Call for Artists

Request for Proposals for Mural Design at the corner of 32nd Ave SW and SW Holden St in West Seattle

[Download a PDF of the RFP]

The Project

Friends of Roxhill Elementary has received a Neighborhood Matching Fund grant from the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods that includes funding for a mural. We are seeking an artist to create an original small mural at the corner of Holden and 32nd Ave SW, with potential to extend southward along the wall that runs the length of the property on 32nd. This opportunity is open to established artists living in the Seattle/Northwest area. The application deadline is March 1, 2018, with interviews to follow and the final artist selected by April 1, 2018. The selected artist is to complete the mural in summer of 2018. This will be a community-partnered project working with students and community members for inspiration, with installation to take place (also with community assistance) when the weather is suitable.

Roxhill Elementary is moving in fall 2018 to a renovated E.C. Hughes building at 32nd and Kenyon in Southwestern West Seattle. We are using the bulk of the grant to add a playground.

The Award

A maximum of $10,000 Commission for the artist selected to realize his/her work, which must include materials and permits, if required.

Project Intent

The neighborhood near E.C. Hughes — specifically along 35th Ave SW between Webster and Kenyon – is changing. It’s becoming more of a connected, human-scale neighborhood, with multimodal transportation that goes beyond people riding along in cars. Activating the space along Holden as it nears the intersection with 35th, as this project would do, can help create an open, inviting sense of identity. Roxhill is a multi-cultural school and community and the artist must reflect that aspect in his/her work.

Through this project, we also want to build a long-range vision for all our kids’ successes. Working together to create a mural that reflects our hopes, dreams and visions for the future can help connect each of us to each other. We will build relationships both within our school and outside our school through connections with our new E.C. Hughes neighbors and other PTAs and collaborative organizations, as well as through coalition building with West Seattle neighborhood groups and media. It is imperative the selected artist view the project as a collaborative one, and focus on building connections in the way the mural is planned and painted. It will be a very public showpiece that reflects and celebrates our multicultural school and community at large.

Information about the site

The site is a concrete retaining wall at the corner of 32nd Avenue Southwest and Southwest Holden St., approximately 200 square feet (and beyond). [See the Google Street View here.] Foot traffic is increasing over time as density increases and development occurs, and there is interest from neighbors across the street to see the entire wall improved, which is something we’d like to tackle over time. We see the corner mural as a starting point. The mural will be subject to SDOT and Seattle Public Schools regulations and approval.


This call to artists is open to professional artists living in the Seattle/Washington state area. Only professionals with reviewable portfolios are eligible to apply. The selecting committee will consider artistic diversity as a factor in the selecting process.

The selected artist will work with the school, the neighborhood, greater community, the City of Seattle and Seattle Public Schools to create a durable, site-specific mural. Applicants who wish to apply should have experience working with a public process, in public settings and the artwork must reflect the project intent as stated.

The artist will be required to provide liability insurance and must sign a VARA waiver while working on the site. They should also love to work with children and diverse communities (and submit to a background check).

How to apply

Artists interested must prepare and submit the following:

  • Proposed artwork concept for mural
  • Letter of interest- 1 page maximum why you are interested in the project
  • Artist statement
  • Current resume
  • a list of 3 references

Work Samples

  • A minimum of 8 digital images
  • Artist may include up to 3 selections of support materials such as articles, web links and other related information

Materials must be received by 5 p.m. March 1, 2018. Please email to: Friends of Roxhill Elementary Mural Committee:

Final artist selection

Friends of Roxhill Elementary will review submittals, conduct interviews of our top two or three finalists and make a selection by April 1, 2018. Then, the selected artist will work with our community, conducting surveys, meetings, voting, and/or other methods we decide will work to serve our community’s hopes and dreams for the mural. Through this process, we will develop draft mural concepts, revise the drafts based on community feedback, and develop a final design.  The mural will be painted in June, July and August 2018 depending on weather. Friends of Roxhill will host a final playground and mural unveiling party in August 2018, inviting the community and media to the celebration.

This is a community-driven project and artists must be able to work with the community in all aspects of design and execution. Part of the selection process will involve assessing how well each candidate understands and would do in this type of creative process.

Criteria for selection

  • Initial proposal that reflects intent
  • A body of work reflecting artistic excellence
  • Experience working in public settings
  • Experience installing permanent artwork suitable for outdoors with knowledge of future conservation
  • References

New Nonprofit Established to Help Support Roxhill Elementary School


[Download PDF of Press Release for contact info]

All-volunteer organization receives $100K Department of Neighborhoods grant to fund new school playground; also to focus on supporting classroom needs

SEATTLE, WA, Dec. 11, 2017 — In fall 2017, supporters, community members and parents of students at Roxhill Elementary established a new 501 (c)(3) organization, Friends of Roxhill Elementary (Friends of Roxhill or FoRE), to support the education and enrichment of the full-service public school along the southwest edge of West Seattle. With Roxhill Elementary relocating to a renovated, historic E.C. Hughes Elementary building in fall 2018, Friends of Roxhill decided to focus first on funding a playground where there was none. In November, FoRE was named a recipient of a Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Community Partnership Fund $100,000 grant. With this grant, FoRE will purchase and install a playground and mural at the E.C. Hughes site before the move in fall 2018.

