Ed Murray, Mayor
SUBJECT: Internationally recognized artist Ann Hamilton selected for Waterfront Seattle public piers project
3/26/2014 10:00:00 AM
Internationally recognized artist Ann Hamilton selected for Waterfront Seattle public piers project
SEATTLE (March 26, 2014) — The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture is pleased to announce that internationally recognized artist Ann Hamilton has been selected for a commission on the new public piers as part of Waterfront Seattle. Hamilton, known for large-scale, sensory installations, is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship and has also represented the United States at the Venice Biennale. She will join a team of architects, planners and city designers to create the project over the next several years.
Waterfront Seattle is the large-scale project to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct with 26 acres of new public space, streets, parks, and buildings. The public piers will be rebuilt as part of the Seawall Bond passed by voters in 2012. Hamilton is known for recent installations such as the event of a thread at the Park Avenue Armory in New York, and tower · Oliver Ranch, in Geyserville, California. Seattle audiences will recognize her LEW Wood Floor at the Seattle Central Library, with raised letters spelling out the first sentences from books in the library's collection in 11 languages. In addition, the Henry Art Gallery will host an eponymous exhibition of Hamilton's work for six months starting October of this year.
"I'm pleased to see an artist of this caliber selected for the Waterfront Seattle project. Incorporating arts and culture into the new Waterfront is key to bringing this project alive for the residents and visitors of our city," noted Mayor Ed Murray.
"Waterfront Seattle is the greatest opportunity we have to make a lasting, physical impact on the city," said Office of Arts & Culture director Randy Engstrom. "I'm thrilled to welcome Ann Hamilton to our roster of artists. Her legacy of honoring community and her practice of creating immersive experiences are exactly the values we hope to impart on this new cultural center being created."
The artist responded to her selection by saying, "Seattle is making the quality of its public spaces a central project in the imagination of the city. And I'm really thrilled to be able to participate and be part of that."
The call for artists was open to professional artists working nationally or internationally and more than 340 artists applied for the opportunity. Applicants were evaluated by a panel of professional artists, curators, designers and arts administrators, with advisors drawn from city staff, the Waterfront Seattle design team, and the downtown community.
As outlined in the Working Plan for Art on the Central Seattle Waterfront, commissions and ongoing cultural programming are part of the construction process for the waterfront. Major commissions, such as this one, will engage residents and visitors and make the Waterfront an active cultural center for the city. The art plan advocates for "cultural connections between the city and the rest of the world." The pier site for this commission links to Seattle's history as a port, and to connections between the local and the global on the waterfront.
About Ann Hamilton
Born in Lima, Ohio, in 1956, Ann Hamilton received a BFA in textile design from the University of Kansas in 1979 and an MFA in sculpture from the Yale School of Art in 1985. From 1985 to 1991, she taught on the faculty of the University of California at Santa Barbara. Hamilton has served on the faculty of the Ohio State University since 2001, where she is a Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Art.
Among her many honors, Hamilton has been the recipient of the Heinz Award, MacArthur Fellowship, United States Artists Fellowship, NEA Visual Arts Fellowship, Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award, Skowhegan Medal for Sculpture, and the Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship. She represented the United States in the 1991 Sao Paulo Bienal, the 1999 Venice Biennale, and has exhibited extensively around the world. Her major museum installations include Park Avenue Armory (2013); The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, St. Louis (2010); The Guggenheim Museum, New York (2009); Contemporary Art Museum, Kumamoto, Japan (2006); La Maison Rouge Fondation de Antoine Galbert, Paris, France (2005); Historiska Museet, Stockholm, Sweden (2004); MASS MoCA, North Adams, Massachusetts (2003); The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C. (2003, 1991); The Wanas Foundation, Knislinge, Sweden (2002); Akira Ikeda Gallery, Taura, Japan (2001); The Musee d'art Contemporain, Lyon, France (1997); The Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands (1996); The Art Institute of Chicago (1995); The Museum of Modern Art, New York (1994); The Tate Gallery, Liverpool (1994); Dia Center for the Arts, New York (1993); The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1988).
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