2023 SDOT Bridge Artists in Residence Showcase

Collage of two artworks. On the left is a data visualizaton of concentric circles depicting the amount and type of salmon at the Fremont Bridge. On the right is a microcospic view of plankton that looks like green tubes.

2023 SDOT Bridge Artists in Residence Showcase

February 1, 2024 - February 10, 2024

Reception: February 1, 2024

Designed by the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS) in partnership with the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), the Bridge Artist in Residence program was devised in 2009 as a way to activate and celebrate two of Seattle’s bridges.

Since then, artists have used space in the Fremont and University Bridges as both inspiration and studio space to explore these historic bridges’ roles and meanings for the City. Each iteration of the program has focused on a different artistic medium, including music, writing, lighting, and graphic novel residencies.

The 2023 residency program focused on digital data visualization, with artists taking historic and modern data about the bridges and surrounding environment to create artworks that creatively display interpretations of these various data sets.

This residency project is funded by Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT)’s 1% for Art Funds and administered by the Office of Arts & Culture.

What to Expect

The exhibition includes 2D work, digital and interactive projections, and video. They feature data representations about Seattle’s historic Fremont and University Bridges and their surrounding environments, or abstract representations created by algorithm. Some projections contain spinning movement and changing color.

Artist Bios

Vivian Li - Fremont Bridge

Vivian Li holds a sketchpad and pencil inside the Fremont Bridge towerA Seattle-based illustrator, comics artist, and web developer, Vivian Li uses watercolors and acrylics to tell funny, charming, and kind stories about occurrences both everyday and fantastic. In 2022, she released ABC Cooking, a comic cookbook developed with her mom to teach Chinese cooking to other second-generation Chinese kids like herself.

Li developed the Explore AANHPI Heritages website, creating a map-based storytelling platform to share the experiences of Asian American, Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander people in the Pacific Northwest. She is a teacher with Seattle Arts and Lectures’ Writers in the Schools program and is a big bridge and infrastructure enthusiast.

During my residency, I explored different stories revealed through the data that gets generated around the bridge – from the salmon, to bikes, traffic, and of course, boats. Data is usually a serious business (with metrics being used to make important decisions), but my aim is to take the data that we generate and have fun with it – to tell a story, to make pretty pictures, and to find patterns created through a community.

Go to Vivian's Fremont Bridge website.

Mariah Vicary - University Bridge

Mariah Vicary outside near the shoreMariah Vicary is a generative artist and freelance web developer based out of Seattle, Washington. With a deep respect for the natural world and a profound appreciation for the power of technology, Mariah tries to integrate the two in the form of interactive real-time experiences. Each project is a unique journey, inviting you to involve yourself in the patterns, shapes, and colors of natural algorithms.

With a background in computer science and a love for visual surprises, she works through a process of experimentation and iteration, collaborating with technology to create interactions that are mesmerizing, thought-provoking and give the user the feeling of creating something unique every time they dive in.

I incorporate MIDI and game controllers connected to projected visuals to provide a tangible, tactile connection between the users and the art that fosters a deeper understanding of the bridge’s role in the broader ecological context. I hope that as users engage with the installations, they move beyond merely observing data and become actively involved in understanding the intricate relationships between the bridge and its natural surroundings, helping conceptualize the thriving ecosystem living around and under the bridge at any given time.

Go to Mariah's University Bridge website.

Media Coverage


Arts & Culture

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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.