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South Lake Union office tower complex seeks visual artist for exterior mural

Kilroy is looking for a “gritty” cityscape for 333 Dexter

A drawing of the north side of 333 Dexter.
Courtesy of Kilroy Realty

The 333 Dexter complex, currently under construction at the former site of KING 5, will eventually become two office towers on the edge of South Lake Union, just off Aurora. One of the project’s features will be an art wall along one side of the development—and developer Kilroy Realty is still looking for an artist, or a team of artists, to complete the work.

The submission process has been open since January, but the deadline for submissions closes at the end of the day Thursday, March 15—not business end-of-day, but 11:59 p.m. Kilroy’s putting up $50,000 for the project.

When completed, likely in 2019, the towers, designed by Miller Hull Partnership, will have approximately 660,000 square feet of office space with retail space below. Both structures are heavy on concrete and glass, and while not identical, have complementary designs—one tower lifted from street level with a zig-zag of concrete columns, and the other with the same pattern around a terrace.

The art comes in on the north side of the building along Harrison Street, along a 48-by-19.5 stretch of wall that incorporates a sliding loading dock door.

Specifically, Kilroy is seeking Seattle-area artists to submit “a compelling cityscape that is both a ‘gritty’ realistic take on urban life and could be considered a visual gateway to Seattle”—although the building is in the middle of the city and in the glossy, new South Lake Union neighborhood.

The theme is open to interpretation, and the work wouldn’t have to be a traditional mural, as long as it’s relatively two-dimensional, so mixed media, mosaics, reliefs, and shallow sculpture would be okay.

The submissions will be judged “based on the artistic translation of the theme” by representatives from Kilroy and David Miller from Miller Hull, as well as DPA Fine Art Consulting, Seattle Office of Arts and Culture, Cornish College of the Arts, Pratt Fine Arts Center, and Seattle Art Museum. Submissions will be judged equally, according to the project website, on originality and concept, artistic merit, and ability to execute.

Artists with ideas and time in the next week to throw them together can submit a design PDF, budget, statement, and other details on the project’s website.

This article has been updated to reflect the correct deadline.