In July 2009, Stokley Towles presented and exhibited Waterlines, a performance piece and installation that explored local perceptions and behaviors around water use, its sources and conservation. Towles interviewed several staff members of Seattle Public Utilities and discovered, among other things, where Seattle's water comes from, how water taste testing is conducted, how the utility is coping with drainage and flood issues, and how many SPU customers complained about rats in their toilets. A part of the Water Calling series, Towles presented his findings in a free 45-minute humorous and informative presentation inside a construction trailer, which served as a stage/laboratory, parked next to a city reservoir. In addition to his performance, Towles used the "water laboratory" as an installation space to present water stories from other cultures and invited visitors to share their water stories. Video directed by Mary Ann Peters.

Waterlines was commissioned by the Seattle 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.




From July to August 2009 Mandy Greer's artwork Mater Matrix Mother and Medium was at Camp Long as part of Water Calling, a series of temporary public art projects about water. The project began with the creation of a 200-foot fiber river, knitted and crocheted at community events all over Seattle. Greer took the fiber pieces into the forest and crocheted the river into the trees. On July 16th, Greer produced a performance under the fiber river in collaboration with dancer Zoe Scofield and composer Morgan Henderson. Over 100 guests sat next to the pond to watch a performance which invited viewers to reflect on the subtle sounds and movements of an urban forest. Reflecting on the inspiration for the project, Greer says, "Water, both mundane and miraculous, mirrors the everyday meeting of strangers and the tiny moments that begin to bond us together."

Greer directed this short film. Ian Lucero edited and directed photography and sound design. The project was commissioned with Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) 1% for Art funds and administered by the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture. Water Calling projects reflected SPU's management of the complete cycle of hydrology for Seattle's water resources.



Bridge Talks Back

A Temporary Sound Installation at the Fremont Bridge


Seattle artist Kristen Ramirez wrapped up her 2009 summer artist residency at the Fremont Bridge with a temporary art project celebrating the rhythms and sounds of the bridge. Bridge Talks Back, a sound artwork, ran from September 2009 through April 2010.

Listen to the short version of the composition.

Listen to the long version of the composition.

Watch a five-minute video on the Bridge Talks Back opening celebration on Sept. 26, 2009.


Water Calling SPU Short Films

Water Calling is a series of temporary public artworks that were commissioned in 2009 by the Office of Arts & Culture with Seattle Public Utilities 1% for Art funds. 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 Office of Arts & Culture hosted free film screenings in July and August 2009.

Water Calling 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.


SJ Chiro

Told in a fairy-tale style format, Chiro's film follows a young girl who is transported to an underwater kingdom, where the "Kingfish" informs the girl of the impact of pollution—caused by increased storms and storm water runoff—on the sea.
Britta Johnson

This stop-animation film follows large drops of water as they travel through rocks, ferns, plant roots, microbes and other creatures that naturally filter and clean water.
Susan Robb

Investigating the interface that tap water creates with nature and our homes, Robb's video explores SPU's interventions through abstracted aerial shots captured in the Cascades and inter-spliced with quick cuts of sci-fi-like images of a "water laboratory."
Luke Sieczek

Composed of four parts or movements, Sieczek's film marks the passage of water from sky to soil to stream to waterway. Along this path we see the various small and local efforts designed to transform the flow to a controlled, clean and filtered state.
Rick Stevenson

The importance of water as a healing, symbolic, life-giving and redemptive force in our lives is at the center of this story of two foster children in search of family who, despite the odds, find each other as brothers.



Artist video profiles

Embark on an engaging video tour of the studios and sites where public art is being created. Public artworks and the artists who created them are the subject of Seattle's Public Art, a pilot series of short video profiles airing on Seattle Channel.

Artist Featured Work Watch
Gloria Bornstein Neototems Children's Garden
Dan Corson Rain Drum Court
Marita Dingus Children of the Sea
Jen Dixon Witness Trees, What the trees have seen
Monad Graves Elohim The Unity and Oneness of All
Fay Jones Demi-Mondaine
Robert Jones
Ted Jonsson Chimera
Kay Kirkpatrick Looking at a Watershed
Norman Lundin Studio Wall #2
Perri Lynch Straight Shot
Paul Marioni Docuportrait of the Northwest glass artist
Jeffry Michell Peace on Earth
Stuart Nakamuara Call and Response
Mary Ann Peters Cielo (a Fine Line)
Vicki Scuri West Galer Flyover
Preston Singletary Raven Crest Hat
Paul Sorey Tree Bench
Barbara Earl Thomas Place Set, Lost Place
Ashley Thorner JUMs
Kristin Tollefson WaterLogs + Leaf/Hull
Gerard Tsutakawa Urban Peace Circle
Patti Warashina 'A' Procession
John Young The Fin Project
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