Works in Progress

All new SPU % for art project opportunities and works in progress are described by and adopted into the City of Seattle's Municipal Art Plan. This plan is developed by Office of Arts and Culture staff in consultation with SPU and is based upon art priorities, available funding and opportunities provided by upcoming projects. The plan is then reviewed by the Public Art Advisory Committee and approved by the Mayor. Below is a description of current works in progress.

SPU Drainage Residency

Artist: Vaughn Bell
Project completion date: 2017

Vaughn Bell is currently the artist-in-residence at SPU for a nine-month period starting in January 2016. Bell will work closely with SPU staff to develop an art master plan to guide future public art commissions to be integrated into SPU Drainage and Waste Water projects (e.g., combined sewer overflow prevention, pollutant reduction, water quality improvement).

South Transfer Station Phase II

5th Avenue S and S Kenyon Street, South Park
Artist: Adam Kuby
Project completion date: Mid-2019

Adam Kuby is working with project designers on site-specific artwork for the new recycling center. He is working closely with city staff and community members on a project that reflects the function of the facility as well as the surrounding neighborhood.

Cedar Falls Administration Building

conduitWayne Chabre, Conduit

Cedar River Watershed
Artist: Wayne Chabre
Project completion date: 2018

Wayne Chabre’s proposed artwork, Conduit, is a symbol of the natural abundance and history of the Cedar River watershed and its essential contribution to the continuity and viability of the greater Seattle area. Conduit honors the history of the watershed and the people who manage it and the resources that supply an uninterrupted flow of one of our most precious resources.

Conduit will be designed and fabricated utilizing a number of collected available artifacts (e.g., pipes, boulders, tiles and timbers) found throughout the Cedar River Watershed. The sculpture will be sited in an open lawn area between the future Cedar Falls Administration Building and Cedar Falls Rd. The site is a secured part of the watershed and will mostly be seen by Cedar Falls staff. Though access to the artwork will be limited, visitors of the Watershed will be able to see the 12’x12’x36’ sculpture on guided tours.

Urban Agriculture – Food Forest

Beacon Food Forest, Jefferson Park
Artist: Nicole Kistler
Project completion date: 2016

Artist Nicole Kistler developed this project out of the Urban Agriculture residency, which was jointly funded with SPU and Seattle Parks and Recreation funding. Kistler will install a series of vessels in the food forest; the vessels will have text provided by community members. The vessels, bronze sculptures, will be supplemented by plantings that will be sown from seed balls also created by community members during workshops led by the artist.

12th and Elmgrove Park

12th Avenue S and S. Elmgrove St., South Park
Artist: Ben Zamora
Project completion date: 2018

The Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS) in partnership with Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) has selected Seattle artist Ben Zamora to create a permanent public artwork for a new park at 12th Avenue S and S Elmgrove Street. Zamora’s artwork will respond to the size and scenic nature of the site, which is envisioned as a as a resting spot for the community.

The site for the 12th and Elmgrove park is currently owned by the Port of Seattle and Seattle Public Utilities. The site most recently hosted a temporary artwork by Zamora for the Duwamish Revealed art project. Zamora’s artwork is being funded through SPU’s 1% for Art Funds; SPU is supporting the development of this park in conjunction with the utilities’ construction of a new pump station as part of its strategy addressing overall drainage issues in South Park.

24th Avenue NW Conveyance Pier

24th Ave NW Pier
Completion Date: Early 2018

Christian French has been selected to create an artwork for Seattle Public Utilities 24th Ave NW Public Pier Project. French will work with SPU staff, Seattle Department of Transportation staff, local community and neighboring businesses and the Office of Arts & Culture staff to design inlays to be integrated into the concrete surface for the public pier at the street end of 24th Ae NW and NW 54th St. The artwork will relate to the maritime nature, geological and traditional history of the site based on the pier’s location in the midst of a marine industrial area in Ballard.

SPU is reconstructing the public pier at 24th Ave NW in Ballard a part of the Ship Canal Water Quality Project. After construction is complete the pier will become a public amenity owned by SDOT and be in the right-of-way. For more information, visit the Ship Canal Water Quality project page.

