2011 - 2013 Projects


Maple Leaf Reservoir Park Artwork Project

Maple Leaf Reservoir Park Artwork ProjectPhotographed by Patrick Marold.

1020 NE 82nd St
Artist: Patrick Marold
Project completion date: 2013

Marold's sculpture calls attention to Tolt River and Cedar River Watersheds – in which both will feed into the future underground Maple Leaf Reservoir. The mechanically controlled confluence is a strong element of inspiration for the piece as is the source of Seattle’s drinking water - precipitation that collects in the Cascade Mountain range. The sculpture consists of two (approx. 5'x5'x6') granite boulders; one taken from the Tolt River Watershed and one from the Cedar River Watershed. Each boulder is sliced into layers and then reassembled to intersect with the adjacent boulder. They interlock towards the base and progressively diverge towards the tops. Each layer will be positioned progressively off center, revealing the interior surface that is subtly carved to collect a very shallow pool of water during the wet seasons. These reflective surfaces call attention to the presence of water, as well as the lack of water during the dry season. The sculpture is placed within the viewing area designed for the South East corner of the Maple Leaf Reservoir Park.


Madison Valley Drainage Improvement Project

Madison Valley Drainage Improvement ProjectAdam Kuby, Incremental, Photographed by Adam Kuby.

Detention pond at 30th Avenue East and East John Street
Water tank at Washington Park
Artist: Adam Kuby
2011 and 2012

Adam Kuby has installed four sculptural elements that combine shaped and worked stones and living trees in the newly landscaped detention facility at 30th Avenue East and East John Street. The artworks reference the power of nature to heal and renew, even in the wake of devastation. The artist also created a “living wall” of controlled moss growth and songbird habitat in masonry facing at the new stormwater detention tank at Washington Park. These artworks were created in conjunction with SPU’s construction of these two infrastructure elements.

North Transfer Station Artist-in-Residence and Temporary Artwork Project

North Transfer Station Artist-in-Residence and Temporary Artwork ProjectSteve Appleton, Cool Bear, Photographed by Steve Appleton.

1350 North 34th Street
Artist: Steve Appleton
Project completion date: 2012

Appleton constructed a free-standing CoolBear polar bear sculpture created from solid waste brought to the transfer station. Made from recycled refrigerator doors, the CoolBear sculpture points out ironically, through its use of materials, the relationship between consumption, manufacturing, waste and recycling, and its impact on nature. The dimensions of the water-jet cut and stack constructed bear measures 13’ in height and 16’ in length. CoolBear is sited in the grassy knoll in the NE corner of the transfer station, and is clearly visible to visitors when they enter and exit the facility.

South Transfer Station New Facility Design Team Project

South Transfer Station New Facility Design Team ProjectCarol dePelecyn, Memento and Short in the Tooth, Photographed by Stephen McGehee.

130 S. Kenyon Street
Artist: Carol dePelecyn
Project completion date: 2012

The artist worked with SPU, its design team (URS/Swift Company) and South Park stakeholders to incorporate art at new facilities at the transfer station

Through participation in the community involvement process and attending stakeholder meetings, the artist used the neighborhood’s desire to retain parts of the South Park Bridge to develop the concept for the permanent artwork. She worked with King County’s bridge division to salvage bridge parts to develop a large, multi-part sculpture in the meadow area east of the new facility. She salvaged and repurposed three large sections of the original roadway grating of the bridge bascule to create a large-scale sculpture that mimics a stop-action view of a bridge leaf raising or lowering. DePelecyn integrated recycled road reflectors into the bridge decking as a play on light. They appear to be suspended in space within the overlapping bascule leafs. The artist also salvaged and recycled the two interlocking elements from the center of the bridge span and installed them vertically, much like a beacon or totem adjacent to the bridge decking sculpture. She also designed two murals for the building which will inspire people to think about how humans impact land and water.

South Park Drainage Artwork Project

South Park Drainage Artwork ProjectHoratio Law, Vortex, Photographed by Horatio Law.

Marra Desimone Park
7th Avenue South and South Director Street
South Park
Artist: Horatio Law
Project completion date: 2012

Portland artist Horatio Law worked with city staff and the community to develop and install site specific artwork in the South Park neighborhood. Law developed a free-standing “vortex” shaped sculpture for the catch basin in the bio-swale at Marra-Desimone Park. The artwork consists of 550 laminated, blue glass disks supported by a stainless-steel frame. Each sandblasted disk features a unique snowflake pattern designed by South Park residents through a series of community workshops. The artwork raises awareness of our region's water cycle and environmental stewardship, especially as it connects to SPU's work.

Temporary Projects

The following artworks were presented in conjunction with Seattle Center's "The Next Fifty" anniversary celebration in 2012.