“Next fall, on the first day of school, our students will be thrilled to begin the year in the newly updated building. And when they head outside for the first recess of the year, they’ll have all-new, modern playground equipment,” says Roxhill second-grade teacher and FoRE President Shawna Lystra. “As educators, we know that when we provide an environment children can be proud of, that pride carries over into their learning and their futures. This playground, and this new building, will help our kids feel good about their school and their community.”

Friends of Roxhill Elementary is focused on creating equal opportunities for the Roxhill community.

“Ensuring a welcoming and inclusive outdoor environment will provide a soft landing pad for our students, teachers, staff and families as we transition to a new campus,” says founding member and treasurer for Friends of Roxhill, Amanda Kay. “FoRE is committed to empowering our community by taking ownership and control of what happens in this large playground space.”

Besides the playground and mural, Friends of Roxhill is focused on developing ongoing fundraising efforts in support of the school, as determined by teachers and administrators and as needed by the school community. The organization has led an annual all-school fundraiser, dine-out partnerships with restaurants and on-site community events, such as parents’ night out.

“Because the organization is a standalone nonprofit, we can nimbly respond and seek innovative opportunities and ongoing partnerships, says Roxhill parent and FoRe vice president Jenny Rose Ryan. “As an all-volunteer organization with an elected, motivated board, we are driven by a desire to provide fast access to direct support for our school and by a belief in the power of our diverse community to work together for change.”

Friends of Roxhill Elementary meets monthly in the Harrison L. Caldwell Library at Roxhill Elementary. Learn more and support FoRE at Donations are tax deductible.


Friends of Roxhill Elementary supports the education and enrichment of Roxhill Elementary, a vibrant, multicultural public school in Seattle. Our nonprofit is focused on building equity for students in our underserved neighborhood through fundraising, community building and other projects important to our school. Learn more at or find us on Facebook:

Roxhill Art Contest!

Hello Roxhill Families and Supporters!

At this very moment I am staring at 6 prizes that will be awarded to our six Roxhill Art Contest winners, one from each grade! The contest theme was “What Roxhill Means to Me” and the Roxhill Stars totally rocked it.

Everyone who looked through the submissions was filled with incredible pride for Roxhill Elementary. The kids shared with us in their art work that Roxhill means Friendship, Safety, Love, Inclusion and Food.

As adults we often think of school as a means to an end or purely in academic terms, and this is valid, but the kids teach us that Roxhill has created a safe place that transcends the scholastic prototype. It is helping to create good humans that feel fed, included, noticed, important and cared for.

While there could only be 6 winners, all the submissions deserve praise. They will be presented in a slide show during a lunch hour for everyone to enjoy AND every single piece of art will be given to our mural artist*, so that they can use them for inspiration when designing the mural for our new school.

Super special thanks to Miss Michelle who made the contest happen!!! You are awesome!!! Another shout out to the 2nd grade, whose turn out for the contest blew out every other grade- woo hoo!

Till Next Time, Stars!

*The artist is still to be determined, but, just between you and I, we have received SEVERAL submissions from incredible local artists who are vying to paint our mural!



Join us for a community conversation

Next Monday, Feb. 12, at 6 p.m., Friends of Roxhill Elementary will host a special presentation by teacher Mike Popelka on his Fulbright Distinguished Award in Teaching.

Last year, Mr. Popelka spent five months in the Netherlands learning about, thinking about and practicing ways to address disparities in education. How might what he learned be applied at Roxhill? Join us next Monday in the lunch room at Roxhill to find out, ask questions and share ideas.

Netherlands Photo for Flyer


Happy New Year! Happy New Playground…

Hello Roxhill Families and Enthusiasts!

Happy New Year! I hope 2018 is off to a wonderful start for you and yours. Over here at Friends of Roxhill Elementary we are amovin’ and agroovin’ to get a playground for our new E.C. Hughes location.

If you haven’t heard, our grant from the city was approved! This means we are all systems GO, here are some of the exciting developments:

  1. Our Word-Wizard, Jenny Rose, has completed the first draft of the RFP. The RFP is basically Roxhill’s playground wish list developed by the students themselves. It will go out to Playground Equipment Contractors so that they can send us their proposals, then we get to pick which one we want. This decision process will include students, families, neighbors and community members- yes, that means YOU.
  2. Mural Project Coordinator Lead, Tisbury, has already met with some artists who are interested in turning that eyesore wall at the E.C. Hughes corner of Holden and 32nd into a work of art. A Call to Artists has been written and will be going out on full blast soon to open up the opportunity to all artists! Once again, the Roxhill community and community at large will be encouraged to be a part of the decision process regarding which artist proposal they would most like to see come into fruition.

So, you can see why we are excited! And so BUSY! Help is needed in many different ways and we would love to have you be a part of this process. If you would like to help, please contact or our Volunteer Coordinator, Julian, at

Other exciting developments…

Come join us at Roxhill Elementary on February 12th at 6PM to hear Roxhill’s very own Mr. Popelka (1st grade) talk about his trip to Holland last year as a Fullbright Scholar Award recipient! There he learned about bridging the achievement gap between students. This event will be Open to the Public, so come, and invite your dentist and grocery bagger too!

January 19th is the Roxhill Family Dinner at Seola Gardens. A lovely Roxhill tradition that brings families together and raises funds for another Roxhill tradition, the 5th grade trip to Islandwood. THIS EVENT IS STILL LOOKING FOR ROXHILL FAMILY SUPPORT! Please contact Susanna if you’d like to contribute.

Oh, there’s also a possible Jog-A-Thon, Student Art Contest and more… like I said, all kinds of exciting stuff!