The First 50 Years: Highlights from the Civic Collection, 1973-2023 and Spotted in Seattle

Agustina Forest's Spotted in Seattle

Illustration of a man in all yellow surrounded by three people in gray and black clothing all looking at their phones.

Spotted in Seattle

May 4, 2023 - July 6, 2023

Agustina Forest’s Spotted in Seattle is a collection of visual stories of the strangers she observed while exploring the streets of Seattle. For Forest, sidewalks are scenarios with stories constantly unfolding in front of us. Spotted in Seattle features 30 artworks including epoxy resin sculptures, pencil sketches, and oil pastel pieces. The exhibition is a vibrant collection of stories and characters, that Forest has encountered in various neighborhoods since she moved to Seattle in 2018.

“When walking in Seattle, chances are you are coming across someone you don’t know, but more than being a mere stranger, they are a living story. If you look closely, they are constantly experiencing emotions, melancholy, joy, annoyance, confusion, experiencing failure or living successes. Sidewalks are scenarios with stories constantly unfolding in front of us.” Agustina Forest. 

About Agustina Forest 

Agustina Forest smiling with nature in the background.

Agustina Forest is an established painter living and working in Seattle, Washington. Born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, she moved to the United States at age 24. Having called Seattle home gave her the time and space to recognize the sense of place. Walking in the city, interacting, and just observing helped her understand and connect with its essence.  

Image: Olive Way, Agustina Forest, Gouache on paper, 2023 

The First 50 Years: Highlights from the Civic Collection, 1973-2023

Photographic artwork in pink, red, and yellow hues depitcting a city with a sign that says "A City Makes Herself"

The First 50 Years: Highlights from the Civic Collection, 1973-2023

May 4, 2023 - September 7, 2023

Reception: June 1, 2023

The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture and its 1% for Art Program has been at the forefront of commissions with diverse artists to create Public Artworks and works for the City’s Civic Collection. Since the inception of the 1% for Art ordinance in 1973, the Seattle Civic Collection has grown to include 4,112 artworks, 3,674 of which are displayed throughout city buildings in city offices and public areas. The remaining 438 works are permanently sited in neighborhoods, parks, public buildings, and along roadways all throughout the city. The current exhibition at ARTS at King Street Station includes over 150 artworks that highlight the breadth and depth of the civic collection and regional artistry.

Artists in the exhibition include renowned artists Jacob Lawrence, Sherry Markowitz, Marita Dingus, Susan Point, Akio Takamori, and Jeffry Mitchell. Newer artists’ works from the civic collection include Humaira Abid, Robert "Running Fisher" Upham, Natalie Ball, and Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas.

The 1% for Art program specifies that 1% of eligible city capital improvement project funds be set aside for the commission, purchase, and installation of artworks in a variety of public settings. By providing opportunities for people to encounter art in parks, libraries, community centers, on roadways, bridges, and other public venues, we simultaneously enrich their daily lives and give voice to artists. The Civic Collection is an amazing living visual history focused mainly on artists in the Pacific Northwest region. It offers a snapshot of the area’s artistic output over the past 50 years.  

View pieces from this exhibition at the Emuseum here.

Image: A City Makes Herself, Kristen Ramirez, photographic images on Inkjet 100% fiber paper, 2007; Purchased with Seattle City Light 1% for Art funds.

What to Expect

Agustina Forest’s Spotted in Seattle includes 2D work, video, and 3D objects depicting animals and people engaged in daily activities, including travel, eating, dancing, protesting, socializing, smoking, and nudism.

The First 50 Years: Highlights of the Civic Collection, 1973-2023 includes graphic prints, video, and 2D and 3D objects. Themes include heritage, spirituality, history, communal crisis survival, protest, racist violence and resulting trauma, ecology, and more. Some video work contains spinning and flashing imagery.

Arts & Culture

Gülgün Kayim, Director
Address: 303 S. Jackson Street, Top Floor, Seattle, WA , 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 94748, Seattle, WA , 98124-4748
Phone: (206) 684-7171
Fax: (206) 684-7172

Newsletter Updates


Sign up for the latest updates from Arts & Culture

The Office of Arts & Culture promotes the value of arts and culture in, and of, communities throughout Seattle. It strives to ensure that a wide range of high-quality artistic experiences are available to everyone, encourage artist-friendly arts and cultural policy.