Stormwater Project

Stormwater ProjectStokley Towles, Life in the Gutter, Photographed by John L. Little, Sr.

Artist: Stokley Towles
Project completion date: 2012

Towles' nearly one-hour piece was part performance, part exhibition, offering a gutter's eye view of Seattle's drainage system and the Seattle Public Utilities' (SPU) employees who guide, monitor and maintain stormwater flow in the city. In 2011, the piece was performed for the public in various Seattle locations. In 2012, the performances took place at Seattle Center in conjunction with "The Next Fifty" celebration.

Towles weaved interviews, observations and historical research together with images and props to talk about runoff in a humorous and illuminating fashion, revealing the world of drainage and stormwater and the people who manage its flow.

Seattle Center RainWise Green Infrastructure

Seattle Center RainWise Green InfrastructureStacy Levy, Straw Garden: From Wattle to Watershed, Photographed by Spike Mafford Photography.

Seattle Center, Broad Street Green
Artist: Stacy Levy
Project completion date: 2012

Levy's artwork was a six-month installation that was on display at Seattle Center as part of its "The Next Fifty" anniversary celebration. Featured during the celebration's "Sustainable Futures Month," over 1,200 lineal feet of straw and coir (coconut fiber) wattles were used to create the artwork’s sculpted garden formations. Commonly used for sediment and erosion control, Levy used the wattles to create the garden formations and as a planting medium for over 23 northwest native wildflowers, grasses and trees that composed much of the sculpture. "Straw Garden" consisted of six parterre-style configurations, which morphed from the formal "gardenesque" shapes into naturalistic wave-like patterns resembling water as it moved west across the landscape. This artwork brought attention to SPU’s environmental stewardship related to the utilities’ work. Following the six-month exhibition period, "Straw Garden" was removed from Seattle Center and the wattles/plants were divided and permanently installed throughout Seattle Public Utilities and Seattle Parks and Recreation properties throughout the Puget Sound region.

Seattle Center Waterflow Illuminations

Seattle Center Waterflow IlluminationsMandy Greer, Mater Matrix Mother and Medium, Photographed by Spike Mafford Photography.

Seattle Center, DuPen Fountain and Alki Courtyard
Artist: Mandy Greer
Project completion date: 2012

Mandy Greer’s work was a six week installation that took place from Earth Day in April through the end of May. The artist created the community-based, crocheted artwork Mater Matrix Mother and Medium for a site-specific project at Seattle Center's DuPen Fountain and Alki Courtyard. The 250-foot fiber artwork was crocheted in a full spectrum of blues on the topography of the site and attached to trees, creating a "river" that sat seven to 15 feet off the ground.

To help the public participate in the creation of the artwork, , the artist offered several crochet workshops during the Northwest Folklife Festival weekend. Greer taught attendees how to crochet chains that were then added to the evolving artwork.

Two 45-minute multi-media performances inspired by Greer’s artwork took place after the artwork was installed. The artist, dancers and musicians, adorned in blue crocheted costumes, enhanced the artwork experience by illustrating a luminous exploration of the three different states of water. The shows began just before dusk.

Mater Matrix Mother and Medium celebrated the splendor of Seattle's urban creeks and raised public awareness of environmental stewardship, especially as it connected to SPU's work.


Beacon Reservoir/Jefferson Park

Beacon Reservoir/Jefferson ParkElizabeth Conner, Draw the Land, Photographed by Spike Mafford Photography.

15th Avenue South and Spokane Street South, Beacon Hill
Artist: Elizabeth Conner

Artist Elizabeth Conner created an integrated artwork located on the space created when the Seattle Public Utilities filled in the Beacon Reservoir and built a new underground reservoir. Contour lines that "draw the land" mark the filled earth, indicating the depth of the original reservoir, and provide history of the reservoir and its site. Also at the location is a rain garden “water feature” created by plants that thrive in various degrees of wet or dry soil, marking water levels and flow. This project is primarily funded by SPU, with some funding from Seattle Parks & Recreation 2000 Parks Levy 1% for Art Funds.

Upstream/Cedar River Sockeye Salmon Hatchery

Upstream/Cedar River Sockeye Salmon HatcheryBarry Harem, Upstream, 2011.

28700 SE 252nd Place Maple Valley, WA 98051
Artist: Barry Harem

Seattle Public Utilities in partnership with the Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs commissioned Barry Harem to create a sculptural artwork for the south wall of the new Cedar River Sockeye Salmon Hatchery. Harem created "Upstream", a series of five powder-coated steel salmon representing the final "climb" of a group of salmon as they reach their spawning ground. Harem created this design in what is known as the formline style of Northwest Coast art germane to the north Pacific coastline and its estuaries.