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New paint job coming for pillars under I-5 in Seattle

Seattle will receive a much-needed splash of color when the pillars under Interstate 5, between Cherry and James Streets, are painted later this spring using designs submitted by local artists.

The First Hill Improvement Association, in partnership with the Seattle Office of Economic Development, began accepting applications from designers in January. Five finalists then submitted design proposals, all of which can be seen and voted on by the community here. Voting ends at midnight on Wednesday, March 8.

The winning design will be evaluated and approved by WSDOT then installed by Urban Artworks, a Seattle-based nonprofit organization that provides opportunities for local, young artists to create public art. FHIA hopes to complete the installation by the middle of May.

FHIA received funding from the OED’s Infrastructural Development Program to “improve and signal important and prominent vehicular and pedestrian entry into First Hill, beautify the streets near coming redevelopment projects and organizations, enhance place-making and identity for First Hill, create opportunities for art in our community, and make significant visual and safety improvements to a harsh edge where First Hill meets Downtown,” according to the FHIA website.

Photos: I-5 pillar design proposals

A deeper look into each entry, including photographs of each design and the artists reasoning behind them, can be found here.