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
The Artist Within
January 7 - February 26, 2016
The first exhibition of its kind in Seattle; the Art of Alzheimer’s presents "The Artist Within: A Different View of Dementia" features 50 fascinating artworks, by individuals’ ages 60 to 101 years old, living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
Seattle Simplified
October 1, 2015 - April 3, 2016
Two part exhibition encompasses Seattle City Light’s recent artwork purchases which portray Seattle and its surrounding landscape.
Dialogues in Art: Exhibitions on Racial Injustice
January - December 2016
A yearlong series of exhibitions that explore artists’ and curators’ interpretations of racial injustice and systemic racism impacting Black and African-American people throughout America.
Satpreet Kahlon, <em>What's Left Behind</em> <span class="glyphicon glyphicon-new-window"></span>
January 13 - April 15, 2016
Through works that combine destructive and intricate processes, as well as industrial and feminine materials, Satpreet addresses her history with and broader issues of sexual violence, especially as they apply to women of color, by recognizing the burden they face to protect their communities while simultaneously advocating for themselves as victims.

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