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City to dedicate sculpture at
University District Farmers' Market opening, May 6

'Traffic of Ideas' is a nod to the literary history of 'The Ave'

SEATTLE - The Mayor's Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs will dedicate "Traffic of Ideas," a bronze sculpture by San Francisco artist Brian Goggin at the season opening of the University District Farmers' Market. The dedication ceremony is at 11 a.m., Saturday, May 6 at University Way Northeast and Northeast 50th Street. Enjoy live entertainment and light refreshments, and meet the artist.

The sculpture is the public art element of the Seattle Department of Transportation's (SDOT) University Way Multi-Modal project. Commissioned with 1% for Art Funds administered by the Mayor's Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, "Traffic of Ideas" is the latest addition to Seattle's collection of nearly 450 permanently sited public artworks.

The sculpture sits atop an existing steel gateway at the University Heights Community Center. It consists of 21 oversized cast bronze books, some open and some closed, and about 80 bronze pages that appear to be in the process of blowing toward the nearby intersection. The pages feature the works of dozens of Northwest authors, including Sherman Alexie, Walt Crowley, Tom Robbins, Nancy Langston and Carolyn Kizer.

"From its precarious perch, the bronze books and etched pages carve and layer the neighborhood's breeze with stories dreamt up by local authors, creating an air stream of ideas flowing with and shaping the traffic of social thought," said the artist Goggin.

With input from University District residents and business owners, Goggin's inspiration sprung from the literary heritage of University Avenue or "The Ave" as it's known in the neighborhood that is home to the University of Washington.

Drawing inspiration from the rich history of the neighborhood, a center for the propagation of ideas, activism, international influences and intellectual developments, "Traffic of Ideas" is designed to compliment the streetscape populated with pedestrian traffic, says Goggin.

"We are pleased to add 'Traffic of Ideas' to Seattle's nationally recognized collection of public artworks," said Michael Killoren, director of the Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs. "We look forward to the community, students and visitors enjoying this artwork and being inspired by the writings of Northwest authors included in the artwork."

Goggin studied literature, creative writing and fine art at Cambridge University in England and later at San Francisco State University. He graduated magna cum laude from San Francisco State University with degrees in both English and fine art. He has been creating sculpture, public artwork and museum and gallery installations since 1991.

"Via assemblage, story telling and fine craftsmanship, a versatile use of materials and juxtaposition, I create works which attempt to make the improbable appear plausible," said Goggin.

Goggin attracted national attention in 1997 with "Defenestration" -- a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) funded site-specific sculptural mural on a dilapidated building in San Francisco's South of Market (SOMA) district. "Defenestration," with its grandfather clocks, tables, chairs and couches suspended in flight from the building's windows, has become an unofficial San Francisco landmark.

The Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs promotes the value of arts and culture in and of communities throughout Seattle. The 15-member Seattle Arts Commission, citizen volunteers appointed by the Mayor and City Council, supports the city agency.

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