Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Public art... where?

Last weekend I took in some amazing art, not by visiting the Seattle Art Museum or any other of our wonderful established local venues, but by driving around the city. I first read about the Listen 4Culture program in the December issue of Seattle magazine. Although it took me a couple of months to check it out for myself, I’m glad that I finally did. It’s a terrific program that makes audio snippets about various pieces of public art available via phone, so while you’re taking in a specific work you can call on your cell phone and hear a little bit about it. Sometimes the audio is contributed by the artist herself, or it’s the artist’s daughter, or in the case of the Jacob Lawrence piece, the man who did the enamel work on it. I printed out the map and list of works before I left home, and trotted around to see a few in SoDo and in the International District.

My first stop was Christian Moeller’s Newsreaders, 50,000 plastic discs snapped on to chain link fencing depicting people reading. Nope, not obvious at first glance.

Just across the street on a four-story parking structure is Bloom, by Susan Zoccola. It’s an enormous construction of concrete, aluminum, fiberglass, and steel and I thought that it was fabulous.

I didn’t have time to see all 23 works today, but I did get to one last piece: Heaven, Man, Earth by Seattle painter and sculptor, George Tsutakawa.

My favorite thing about this outing is that it has me on the lookout for less official but just as readily available public art. I might just start with the Wave Rave Cave, those oddly lit wave-like things under the viaduct in Belltown…

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