Monday, June 8, 2009


As an educational response to climate change, The Seattle Public Utilities* have funded both temporary and permanent art projects. This summer, three very different artists (John Grade, Mandy Greer and Stokley Towles) will create temporary artworks to increase public awareness around our responsibility to environmental stewardship.

Host by John Grade (image via)

"Grade will create a large cloud-like sculpture with corn-based polymer that biodegrades through direct contact with rainwater over a six-month period." John Grade just closed an amazing show at Davidson Galleries that included Host. I really hope you saw it!


"Artist John Grade will create a large-scale, outdoor sculpture that evokes the image of a water tower and consists of a wooden frame that cradles a spherical, cloud-like form...Viewers will experience a sculptural installation that is evolving and changing incrementally within a public landscape, offering a means of framing and examining the role water plays in our urban lives. Grade will begin construction of the sculpture on July 20 at the Bitter Lake Reservoir, near the intersection of North 138th Street and Linden Ave North. The sculpture will be on view through January 2010."

Waterlines by Stokley Towles (image via)

"Beginning July 2nd I will present a performance and installation about drinking water at Volunteer Park in Seattle. For this project I traveled within the world of Seattle Public Utilities speaking to members throughout the organization who work with water. I also explored ancient Mesopotamia (home of King Hammurabi's water rules) and made side trips to the land of virtual water.

The project will take place in a temporary office trailer located between SAM Asian Art Museum and the conservatory. An exhibition of photography, prose stories and water-related artifacts will be open for viewing before and after the performance."

I just met Stokley last weekend and the project sounds really interesting. More info here.

Mater Matrix Mother and Medium by Mandy Greer (image via)

Mandy's project has been an amazing community builder. If I were to hold up a model for what art can do, this is the project I'd reference. For the past couple of months, Mandy has been setting up shop in public places and with the help of strangers/new friends, she has been creating a 200 foot beautiful river of yarn. Even if I wanted to (and why on earth would I, this project is awesome on every level!), I can't go a day without getting some sort of update on the project. It's that entrenched in the community. You can read all about it on her blog. We haven't met in person yet, but I'm pretty sure I love her already!

"This River, made up of thousands upon thousands of tiny moments and movements of individual citizens, integrated, linked together and interwoven into the natural environment, will itself embed Scofield in an exploration of how we ourselves are both literal and metaphoric manifestations of the living essence of water. Our experience of water is both one of ultimate intimacy and also of civic structure. This artwork, a unique blend of community engagement and personal inquiry, site-embedded installation and performance, embodies the ancient human practice of acknowledging our own physicality rooted in the cycles of water and how this forms the very foundation of human community. Water, both mundane and miraculous, mirrors the everyday meeting of strangers and the tiny moments that begin to bond us together."

"Mater Matrix Mother and Medium will culminate with a site-specific performance by Seattle-based and internationally-recognized choreographer and dancer Zoe Scofield. Come join in this one-time experience on July 16th, 2009 at 6:30 pm at the pond at Camp Long in West Seattle, 5200 35th Ave. SW."


I think I was looking at some old information. Mandy posted a comment directing me to a better source of info. There are actually a lot more water-related activities this summer.

Kristin Ramirez will be doing a summer residency in the Fremont Bridge. Call (206) 455-9983 to share a memory or thought related to bridges.

Also, five folks made short films (8-12 minutes) that address protecting water quality and/or drainage issues. Filmmakers include SJ Chiro, Susan Robb, Britta Johnson, Luke Sieczek and Rick Stevenson. All five will be screened on Thursday, July 9 (7pm) at Central Cinema.
*Proper funding source updated 6/10/2009

1 comment:

Mandy Greer said...

Thanks so much for posting about these projects! There are also a few other terrific temporary projects this summer, and a really intriguing film series by some killer artists.

when you gonna come crochet?!