Two sculptures now mark the location of the Chief Sealth Trail, on the east and west sides, where the trail crosses Beacon Avenue South and South Dawson Street on Beacon Hill. In Cloud Rider by Seattle artist Dan Webb, two bicycle riders wearing gold-leafed wings on their backs rise from the clouds. The blue female rides a step-through, commuter-style bike and the pink male rides a mountain bike with flat handlebars. At the artwork’s column base is the symbol of the Duwamish people.
Webb states, “The two bicycle riders represented in this piece ride among the clouds, as all do who ride in Seattle. At the base of each column is the symbol of the Duwamish people, ‘The People of the Inside,’ living between the Cascades and the Olympics. As we ride these paths, we remember them, the first and future riders of these hills.” Seattle was named for the most well- known northwest Native American chief, Chief Sealth (1784 – 1866) of the Duwamish Tribe.
A resident of Beacon Hill, Webb has created both public and private artworks for Pike Place Market, the city of Bellevue, city of Burien and Equity Office Properties (Columbia Tower) in Seattle. His work is in collections at Seattle Art Museum, Tacoma Art Museum, New Museum in New York and numerous private collections.
The Chief Sealth Trail, a multi-purpose trail in Southeast Seattle, is part of the city’s regional trail system. The trail provides new connections to Beacon Hill (and the Beacon Hill Neighborhood Greenway) and Sound Transit light rail stations along Martin Luther King Jr. Way. The trail is one of five regional trails that cross the city, connecting schools, businesses, and residents while promoting a healthy and active lifestyle.
The artwork was commissioned with Seattle Department of Transportation 1% for Art funds.
Image: Cloud Rider; Dan Webb; 2012; aluminum, paint and gold leaf; 11’H. Photos by the artist.