North Delridge CSO Retrofit Artwork Project

2106 S.W. Orchard St.
Artist: Matthew Geller
Project completion date: 2017

New York City artist Matthew Geller will create a permanent artwork for Seattle Public Utilities' (SPU) North Delridge Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Retrofit Artwork Project in Seattle's Delridge neighborhood. Geller will work with SPU and members of the design team to develop an artwork that will be integrated with the facility and surrounding landscape.

Temporary Projects

Lincoln Reservoir Gate House Temporary Project

Gatehouse ProjectGatehouse Project

Cal Anderson Park, 1635 11th Ave
Teaching artist: Nate Hearth
Students: Pre-selected from the Seattle Parks and Recreation Huskies Out of School Time (HOST) Program, Washington Middle School
Project dates: 2016 - 2017

Beginning in May, 2016, the historic Lincoln Reservoir Gate House at Cal Anderson Park, unveiled Seasons All Around, 14 original temporary artworks created by nine Washington Middle School students. The artworks grace the windows of the gate house through December 2016 and feature images inspired by the four seasons.

The gate house project is a collaboration between the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, Seattle Parks and Recreation’s Out of School time program at Washington Middle School, Seattle Public Utilities and Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Historic Preservation Program. Students worked with teaching artist Nate Herth over 15 weeks to design and create 14 original paintings reflecting on the park and the vibrancy of the Seattle. The classes took place at Washington Middle School and the students, representing the many races and ethnicities of Seattle, drew upon their varied prior experience with art, color, and Seattle’s neighborhoods to create this public art installation. The artworks created by the students were photographed and will be printed and installed in the gate house windows.

The Lincoln Reservoir in Cal Anderson Park was built after the Great Seattle Fire of 1889 and put to use in 1901. In 2000 the reservoir was taken out of service and replaced by underground tanks, but the gate house remains. The park reopened in 2005 with four additional acres of useable open space.

Poetry on Buses 2016 - 2017

Location: Varies
Artist: Jourdan Keith
Completion Date: 2019

Poet Planner and Theme

Developed by Jourdan Keith, Poetry on Buses’ 2016 Poet Planner, the theme “Your Body of Water” is a poetic exploration of the meaning of water and its local stewardship by King County and Seattle Public Utilities.

“We are all bodies of water, connected to one another through the water web,” says Keith. “Your body of water is connected to streams, rivers, lakes, tides, waterfalls, toilets and present homes, childhood homes and ancestral ones by memory, by the water cycle, and by stories. Come tell your story through poetry.”

Keith brings her experience as a poet, playwright, creative non-fiction writer and founding Director of Urban Wilderness Project to the program. She believes that connecting to the natural world is critical to restoring communities and has over 15 years of experience in project management as an artist, environmental educator, community organizer and social justice advocate.

Call for Poems

Individuals can submit a poem online starting May 15 through September 30. Anyone who resides in King County, Washington is eligible to submit one poem up to 50 words in length on the theme of water. For more information and to submit a poem go to

Poetry on Buses began in 1992 as a partnership between 4Culture and King County Metro Transit to present poetry by local community members on buses. It was rebooted in 2014-15 with poems and workshops in five languages, an online poetry portal (showcasing 365 poems – one new poem released every day of the year) and a focus on Metro Transit’s RapidRide.

Community Poetry Workshops

Starting in May 2016, a series of free community poetry workshops will be held to encourage the public to submit a poem. They will explore poetic traditions as well as their local and global connection to water and how it is protected and cared for by Seattle Public Utilities and King County’s Wastewater Treatment and Water and Land Resources divisions.

Community liaisons are working collaboratively with poets and Poetry on Buses staff to shape bilingual workshops tailored to the needs of Seattle and King County’s diverse communities. Workshops focused on the Chinese, Ethiopian, Punjabi, Spanish speaking, African American and Tlingit communities will be held from May through September 2016.


An expanded Poetry on Buses program is made possible through a partnership between 4Culture, City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, Sound Transit, King County Metro, King County Wastewater Treatment Division, King County Water and Land Resources Divisions, and Seattle Public Utilities. Poetry on Buses is managed by the Public Art staff at 4Culture and the City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture using both transit- and water-related Percent-for-Art Dollars and Equity Initiative funds allocated for the commissioning and management of art in public space. It is supported through a grant from Amazon Literary Partnership.