Susan Point, "Symphony of Butterflies," 2008, serigraph, 37"h x 30"w x 1/16"d. Photo by Spike Mafford.
Susan Point, "Symphony of Butterflies," 2008, serigraph, 37"h x 30"w x 1/16"d. Photo by Spike Mafford.

Portable Works

The city's Portable Works Collection is a rotating collection of nearly 3,000 artworks in all media, representing hundreds of artists collected by the city since 1973. The collection includes sculpture, painting, mixed media, prints, photography and textiles.

The artworks are exhibited primarily in public areas of municipal buildings. Using 1%-for-Art funds from city construction budgets, the portable collection includes the work of emerging and established artists.

The purpose of the Portable Works Collection is to increase public awareness of and support for the arts by displaying works in the working environment of public buildings. Here, the employees are able to experience a wide array of artistic and cultural expression.

Collection Highlights

View a sampling of featured portable artworks.

Tagged under:

Public Art

Experience

Find Art in your Neighborhood
Art Walks
Every month, local artists and merchants offer a free and easy opportunity to enjoy art in neighborhoods across the city.
Maps & Apps
We invite you to chart your own course through the city keeping an eye out for art in unexpected places. Art gives shape to Seattleʼs urban fabric. Since 1973, Seattle has proudly supported this endeavor with its 1% for Art program. Venture into Seattleʼs many neighborhoods and find other engaging works of art. The cityʼs collection includes more than 400 permanent public artworks. Enjoy your journey. We hope you are inspired, delighted and challenged along the way.
Browse the Collection

Browse the Collection

Permanently Sited
The collection includes more than 400 permanently sited and integrated works. Artworks are commissioned through a public process. Panels comprised of professional visual artists along with community and city representatives evaluate the artist applicants. The city stewards and maintains its artworks through an ongoing program of coordinated conservation activities, which include inspections, major restorative work and routine maintenance.
Portable Works
The city's Portable Works Collection is a rotating collection of nearly 3,000 artworks in all media, representing hundreds of artists collected by the city since 1973. The collection includes sculpture, painting, mixed media, prints, photography and textiles.
Temporary Public Art Projects
Civic Square Fence
Three mural artists and artist-teams have created 200-foot long murals now on view on the Civic Square construction fence in downtown Seattle.
Poetry Garden Art Series
Four artists have been commissioned to create temporary interventions in the Seattle Center Poetry Garden to call attention to the unique character of the site, a space designed to ask visual artists to draw inspiration from the written word.
In our Galleries
Into the Pixel
Thru July 6, 2017
Into the Pixel features the art of the video game.
Your Body of Water, Part II
April 5 – July 3, 2017
"Your Body of Water," Seattle Public Utilities’ (SPU) newest additions to their portable works collection, are a visual exploration of our connections to water and how it is protected and cared for by SPU.
Dialogues in Art: Exhibitions on Homelessness
Thru Aug. 18, 2017
A four-exhibition series in which artists and artist teams develop artistic projects on the topic of homelessness. Each two-month exhibition in the city’s Seattle Presents Gallery will demonstrate artists thinking expansively about what shelter and stability mean to diverse populations, and examining the systemic causes of homelessness
<em>Processing: Artists face administration change</em> <span class="glyphicon glyphicon-new-window"></span>
April 12 — July 10, 2017
The Ethnic Heritage Art Gallery features artwork that reflects artist perspectives on the recent changes in our federal administration and what this change means to them and the community.

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