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Shunpike is an arts non-profit that 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.

Shunpike works with these communities and the artists that call them home to foster a robust infrastructure for sustainable artistic production.

We work at the grassroots of the arts ecology because this is where groundbreakingideas and artistic practices are frequently forged. The work of independent artistsand arts groups animate our cities and neighborhoods in new and surprising ways, creating dynamic places to live and work.


Storefronts activates empty storefronts, underutilized urban spaces, and blank windows by placing art installations and creative pop-up projects in these spaces; creating vitality, light, and neighborhood engagement in otherwise overlooked areas of our streetscapes.

Interactive kinetic new media works, drawings directly on window glass, installations made of adhesive vinyl, projected video animations, ceramic sculptures, a 26’ sailplane, and suspended illuminated works have all been showcased in temporary storefront exhibitions.

All visual and sound-based media are accepted.  Flexible, dynamic installations that utilize display windows to the fullest and are active or interactive both day and night are preferred.  We encourage diverse media and diverse artists from the traditional to the experimental, with a commitment to public engagement.

The Creative Enterprise Roster

The Creative Enterprise Roster provides temporary rent-free space for pop-up boutiques, galleries and interactive projects open to the public.

  • Free rent for 3 months with possible extension at the discretion of Shunpike.
  • These projects must demonstrate significant engagement with the public and have regular business hours.
  • The project will be expected to acquire applicable licenses, insurance, and permits as an independent business entity and is responsible for their own utilities.
  • All proceeds earned are retained by the project as an independent business.
  • Shunpike provides guidance about insurance, municipal code, and licenses as needed.
  • The Installation Roster

The Installation Roster provides temporary no-cost storefront space for installation of 2-D or 3-D artwork in a locked storefront for a period of up to three months.

  • $500 stipend, 75% payable upon installation, 25% payable upon deinstallation, with no additional funding for travel or accommodation.
  • The storefront remains locked and viewable only through the windows for the duration of the installation (i.e. no public access for openings inside the space).
  • All materials and consumables for installation are the responsibility of the artist.  This includes hanging hardware, temporary walls, and other fixtures and materials that may be required to show work in the windows.
  • Shunpike pays for reasonable utilities and general liability insurance and serves as liaison with the property owner.
  • Shunpike provides guidance about insurance, municipal code, and installation support as needed.


As Shunpike partners with a wide range of properties, available storefronts are incredibly diverse; and we cannot guarantee any specific property, neighborhood, or timeframe.

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 are examples of the kinds of properties that have been part of the program.   At this time, about 70% of our current sites are shallow display vitrines.

  • Display-only windows 16″ deep, with track lighting, accessed through flowerbeds.
  • Raw new construction with unpainted drywall, no heat or bathroom access, and 30’ ceilings.
  • Vacant older buildings with limited power slated for renovation or demolition.
  • Underutilized windows in buildings with commercial tenants.


  • Residents of Washington State over 18 years of age
  • Artists and creatives creating original works
  • Proposals must be G-rated and suitable for all audiences
  • Proposals must be in accordance with State and local laws
  • One application per artist or artist group


  • Compelling – artistically strong in concept and execution, compelling to a diverse audience, and actively seeking to engage with the public.
  • Viable – agile, adaptive, innovative, and achievable with the resources, funds, and spaces available.
  • 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 general audience.

Examples of successful projects:

Spring 2014, South Lake Union – Paul Kuniholm Pauper, Jacob Foran, Evan Blackwell, Natasha Bacca, Alison Foshee, Kathleen Skeels, Cheryl Zahniser, Sarah Jones.


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.


Please complete online application via the CaFE system.

Materials required for submission:

  • $25 application fee
  • Artist Bio, 400 words or less
  • Artist Statement, 400 words or less
  • 4-6 work samples with related work list
  • Project Proposal, including:
    • Brief conceptual statement, 400 words or less
    • Specific 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 likely
    • 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 in a timely fashion.

Shunpike will offer placement to artists with the best match of available resources in the 18-month duration of the roster, at Shunpike’s sole discretion.

Please be concise, use direct language, and be specific about what will be experienced in the storefront space by the general public.

It is highly recommended to compose your application in a Word document, check the word count, and copy/paste your responses into the CaFE system.  If the application times out due to inactivity and you have not saved your application, you may lose your work.

If you are experiencing issues with the CaFE system, try logging on with a different browser.  If you are still experiencing issues, please contact CaFE support, but be aware they do not offer immediate support options.

Shunpike is not able to offer technical support for the CaFE online application.



http://storefrontsseattle.com/opportunities/  •  Contact:  storefronts@shunpike.org  •  206-905-1026 x104