RapidRide Expansion Limited Edition ORCA Cards – Call for Artists

RapidRide Expansion Limited Edition ORCA Cards

Three artists will be commissioned to create three artworks, each unique to one of the new RapidRide Expansion lines and featured on a series of limited-edition ORCA cards to be released at the inauguration of each new line.


4Culture, in partnership with King County Metro Transit, seeks three emerging artists to create original artwork to be featured on limited-edition ORCA cards that will celebrate and inaugurate each new line in the RapidRide Expansion program.

RapidRide users pay their bus fare by using an ORCA card to tap on and off. While this experience expedites boarding and payment, the quick action disconnects them from human exchange and engagement with Metro drivers. Investment in ORCA card design presents an opportunity to bring reflection, joy, and connection back to this experience.

For each of the three new lines, one young artist (age 16–25) will be selected to create 2D artwork unique to the identity of that corridor. The 3 selected artists will become part of a cohort advised by a Mentor Artist identified by 4Culture staff. This Mentor Artist will assist the cohort in thinking about how their artwork responds to place, advise on technical requirements for artwork reproduction, and provide support for artwork review with the 4Culture Public Art Advisory Committee (PAAC) and County partners.

To the extent possible, 4Culture will seek to recruit artists with personal connections to the places, contexts and culture specific to each RapidRide line. Applicants should indicate if they have interest in creating artwork for a specific line, and why, or state general interest in any of the three lines within their Statement of Interest.

Artwork created by the cohort artists will be translated onto the front side of a limited-edition series of ORCA cards that will take the place of any standard ORCA card. The printing, production, and distribution of these ORCA cards will be managed by Metro and 4Culture and is not part of the artists’ scope.

Artists will retain copyright but permit 4Culture to reproduce the artworks on the cards and as a suite of archival prints to be installed within Metro facilities. At the conclusion of the project, 4Culture may elect to negotiate an additional fee for the purchase of the original, unframed artworks to become part of the King County Public Art Collection.

Selection Timeline*

Application deadline: Wednesday, May 5, 2021 by 4:00 pm PDT
Information sessions/application workshops: April 21 and 23, 2021 (more info below)
Selection panel meeting: week of May 17–21, 2021
Artists notified: week of May 31–June 4, 2021

Project Timeline*

Mentor meetings and research: June–July 2021
Design development: July–August 2021
Artwork delivery: by September 10, 2021
Production and distribution: 2021–2024 (exact launch dates TBD)

For more information and to apply, click here!