About Shunpike: Established by artists in 2001, Shunpike envisions a community where independent artists and arts groups thrive, creatively and economically, and where their work is widely valued as fundamental to the cultural, social and economic wellbeing of Washington State. To achieve this vision, we provide artists with the services, resources and opportunities they need to forge their own paths to sustainable success. Based on our key organizational values of inclusivity, relevance and accessibility, Shunpike strives to serve a diversity of independent artists and arts groups across Washington State, embracing artists working in all art-forms, as well as those identifying as emerging and/or established. 

Our Commitment to Racial Equity:  According to an article in The Seattle Times (Census: Washington getting less white, older; Asians growing fastest in state, June 12, 2013), people of color represent over 30 percent of Washington residents and this proportion is growing rapidly across all major racial and ethnic groups. Despite this, the percentage of independent artists and arts groups of color served by Shunpike does not reflect Washington's current demographic reality, and we are committed to doing what we can, within our sphere of influence, to achieve greater racial equity.

The Storefronts Program:  In 2010, an innovative consortium of city and neighborhood organizations inaugurated the Storefronts program in Seattle’s Pioneer Square and International District neighborhoods by activating empty storefronts with vibrant local art and creative projects. At the time, the initiative sought to address high retail vacancy rates that were symptomatic of the economic downturn. Though Seattle's economic climate is now stronger, Shunpike continues to support our creative community and urban neighborhoods by providing opportunities for artists to showcase dynamic, engaging works that reach out to passersby, humanize our built environment, and support urban revitalization.


Storefronts provides temporary, no-cost, street-facing display space in Seattle and Bellevue for installation of 2-D or 3-D artwork. The art work is presented in a locked storefront or display vitrine and is viewed, through windows, for a period of up to six months.
Program Requirements:


  • Works shall be existing or new works created for temporary installation.
  • All visual media are accepted.
  • Content must be G-Rated and suitable for the general public
  • All materials and consumables required for installations are the responsibility of the artist. This includes hanging hardware, temporary walls, tools, ladders, and any other materials that are required to safely and completely install the artwork.
  • Artists are responsible for producing and maintaining high-quality work for the duration of the installation, and will be asked to provide repair on request.
  • One application per artist or arts group


The selection panel is seeking high quality, flexible, and dynamic installations that utilize display windows to their fullest potential and engage with the general public both day and night. In support of Shunpike's commitment to achieving greater Racial Equity across the independent arts sector, submissions from artists of color are particularly encouraged.

Stipend: $500, with no allocation for travel or materials expenses.
Eligibility: Washington State residents over 18 years of age, creating original works, who have not shown work in  South Lake Union for Storefronts 2018 or Storefronts 2019.
Deadline:  August 1st, 2019. Please note that there is no fee for Early-Bird applications submitted by June 30th. From July 1st - August 1st there will be a $25 fee for submissions.

As Shunpike partners with a wide range of properties, available storefronts are quite diverse; and we cannot guarantee any specific property, neighborhood, or time frame for placement. The Storefronts Manager will match proposals with available spaces at Shunpike’s sole discretion, in consultation with the artist.
All projects will be subtenants of Shunpike, and all subleases will be subject to the terms and conditions of Shunpike’s master lease with the applicable property owner.
The following is a summary of current spaces. At this time, 100% of our spaces are shallow display vitrines.

Neighborhood: South Lake Union


  • Property Owner: Amazon
  • Number of Vitrines: 8
  • Vitrines range from 15″- 30″ in depth, and from 3′ – over 20′ in width, and 5′ – 10′ in height.
  • Vitrines are not climate controlled and contain ambient humidity and, in some cases, strong sunlight/heat.
  • Not all vitrines have power, although most do
  • Lighting is timer-controlled track lighting provided by Amazon. Any additional electrical components must be UL certified, meet fire code, and be approved by Amazon engineers.
  • Access to Amazon vitrines may require security access and badges arranged 48 hours in advance.

 Neighborhood: Bellevue


  • Property Owner: Meydenbauer Center
  • Number of Vitrines: 2
  • Vitrines are 29″ in depth, and vary from 6.5′ – 8′ in width and 8′ – 10′ in height
  • Vitrines have somewhat challenging access – some through 34″ square hatches and a ladder down into the space
  • Not all vitrines have solid back walls for wall-mounted or 2-D work, so suspended work is often preferred in these spaces
  • Lighting is timer-controlled LED lighting.
  • Vitrines do not have power on site, though there is power nearby

Compelling– artistically strong in concept and execution, compelling to a diverse audience, and actively seeking to engage the public.
Viable– agile, adaptive, innovative, and achievable with the time, funds, and spaces available. We love a grand idea, but make sure you can deliver exceptional work with 1 month’s notice. Existing work is often a better choice due to these concerns.
Relevant– responsive to, and engaging with, diverse audiences, themes, neighborhoods, and landscapes. Public engagement is a central consideration for all proposals, so please make sure to demonstrate how your project engages a diverse audience.
Examples of successful projects:


  1. Storefronts South Lake Union series, June 2014
  2. Barbara De Pirro (Installation) – Metamorphosis 2015
  3. Karrie Hovey (Installation) – Endangered 2014
  4. Philip LaDeau and Serrah Russel, February 2015

All applications to the Storefronts program are reviewed by an independent panel based on relevance, viability, community engagement, and creative merit.
Storefronts panelists include professional artists and arts administrators, local business owners, real estate professionals, and community advocates.
Materials required for submission include:


  • $25 application fee (unless within Early Bird window)
  • Artist Bio, 400 words or less
  • Artist Statement, 400 words or less
  • 4-6 representative work samples with related work list
  • Project Proposal, including:     
    • Brief conceptual statement, 400 words or less
    • Detailed technical and space requirements
    • Budget and source of funding (proposals may be self-funded)
    • Timeline required to prepare your project from date of notification– 2 months or less is preferred
    • Mock-up, sketch, or detailed written description of the project in a hypothetical space



Successful roster projects can adapt to a variety of spaces and communities dependent upon what is available. Be clear about proposal requirements, and understand if they are too restrictive this reduces the chances of being placed.
Shunpike will offer placement to artists with the best match of available resources in the 12-month duration of the roster, at Shunpike’s sole discretion, often with no more than 8 weeks of notice.
It is highly recommended that the proposal be concise, written in direct language, and specifically detail what will be experienced in the storefront space by the general public. Highly conceptual art jargon and overlong descriptions are best avoided.
It is highly recommended to compose your application in a Word document, check the word count, and copy/paste your responses into the application form.
Shunpike is not able to offer technical support for the online application system.
Contact: hanako@shunpike.org