ARTS at King Street Station

The American War

portrait of a woman and prosthetic legs with photo

February 6 - March 21, 2020

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, ARTS at King Street Station is closed to the public March 13 through at least April 13, 2020. Click here for more information.


The American War is an exhibition featuring photographic and video works, both created and found by artists Pao Houa Her and Sadie Wechsler, that expose the legacy and residue that remains in Southeast Asia and the United States in the aftermath of what is known stateside as the Vietnam War.

The exhibition will consist of over 40 objects including contemporary photography by Her and Wechsler, historical images, poetry and video for visitors to explore. Her and Wechsler created and collected materials, including works from the National Archive in Washington, D.C., that reflect the life altering effects the war continues to have on the people who lived in the region - especially the Hmong people from Laos. Accompanying the exhibition, the artists have produced a double-sided poster featuring artwork by both artists, alongside a commissioned poem by Hmong American poet May Lee Yang. This publication is free for all who attend the show.

The American War, which is the common name used for the Vietnam War (1955 - 1975) in Southeast Asia, caused more than 3 million casualties and a legacy of lasting trauma for the people and the lands of Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and the United States. The war also contained conflicts in countries outside of Vietnam, including The Secret War in Laos. The Secret War, run by the CIA and executed by the US Air Force, ravaged over 30 percent of the countryside, contributed to nearly half-million Lao refugees. To this day unexploded ordnance in Laos is still detonating, taking life and land from the folks in the countryside. Her and Wechsler look at the scar of these wars and how they continue to shape lives and land across the world. 

Pao Houa Her works across multiple genres and technologies of photography to address Hmong identity and related notions of desire and belonging within the Hmong American community. Her was born in the northern jungles of Laos in 1982. With her family she fled the conflict resulting from the American War in Vietnam - like many others, by crossing the Mekong River on her mother's back. After living in refugee camps within Thailand's borders, Pao and her family were sent to the United States in 1986.

In conversation with Her's images are Wechsler's photographs. They are evidence of Wechsler's attempts to understand and ultimately take responsibility for the continued bloodshed of the United Sates. She visits museums, sites of death, and locations of memorial in Laos and Southeast Asia to have a glimpse into how the United State's wars are felt after they are "finished." Wechsler also engages in military archives in the US to visualize state sanctioned impacts of these wars. Friends and collaborators, Her and Wechsler met through the MFA photography program at Yale. Together Her and Wechsler visited Laos, where they initiated a conversation that both dissected and complicated their different relationships to the global impact of the war. This show is the first physical manifestation of their ongoing dialogue.  

Pao Houa Her was born in 1982 in Laos, and was raised in Saint Paul, MN. She currently lives in the Twin Cities region. She received a MFA in Photography from the Yale University School of Art, New Haven, CT in 2012 and a BFA in Photography from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 2009. Her received a Jerome Fellowship for Emerging Artists in 2013 and was awarded Initiative Grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board in 2009 and 2012. She also received an Alice Kimball Fellowship in 2012.  

Sadie Wechsler (born in Seattle) received a BA from Bard College in 2007 and an MFA from Yale School of Art in 2013. Her work has been show nationally and internationally and was included in Format Festival England and Beijing. She has been included in group shows at Aperture Gallery, Belfast School of Art, Photoville, and Newspace Center for Photography, and has had solo shows at DeSoto Gallery and Gallery 4Culture. Wechsler has received the Delivan grant from Bard College and the smArt Ventures Grant from the City of Seattle. She has been an artist in residence at Anderson Ranch Art Center and the Arctic Circle Expedition. In 2016, she self-published her first monograph Part I: Redo and her work can be found in the collections of the Yale University Library, the Hammer Art Museum, the Getty Research Institute and the King County Portable Collection. 

Image: Pao Houa Her, Tojsiab woman, 2015. Sadie Wechsler, Legs for display, 2018.

Visit ARTS at King Street Station

Hours

ARTS at King Street Station gallery hours:

We are closed to the public March 13 through at least April 13, 2020 to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Click here for more details.

