Taysi, Planning and Community Development

The City of Bellingham has announced an opportunity for an artist or artist team to design and install a large-scale mural at an underpass on Birchwood Avenue, as part of the City’s One Percent for the Arts program.

After decades of interest and planning, the first Interstate 5 underpass in Bellingham since the freeway was built opened early in 2022. The new route eases traffic congestion on nearby Sunset Drive and James Street, while providing more direct hospital access for the rapidly growing northern neighborhoods of Bellingham. It provides an important multi-modal connection in the City’s transportation system by linking the street grid east and west of Interstate 5 and is frequently traveled by emergency vehicles and medical personnel due to the proximity to the hospital. The roadway and adjacent trails are heavily used by pedestrians and cyclists. (Video about Birchwood Avenue/Orchard Drive extension project).

The City is interested in artwork that would be painted on each of the eight large pillars as well as along the retaining wall adjacent to Birchwood Avenue.

The art project is primarily funded through the City’s One Percent for the Arts program, a program that dedicates one percent of large capital project budgets to be allocated for art. $70,000 is available for design, materials and installation of this artwork. The inclusion of artwork in public places reinforces the City’s status as a regional arts destination, increases quality of life and attracts tourism and visitors to the area.

Proposals must be submitted by noon December 2, 2022. Full details available on the City’s Public Art webpage.

Media Contact

Shannon Taysi, Planning and Community Development or (360) 778-8360.

More City News >>

Subscribe to City News