Urban Peace Circle
Sam Smith Park
Martin Luther King Jr. Way S. and S. Atlantic St.
Gift to the city of Seattle by the "Stop The Violence" committee
A large-scale bronze sculpture with a black patina finish, the Urban Peace Circle is the culmination of a gun buy-back program instituted by Stop The Violence, an organization founded in 1992 in response to the tragic deaths of six youths from the Puget Sound area. Funds raised from the program were put towards the commission of the sculpture; its composition is meant to contrast the chaos and violence of the present with hope for a peaceful future. To underscore the gravity of this message, several of the reclaimed guns were entombed in the concrete base of the sculpture. Created by Seattle artist Gerard Tsutakawa, the striking piece is over 10 feet tall and 5 feet wide. Jagged sides characterizing chaos and hostility give way to a smooth circular aperture meant to provide viewers with a symbolic view beyond the violence to friendship and understanding.
According to Tsutakawa, nonrepresentational sculptures like the Urban Peace Circle allow the viewer to better develop his or her own interpretations of the social and spiritual themes that underlie his work. When creating this sculpture he concentrated on durability in structure and design "to evoke an ageless quality that endures beyond today into the next millennium."