ARTS administrative office hours:

Monday -  Friday 8am - 5pm

Getting Here

Plan your trip and don't forget to check the traffic conditions at Seattle Traffic

King Street Station is located at 303 S Jackson St, Seattle, WA 98104. The station is conveniently located where the Downtown Central Business District, Pioneer Square, and the Chinatown / International District all meet (on Jackson Street between 3rd and 4th Avenues South).

There are multiple options for reaching the station using public transit:

  • The Sounder regional commuter train stops at the station, as do all of Amtrak's national and international lines.
  • The Link Light Rail stops at the International District Station, one block east of the station.
  • Many King County Metro Bus lines pass within a block of the station, including 1, 7, 36, 14.

Where do I park? There are multiple paid garages and parking lots in the neighborhood, as well as street parking. You can view the Seattle Parking Map here.

Accessibility

King Street Station has an ADA-compliant elevator that services every level of the station. Access it via the Amtrak level (1st Floor) from the King Street entrance.

ARTS at King Street Station also has ADA-compliant, all-gender restrooms.


Do Something at ARTS at King Street Station - apply for exhibitions and events

King Street Station Portal call for art and events

Gallery inside ARTS at King Street Station
ARTS at King Street Station gallery, photo by Benjamin Benschneider

You are invited to DO SOMETHING at ARTS at King Street Station - a cultural space that celebrates the creativity of communities of color, and that reflects and foster the creativity and talents of people that continue to create the fabric of Seattle.

We are seeking proposals for exhibitions, performances, workshops, lectures, readings, screenings, gatherings, events, and more. You do not need to live in Seattle, and you do not need to be a professional artist to apply. All creative mediums are welcome - visual arts, design, literary, music, dance, and more. Apply any time with our rolling deadline. All selected proposals are resourced, with support ranging from in-kind staffing and space, up to $25,000, depending on scale and type.

The selection criteria used by our Advisory panel are listed in the application Guidelines, so make sure to read them. Contact s.surface@seattle.gov with questions. Feel free to drop in during ARTS at King Street Station programming office hours: 11am-12:30pm on the Second Wednesday and Saturday of each month EXCEPT December. We are here to support your application and provide guidance. Thank you for sharing your ideas with us.

APPLY

If you want to work on your application offline, you can download the ARTS at King Street Station Portal application.

ARTS at King Street Station Portal Guidelines

ARTS at King Street Station Portal budget form

ARTS at King Street Station information packet:

Studio Residency Award

Artist studio at ARTS at King Street Station

ARTS at King Street Station Studio Residency, photo by Benjamin Benschneider

The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS), is offering a Studio Residency at ARTS at King Street Station. The Studio Residency offers creatives of all disciplines, at all stages in their careers, time and space in the onsite studio to encourage growth in their practices.

ARTS is looking for up to six artists/artist teams for the residency award. Each residency period is approximately two months long and will take place March 2020 - March 2021. Each residency will received a $2,000 stipend. Artists from historically under-represented communities, including communities of color, immigrant, and refugee communities are encouraged to apply. 

Eligibility

This call is open to individuals or groups. Creatives working in any medium and at any stage of their career are welcome. Applicants must be 15 and over, but youth under 18 must include an adult contact. Applicants should be interested in working in a public setting.

Budget

Each selected Studio Residency will receive a $2,000 stipend.

Deadline

6 p.m. Pacific, Friday, November 15, 2019. Please allow ample time to complete your application. Do not wait until the last minute. Applications submitted after the 6 p.m. deadline will not be accepted. 

Office Hours

For more information or help on your application please contact or drop in during ARTS at King Street Station programming office hours, 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. on the Third Wednesday and Third Saturday of each month EXCEPT December.

Info

Contact S Surface at s.surface@seattle.gov or 206-256-5484.

APPLY

2020 Studio Residency Award Guidelines

2020 Studio Residency Application

2020 Studio Residency Award Work Sample document

ARTS at King Street Station Studio Facility Information

Rental and Meeting Space

Outside rentals and meeting space booking is not currently available for ARTS at King Street Station.

Special Exhibition and Event Calls

Special opportunties for ARTS at King Street Station coming soon!


