The concept of parity describes the inversion symmetry of a system and is of fundamental relevance in the standard model, quantum information processing, and field theory. In quantum electrodynamics, parity is conserved and large field gradients are required to engineer the parity of the light-matter interaction operator. In this work, we engineer a potassiumlike artificial atom represented by a specifically designed superconducting flux qubit. We control the wave function parity of the artificial atom with an effective orbital momentum provided by a resonator. By irradiating the artificial atom with spatially shaped microwave fields, we select the interaction parity in situ. In this way, we observe dipole and quadrupole selection rules for single state transitions and induce transparency via longitudinal coupling. Our work advances the design of tunable artificial multilevel atoms to a new level, which is particularly promising with respect to quantum chemistry simulations with near-term superconducting circuits.