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.
View a sampling of featured portable artworks.
Find Art in your Neighborhood
Temporary Public Art Projects
In our Galleries
A group show featuring more than 100 posters from over 20 of the area’s best poster artists past and present.
Two part exhibition encompasses Seattle City Light’s recent artwork purchases which portray Seattle and its surrounding landscape.
Reimagines temporary power posts used to tie-off electricity in the demolition and construction of homes, as beacons that portend gentrification and scaffolds that uphold societal ideology and duplicity.
Artist Susan Ringstad Emery brings a unique perspective to contemporary Native artwork with her caveart- inspired mixed media works on panel. Descended from generations of Iñupiat and Scandinavian hunters , fishermen, ship builders and even a shaman, artist Susan Ringstad Emery offers a lighthearted description of herself as a “city Eskimo & a Norwegian who doesn’t look the part”. She is inspired by indigenous artwork from around the world and the Iñupiat Ilitqusiat, or the values system of northwest Alaska.