About ARTS at King Street Station

ARTS at King Street Station, which incorporates a new 7,500-square-foot cultural space available to the general public, a studio for artists-in-residence and offices for staff of the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, was conceived to increase opportunities for people of color to generate and present their work and to reflect and foster the creativity and talents of people that continue to create the fabric of Seattle.

Over the past several years, we've listened to community feedback and continue to gather research on best practices in how to make this space welcoming.

Open Date
Now
Close Date
Ongoing
Eligible
Organization
Business
Individual
Youth

ARTS at King Street Station Advisors

About ARTS at King Street Station Advisors

ARTS at King Street Station Advisors is a newly formed group of community leaders and arts/culture enthusiasts who will work with ARTS staff to ensure that the programming at ARTS at King Street Station centers racial equity, represents and welcomes diverse communities, and showcases many creative disciplines. Advisors will serve a two-year term beginning November 2018 and ending October 2020.

ARTS at King Street Station Advisors

To come


Resources

ARTS engaged in an inclusive, city-wide outreach effort in order to hear from the community about their needs (check the #ARTSaboard hashtag on Twitter). Below are reports that capture the feedback and the plans created to address community needs.

ARTS' intention with the new space is to increase opportunities for communities of color to present their work. The dedicated cultural space will provide public access to presentation and creative spaces, ARTS staff and resources, space for city convenings, and professional development and other services that were requested through the outreach process. This is an innovative plan that utilizes an underused city resource to address issues of affordability and livability while preserving the unique creative economy that drives Seattle.

AFrican performers at King Street Station during Create City 2016. Photo by Sunita Martini.

King Street Station Programming Plan (pdf)

ARTS staff worked with the University of Washington Evans School Consulting Lab to produce a research report, "Reimagining King Street Station through a Racial Equity Lens" (May 2018), which is an aspirational document about best practices in cultural space programming.  

Watercolor of King Street Station by Tina Kayoma.

Reimagining King Street Station through a Racial Equity and Social Justice Lens, UW Evans School of Public Policy & Governance
PDF

 2018 King Street Station Community Feedback Report 

King Street Station Community Feedback Report 
PDF (5 MB)

About King Street Station

Historic image of King Street Station

King Street Station is a public asset that is an important part of Seattle's history. For over one hundred years it has improved connections, serving as a gateway for millions of travelers coming into Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. The station has spurred economic growth and helped establish Seattle as a major metropolitan city.

King Street Station first opened to the public in May 1906. Reed and Stem, the architectural firm responsible for New York City's historic Grand Central Terminal, designed the station. The San Marco bell tower of Venice, Italy, served as the model for the building's familiar clock tower. The structure was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

Interior King Street StationKing Street Station, located on Jackson Street between Third and Fourth Avenue S., is a brick and granite three-story building with a twelve-story clock tower. The ground floor, accessed from King Street, is clad in granite. The walls of the second and third floors, as well as the clock tower, are faced in pressed brick with decorative terra cotta elements such as cornices and window lintels.

While much of the exterior of King Street Station has remained intact since the building was constructed in 1906, parts of the interior have been substantially altered and others have suffered neglect. Similarly, while nearly half of the facility's original finishes remain intact, most of the significant finishes in the lower portion of the station have been removed. In March 2008 the City of Seattle purchased the landmark building from the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway Company.

Under city ownership, King Street Station underwent a $50 million renovation that achieved the following goals:

Exterior King Steet Station

  • Restore the building's historic character and grandeur
  • Upgrade facilities to meet present and future needs of rail and transit users
  • Enhance passenger safety and security
  • Promote sustainable design with a LEED building certification
  • Support efforts to transform the station into a modern transit hub
  • The station is served by Amtrak Cascades, Coast Starlight and Empire Builder long distance rail lines and Amtrak intercity buses. It includes convenient connections to Sound Transit commuter rail, local and regional buses, Sound Transit Link light rail, and the First Hill Seattle Streetcar.
  • The restoration of King Street Station ensures it remains a critical transportation hub and gateway into Seattle for the next hundred years.