Client: Seattle Office of Arts & Culture
Location: Seattle, WA, United States
Completion date: 2009
Artwork budget: $30,250
Seattle Office of Art & Culture
Funded by the Seattle Department of Transportation 1% for Art Fund and administered by Seattle Office of Arts and Culture, the project was to provide artwork in the sidewalks of a five block road and sidewalk reconstruction.
The stated goal of the artwork was “give the business district a unique and colorful identity while also reflecting the diversity, culture, and history of the neighborhood.” It was also desired that art be found thoughout the project area. I chose to incorporate 27 traditional designs from the various cultures represented in the neighborhood into two 8'8' tall pillars and 13 strips of tile in the sidewalks. The pillars each created 32 sq ft of artwork on a compact 1 sq ft footprint, optimizing space in the narrow sidewalks. While installing the piece, several times I noticed immigrant residents smiling upon recognizing a symbol from their homeland.
I worked with a handler from the Office of Arts & Culture who helped steer the design, fabrication, and installation process. There were several public meetings where I presented design ideas to the community for feedback. I collaborated with the project engineering team regarding the design of the pillar substrate and foundation and also choosing the locations of the sidewalk strip tile. During the installation of the artwork, I interfaced with the contractors on many occasions in regards to timing of my work and also the providing of public barriers.
I find working as an artist in the public space very satisfying, as I enjoy collaborating with many stakeholders to create an artwork larger in scope than I would typically have an opportunity to create in the studio working alone.