Rip Rap ’15 – Second Round: Cars + Artists = Public Art

DEADLINE: Oct 15, 2015

Rip Rap Poster


DEADLINE: October 15

SELECTION: November 15




After successfully funding one public art piece for the project, Methow Arts Alliance and the Methow Salmon Recovery Foundation (MSRF) cordially invite a second round of applications from local artists* to submit proposals for site-specific outdoor public artwork for Rip Rap ’15, a public art initiative targeting recently pulled rip rap and river restoration efforts. Original artwork will be placed in public places and along trail systems in the Methow valley, linking the community to innovative artwork and to river restoration efforts. The project funds three to five site-specific artworks.

*Eligible artists must reside in the upper Columbia region of North Central Washington. We look forward to working with you and viewing your ideas.


Artists will use vintage River Cars and/or Car Parts from cars that are in the process of being removed along the Methow River as the medium for outdoor public artwork. This project is predominantly seeking freestanding pieces for installation along trails and in public places, but the selection panel is open to creating spaces for kinetic sculptures or other installations that may invite visitors to discover off-trail areas. Artistic interpretation and creativity is encouraged in this call.

Artwork must be fabricated to endure incremental weather and for long-term outdoor durability and ease of maintenance, including potential vandalism. The artwork must hold up to a year or more of outdoor display, unprotected from direct sunlight, rain, snow, moisture, temperature changes, nesting birds, and the occasional bear. All artwork must be fabricated with public safety in mind. Concepts incorporating hazardous materials will not be considered.

Due to the sensitivity and nature of the site, many areas are not accessible to heavy equipment. If your piece is too heavy to be moved by hand, and cannot be broken down, please contact us early to discuss possible locations for placement of larger pieces.


Detroit Riprap – a temporary solution whose time is up

During large flood events in middle of the previous century, the river banks were stripped bare of vegetation.  In an effort to prevent erosion, local citizens placed old cars along the bared banks to provide interim stability.  This type of erosion control is known colloquially as “Detroit Riprap.”

Over the years, vegetation has grown up around the cars, and they are no longer needed for their intended purpose.  In fact, in many cases, the cars are preventing vegetation reestablishment by blocking plant and tree access to the bank.  And while these hulks provide a nostalgic snapshot of a fading past, their usefulness has ended.  Like cages placed around newly planted trees, the cars were only a temporary measure.  Cages, if not removed in time, will ultimately hinder the growth of trees.  Similarly, the time has come to remove these relics to allow for the full re-vegetation of the banks, which is the ultimate step in increasing bank stability and restoring natural stream resilience. More info: Methow Salmon Recovery Foundation, 509.996.2787

­PHASE I – Call to Artists – September 2015 (Deadline for proposals Thursday, October 15, 2015)
Phase I invites applications/proposals from local artists (residing in the upper Columbia region of North Central Washington) to develop art pieces that align with the Project goals (as mentioned above).

­PHASE II – Informational Meetings/Interviews
Interested artists can sign up for a one-on-one informational interview with Amanda Jackson Mott. Please schedule a meeting or email

­PHASE III – Selection of Artwork/Placement of Final Round Proposals
All proposals are juried and final selections will be made by a selection panel. Final round proposals will be displayed at a local Gallery (TBA) for public viewing and a public vote for a “Community Favorite Award”. Selected artists will be notified no later than November 15, 2015.

­PHASE IV – Artwork Installation
Selected artwork will be installed no later than Summer 2016


CONTACT: Amanda Jackson Mott, Email correspondence preferred, please.