City announces artist selections for two major upcoming public artworks
SEATTLE — The Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs has announced artist selections for two significant upcoming public artworks. Seattle artists Annie Han and Daniel Mihalyo of Lead Pencil Studio and California artist Ned Kahn will be members of the design team for Seattle City Light's (SCL) proposed Denny Substation project in Seattle's Cascade neighborhood, near Denny Way and Stewart Street. Buster Simpson will collaborate with the designers for the Elliott Bay Seawall Project to develop a permanently-sited public artwork that will that contribute to the overall project goals of both habitat restoration and the development of public open space along the seawall. The project is the first of several artwork projects envisioned for the Central Waterfront.
Lead Pencil Studio and Kahn will develop permanent artwork that connects the new substation to the surrounding neighborhood to create a strong presence and reinforce the public nature and essential function of the station. SCL is designing its first new electrical power substation in 30 years to support and serve the future expansion and anticipated growth of the area. The new substation will serve businesses and residents in the South Lake Union, Cascade, Denny Triangle, Uptown, Belltown and First Hill areas, as well as address system-wide needs for power flow. The project is scheduled to be complete in late 2016.
Han and Mihalyo of Lead Pencil Studio have worked collaboratively since 2002. They create interdisciplinary artworks that explore architecture, scale and social aspects of the man-made environment. They have exhibited their work at the Boise Art Museum in Boise, Idaho; Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art in Scotsdale, Ariz.; and the Henry Art Gallery and Suyama Space in Seattle.
Kahn's artworks frequently incorporate flowing water, fog, sand and light to create complex and continually changing systems. Many of these works can be seen as “observatories” – they frame and enhance our perception of natural phenomena. Kahn's recent artwork commissions include the Brisbane Airport, Australia; NOAA Headquarters, Silver Springs, Maryland.; and Public Utility Commission Headquarters, San Francisco, California.
Buster Simpson is an internationally recognized public artist based in Seattle, with permanent projects in the U.S. and Canada. He has exhibited and participated in design teams around the world, often addressing environmental issues in his work. He received his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Fine Arts from the University of Michigan.
The new Elliott Bay Seawall will replace the existing seawall in downtown Seattle, from South Washington Street to Broad Street, with a structure that meets current safety and design standards. The seawall protects Seattle's downtown waterfront from wind-driven storm waves and the erosive tidal forces of Puget Sound and Elliott Bay. The artwork will reveal and promote the habitat and ecological function of the new seawall, which will also be the structural support for new public spaces along Seattle's waterfront.
Lead Pencil Studio and Kahn were selected by a panel of artists, design professionals, Cascade community representatives, and SCL staff. A panel of artists, art, science and design professionals selected Simpson. The Denny Substation artwork is commissioned with SCL 1% for Art funds, and the Elliott Bay Seawall is commissioned with Seattle Department of Transportation and Alaskan Way Seawall Bond and Levy Measure 1% for Art funds.
The Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs supports the health and vitality of our city by providing access to arts and culture, advancing the role of the arts in our community, and advocating for issues that affect the entire cultural community. The 16-member Seattle Arts Commission, citizen volunteers appointed by the mayor and City Council, supports the city agency.
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