Michael Popiwny King County Waste Water Treatment Division
Located at the Brightwater Wastewater Treatment Plant, the environmental education center hosts youth and adults for tours, direct learning through hands-on experience and exhibits and special events. Ellen Sollod created two artworks for the center, one at the main exterior entrance and the other in the “living room”. Both are inspired by the world of micro-organisms which aid in the process of cleaning waste water. Etched, laminated antique glass and vitreous enamel on float glass form the window in the living room. Blown, lamp-worked, found laboratory, mirrored laminated glass and stainless steel are used in Collection and Transformation.
The desire was for the artwork to relate to the function of the plant and convey an environmental message. It was intended to be evocative rather than didactic. The art was to contribute to the character and experience of place.
The artist became involved in the project as a member of the Siting Design Team. Later she joined the Design Team for the Plant, influencing overall facility design and aesthetic approach. Together with artists Buster Simpson and Jann Rosen-Queralt, she developed the art master plan for the plant and conveyance system. She also collaborated with the architect on the design of the entry of the education center and the integration of art throughout the facility.
Sollod’s artwork was recognized by Americans for the Arts in their annual Year in Review Program. A total of 13 artists were commissioned to create work for Brightwater, totaling over $4 million. The program was administered by 4 Culture.
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CODA: Collaboration of Design + Art
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