Call for Portable Art

The City of Bellevue seeks to purchase portable artwork that exemplifies the mission of the Bellevue Art Collection. Specifically, the city is looking for two-dimensional visual art (drawings, mixed media, paintings, photographs, prints and textiles), electronic art (digital, film, new media or video) and small, three-dimensional artworks.

The maximum purchase price of selected artwork(s) per artist is $2,400. This call is open to all visual artists living in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties. The deadline for consideration is Aug. 17, 2020.

Purchased artworks will eventually be located throughout city-owned and publicly accessible buildings and offices. The locations of the artworks will be at the city's discretion.

Bellevue Art Collection's Mission

The City of Bellevue seeks to be a vital platform for cultural exchange and creative inspiration. The city turns to living artists to enrich the collective experience of Bellevue’s public places through permanent commissions and a growing collection of movable artworks funded through the Public Art Program.

A segment of the collection is devoted to artworks that raise the discourse on defining aspects of Bellevue’s civic life, exploring the diverse identities of our residents, converging cultures, international connections, technological currents and interplay between nature and the urban experience that make Bellevue’s environment unique. Bellevue’s art collection helps document the dynamic moments and complexities of Bellevue’s cultural life and is an important resource for future generations.


Purchased portable art will join a small but growing collection of portable artworks within the Bellevue Art Collection. The current collection is comprised of over 70 permanently sited and integrated artworks and portable works by acclaimed artists such as Lois Graham, Judy Onofrio and Jae Hyo Lee and coming artworks by Marc Fornes and Po Shu Wang. Most of these artworks are sculptures. The goal of growing the collection of portable artworks is to diversify the collection by adding a range of visual art media and artistic voices. Portable art will also increase the number of artworks accessible in city-owned buildings in Bellevue neighborhoods.


A total of $24,000 will be used to purchase portable artworks with a price of $2,400 or less per artwork. Only one selected artwork will be purchased from an artist unless the total purchase price of the artworks adds up to $2,400 or less. Sales tax is in addition to the purchase price. Please note that the purchase will not be finalized until Bellevue staff has an opportunity to view the artwork in-person and the Arts Commission votes to approve the purchase.

If electronic artwork is submitted, all equipment should be included with the artwork purchase price and easily moved and installed in a variety of locations and environments in order to be considered. Artists that need to arrange shipping will need to include that as a separate line item for each artwork on the image description sheet. Shipping charges plus purchase of the artwork will need to fit below the maximum price of $2,400.


This call is open to all active professional visual artists in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties in Washington. Artists must be able to deliver or arrange for delivery of artwork to Bellevue. Bellevue is a very diverse community. Diverse artists are highly encouraged to apply.

What We're Looking For

Available two-dimensional visual art (drawings, mixed media, painting, photography, prints and textiles), electronic art (digital, film, new media and video) and small three-dimensional artwork (no larger than 18 inches in any direction) will be considered for purchase at this time. The artwork will enter a rotating portable works collection and artworks may need to be moved by one person. Artists may submit up to 10 images or up to five links if submitting electronic artworks. If two-dimensional, Bellevue will arrange and pay for framing, listening to advice from the artist once the artwork has been purchased. Framing, hanging and presentation costs will be managed completely by Bellevue staff and is not a part of the $2,400 maximum purchase price of an artwork.

Application Deadline and Requirements

The deadline is 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time, Monday, Aug. 17, 2020. Please allow ample time to complete your application; applications submitted after the deadline will not be accepted. The following must be submitted via email to

Artist's Statement

Description of artistic intent - inspiration, interests, point of view, techniques, etc. (not to exceed 150 words)

Artist's Biography

Summary of artist's background, artistic influences, training and major achievements. (not to exceed 150 words)

Up to 10 images of available artwork 

10 different artworks or multiple images of the same artwork. If work is digital, submit a link to videos.

Image Descriptions

Include a thumbnail of each work, title, year made, medium, dimensions and price. Artworks listed without a price or above the maximum price of $2,400 will not be considered. Artists unable to deliver artwork to Bellevue must include shipping costs for each artwork (as a separate line item) on the image description form. If a submitted artwork is no longer available, the selection panel must select from the pool of artworks submitted by the deadline.


Include contact information and website if you have one.

Selection Criteria

Artwork will be selected on the basis of the following criteria: artistic merit and compelling themes relevant to the mission of the collection. Artworks that contain violence, profanity or nudity will not be purchased.

Selection Process

A panel composed of the chair of the Arts Commission or their designee and two arts professionals will recommend artworks for purchase. City staff will reach out to artists with recommended works to schedule a time to view the artwork in-person, unless other viewing means are deemed sufficient. Bellevue staff will make every concession necessary to view artworks safely. Staff will present their recommendations to the full Arts Commission for approval of purchase.

The City of Bellevue reserves the right not to select any of the submitted artworks.

Notification of Results

Artists will be notified by 5 p.m. on Aug. 31 whether their artwork has been recommended by the selection panel. Bellevue staff will work to schedule a viewing time for each artwork throughout September. Staff will present their recommendations to the Arts Commission for approval on Oct. 6. Approval schedule is subject to change if deemed necessary.


For all questions regarding this call, please contact Manette Stamm.