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City of Seattle
Ed Murray, Mayor

SUBJECT: Seattle artist NORIE SATO honored with national public art award

5/1/2014  10:00:00 AM

Seattle artist NORIE SATO honored with national public art award
Sato was selected for the Union Street East-West Connections commission for the Seattle Waterfront

SEATTLE (May 1, 2014) — Americans for the Arts announced the recipients of the 2014 Annual Local Arts Leadership Awards, including the Public Art Network Award to Seattle artist Norie Sato. Americans for the Arts is the nation's leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts; annually they present awards to recognize the achievements of individuals, organizations or programs committed to enriching local communities through the arts. Active in public art for five decades, locally Sato was involved with the artist-run space and/or; served as a Seattle Arts Commissioner, Seattle Design Commissioner, and on the Public Art Advisory Committee; and acted as lead artist for Sound Transit's Seattle Central Link Light Rail. In addition, her own work in video, glass and on paper has been exhibited at galleries and museums around the country.

Most recently, Sato was chosen to collaborate with the project design team to create an original artwork or series of artworks on the rebuilt east-west Union and/or Seneca streets between First Avenue and Alaskan Way. In conjunction with Waterfront Seattle and SDOT, the East/West Connections project on Union Street will connect streets and facilitate pedestrian passage to new public spaces on Seattle's Central Waterfront. This project has a personal connection for the artist: in 1991, Sato created a temporary artwork on the waterfront that marked the location of her arrival to this country by ship.

"Norie represents the best aspects of art in the public realm packed into a gracious and generous person – she is a thoughtful and accomplished artist, a tireless advocate for the arts and artist, and a true leader in envisioning how art and design can and must shape our shared public space," said public art director, Ruri Yampolsky.

Sato has been involved in most aspects of public art, including making, teaching, planning, activating, consulting, advocating and supporting. She works in sculpture and two-dimensional work, and in various media including glass, metal, terrazzo floors, integrated design work, landscape, video and light. She has participated on many design teams and developed art and master plans. Her work appears in the San Francisco National Airport, Miami International Airport, the Arabian Library in Scottsdale, AZ; in transit systems for Portland, Salt Lake City, and Tempe, and in Seattle's Portable Works Collection. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, among others. She has been recognized numerous times by the Public Art Network's Year in Review, the only national award that recognizes public art projects.

The Public Art Network Award has been given annually since 2003 to honor innovative contributions to, and exemplary commitment and leadership in, public art. "Our Local Arts Leadership Awards honorees have distinguished themselves as leaders in innovation, education, management and advocacy for the arts in communities across the country. They are driven by both a passion for their work and a deep belief in the power of the arts to transform individual lives and communities," said Robert Lynch, President and CEO of Americans for the Arts. "We want to ensure we recognize their priceless contributions toward strengthening the arts in America."

Honorees will be presented their awards at the upcoming Americans for the Arts 2014 Annual Convention during the Opening Plenary session, Friday, June 13, 2014 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Presentations will be live streamed online at

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