Ken Little
Mesa
1991

LOCATION
Woodland Park Zoo
5500 Phinney Ave. N.

FUNDING SOURCE
Woodland Park Zoo 1% for Art funds


Within a stand of pine trees near the north entrance to the Woodland Park Zoo, artist Ken Little's cast bronze picnic table invites visitors to contemplate an engraved map of the United States overlaid by the names of extinct North American vertebrates. Incised drawings of both a grizzly bear and a white-tailed deer relate the national scale of declining animal diversity to animals in danger of extinction within the Pacific Northwest. The local implications of ecological welfare are enforced by a grouping of cast bronze salt and pepper shakers that are visually reminiscent of the Seattle skyline. The shakers also play with the idea of the table as a functional form where people can sit, eat and discuss. The bench seats chart the earth's geological evolution, providing a visual progression that implicitly hints at the planet's future, asking viewers to contemplate the potential global implications of animal extinction.