2012 Temporary Projects

Art Interruptions 2012

Along Greenwood Avenue North and the Central Waterfront Art Interruptions, artworks were installed for a period six to 12 weeks along city sidewalks and in parks, offering a brief interruption in the day with a moment of surprise, beauty or humor. Twelve artists created temporary art installations on street and park infrastructure, furniture and trees.

Administered in partnership with Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and Seattle Parks and Recreation, Art Interruptions was funded by SDOT 1% for Art funds and administered by the Office of Arts & Culture.


Greenwood Avenue North

From North 67th to North 87th streets

A.K. "Mimi" Allin walked along Greenwood Avenue North, between North 65th and North 85th streets, embracing telephone poles three to five times a week, two hours a day, during morning or evening rush hour, for five weeks. Where there aren't telephone poles she hugged lampposts or signposts. After what she considered an appropriate amount of time expressing affection for each pole, Allin composed a handwritten love letter and attach it to the pole.
Barbara DePirro installed a series of chrysalis sculptures clustered together in four trees at Phinney Center at 6532 Phinney Ave. N., Greenwood Library at 8016 Greenwood Ave. N., and The Fiber Gallery at 8212 Greenwood Ave. N. DePirro used recycled plastic product packaging, bags and banding to create hand-sculpted wire that form each chrysalis, ranging in size from 12 to 24 inches.
Joanna Lepore created mini-gardens constructed out of recycled plastic bottles, drip irrigation and twine. The gardens contained all edible plants, vegetables, flowers and herbs that continue to grow on site in two areas—in Greenwood at 7818 Greenwood Ave. N. and at Alaskan Way and Wall Street near the Central Waterfront.
Chris Papa created a site-specific wood sculpture with salvaged wood from shipping pallets, produce crates, discarded furniture and other waste wood. The sculpture wraps around a mature street tree like a vine. The work was located on the southeast corner of North 85th and Greenwood Avenue North streets at 8141 Greenwood Ave. N.
Carolina Silva created miniature reproductions of five select houses along Greenwood Avenue North hung in trees like birdhouses near the original homes. The tree houses were located between North 67th and North 80th streets.

Central Waterfront

On Alaskan Way between Marion and Wall streets

Peter Bjordahl created a series of 20 to 30 handmade bricks, each with a USB interface protruding from the surface. Stacked together and arranged on Pier 62/63 the piece appeared as a collection of overly bulky and heavy USB memory sticks. Passersby could plug into the bricks or take them home to realize they were fully functioning memory sticks.
Mary Iverson created an animated mural on the Marion Street pedestrian bridge near the Seattle ferry terminal. It consisted of 29 illustrated panels that described a story of a container coming off a cargo ship at port.
Jennifer and Allan Kempson created a series of birdhouses out of wood, metal, paint, found materials and mini-LED-display scroll signs. They mounted them on light poles along the Pike Place hill climb adjacent to the Central Waterfront. Entitled Tweethouse, the work captured the experience of urban wildlife in creating birdhouses that provide a network of homes for urban birds. The artwork doubled as a continuous feed of information to people on the web through Twitter, and on the street through digital signage that relayed the Twitter feed.
Ingrid Lahti created a site-specific, hanging installation with moving, reflective mirrors attached to a framework at Waterfront Park on the west side of Elliot Way. The design was inspired by images of galaxies taken by the Hubble telescope and the ferris wheel next to the Waterfront Park. The final design was a 6-foot-high by 6-foot-wide image of rectangles within rectangles. The mirrors moved in the breeze and reflect ambient light in an aleatory fashion. As the mirrors moved and create multiple reflections, the installation created an illusion of three-dimensionality for visitors who were relatively close to the work.
Nickolus Meisel hung a banner with the text "begin" beneath the pedestrian bridge on Alaskan Way to First Avenue on the southern corner of Marion and Western avenues. The artwork offered the word to serve as a marking point of the beginning in time that you were passing through this space.
Ellen Sollod created a series of 32-inch-wide by 48-inch-high vinyl banners printed with photographs that encouraged the act of watching Elliott Bay. The banners were installed on the western fence on Piers 62/63.
Brian Benfer created a series of vertical chalk rubbings on the curved staircases in Waterfront Park. The stair riser had color fields that changed over time with weather conditions that created a new landscape on the horizontal sections of the staircase.

Temporary artworks at Seattle Center's The Next Fifty celebration

From a living sculpture designed to manage stormwater runoff to a giant squid bike rack, we presented temporary artworks and performances that illustrated how artists are shaping the conversation around environmental sustainability. The artworks were in conjunction with Seattle Center's The Next Fifty anniversary celebration.

The artworks are presented in partnership with Seattle Public Utilities, Seattle City Light and Seattle Department of Transportation.



Adam Frank
Seattle Center, Center House

Adam Frank's CURRENT was a living map of Seattle's hydroelectric generation and energy use. The approximately 45-feet-wide by 30-feet-tall mural was illuminated by light projected directly on the interior north face of Seattle Center's Center House.

CURRENT was commissioned with Seattle City Light 1% for Arts funds.


Mater Matrix Mother and Medium

Mandy Greer
Seattle Center, DuPen Fountain and Alki Courtyard

Mandy Greer created the community-based, crocheted artwork Mater Matrix Mother and Medium for a site-specific project at Seattle Center's DuPen Fountain and Alki Courtyard. The 250-foot fiber artwork was crocheted in a full spectrum of blues on the topography of the site and attached to trees, creating a "river" that sat seven to 15 feet off the ground.

Mater Matrix Mother and Medium was commissioned with Seattle Public Utilities 1% for Art funds. For more information on Mater Matrix Mother and Medium go here.


Straw Garden: From Wattle to Watershed

Stacy Levy
Seattle Center, Broad Street Green

Stacy Levy's Straw Garden: from Wattle to Watershed was composed of wattles—tightly wrapped straw and coir cylinders and mats used to aid in re-vegetation and erosion control on steep hillsides—arranged in configurations that resembled Baroque garden formations. The sculpture morphed from formal gardenesque shapes into naturalistic patterns that resembled water as it moves across the landscape. The wattles and mats were planted with live stakes of native shrub species. Levy also used plugs and seeds of native perennial plants and annuals. Following the six-month exhibition period. The wattle and plantes were divided and permanently installed throughout Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) and Seattle Parks and Recreation properties throughout the Puget Sound region.

Straw Garden was commissioned with SPU 1% for Arts funds


Parking Squid

Susan Robb
Seattle Center, Harrison Street entrance

Parking Squid, by artist Susan Robb, provided parking for eight or more bicycles within the tentacles of a deep-sea creature that might be found at the depths of Puget Sound. Designed to fit in one parking space as part of Seattle Department of Transportation's (SDOT) on-street bike parking program, this galvanized steel structure provided bike parking for The Next Fifty celebration. It will move to a long-term, temporary home at the base of Pike Street Hill Climb on Earth Day April 23, 2013.

Parking Squid was created with SDOT 1% for Art funds.


Stormwater: Life in the Gutter

Stokley Towles

Towles' nearly one-hour piece was part performance, part exhibition, offering a gutter's eye view of Seattle's drainage system and the Seattle Public Utilities' (SPU) employees who guide, monitor and maintain stormwater flow in the city.

Towles weaved interviews, observations and historical research together with images and props to talk about runoff in a humorous and illuminating fashion, revealing the world of drainage and stormwater and the people who manage its flow.

Commissioned with SPU 1% for Arts funds.


Water Calling Short Films

SJ Chiro, Britta Johnson, Susan Robb, Luke Sieczek and Rick Stevenson

In the Water Calling short films, five filmmakers tap into the flow of water and invite viewers to reflect on the preservation of our water resources—from drinking water through drainage. The short films vary in length and format—from a fairy-tale approach to sci-fi-like images to stop animation to a portrayal of water as a healing force.

The short films were part of a series of temporary public artworks that were commissioned in 2009 by the Office of Arts & Culture with Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) 1% for Art funds. The projects reflect SPU's management of the complete cycle of hydrology for Seattle's water resources, from drinking water through drainage, and Restore Our Waters, the city's initiative to protect and restore Seattle's urban waterways.

Stacy Levy, 2012, Straw Garden: from Wattle to Watershed.

Susan Robb, Parking Squid.

Stokley Towles

Peter Bjordahl; Leave.Take; 2012; brick, USB memory sticks. Located on Seattle's Pier 62/63. Photo by Jason Huff.

Brian Benfer, Untitled, 2012, chalk rubbings. Located at Waterfront Park. Photo by Jason Huff.

Ingrid Lahti; Untitled; 2012; aluminum, Plexi mirrors and steel. Located at Waterfront Park. Photo by Jason Huff.

Mary Iverson, Flip, 2012, vinyl. Located on the south side walkway of the Marion Street pedestrian bridge heading toward the Seattle ferry terminal. Photo by Jason Huff.

Chris Papa; Untitled; 2012; salvaged wood, produce crates, discarded furniture. Located on Greenwood Avenue North. Photo by the artist.

A.K. "Mimi" Allin, Surrogate, 2012. Performance artwork on Greenwood Avenue North. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Carolina Silva; Tree Houses; 2012; balsa wood, Plexiglas and paint. Located on Greenwood Avenue North. Photo by Kelly Pajek.

Barbara DePirro, chrysalis plastica, 2012, chrysalis sculptures. Located at Phinney Center in the Greenwood neighborhood. Photo by Kelly Pajek.

Joanna Lepore, Tightrope Gardens, 2012, gardens constructed of recycled plastic bottles, drip irrigation and twine. Located on Greenwood Avenue North and Alaskan Way.

Jennifer and Allan Kempson, Tweethouse, 2012, wood, metal, paint, found materials and mini-LED-display scroll signs. Located along the Pike Place hill climb adjacent to the Central Waterfront. Photo by Jason Huff.

Nickolus Meisel, Begin, 2012, vinyl and bungee cords. Located beneath the pedestrian bridge on Alaskan Way to First Avenue on the southern corner of Marion and Western avenues. Photo courtesy of the artist.