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Weekly Art Hit: ‘Leaf Legend’ by Bruce Myers

Celebrating the beauty of autumn and the falling leaves, here’s Seattle artist Bruce Myers’ Leaf Legend created in 1997 as part of three interconnected artworks at Discovery Park Visitor Center (built in 1993). The artwork consists of more than 100 sand cast bronze leaves set into the concrete.

Meyers embedded fossil-like leaf patterns throughout the concrete walking surfaces inside and outside the Visitor Center. He incorporated species indigenous to Discovery Park including big leaf maple, alder, vine maple, dogwood, cascara, cherry and Oregon ash. Scattered across the walkways, the leaves appear to have just fallen from the trees in the nearby forest. Here and there, the impressions were overlaid with cast-bronze leaves, adding another layer of texture and visual interest to the walkways.

Myers states, “I felt that using actual leaves native to Discovery Park would engage visitors, and echo, through association, fallen leaves to larger cycles in nature.  Leaf Legend is a tribute to cycles of the forest, and on a symbolic level, emulates the spirit of the program activities at the Center.  It functions to integrate the artwork into the Center at a spatial level. Over time, the intricate bronze leaves will become polished by visitors bound for the park.”

Myers’ other artworks at the Visitor Center are Strata Benches, public seating that evokes the park’s unique layered geology, and Ripple Sculptures, set into the ground and evoking the expansive tidal flats of the South Beach at Discovery Park.

The artworks were created by Myers working together with Miller/Hull Partnership Architects and Worthy and Associates Landscape Architects.  The history of the park, its educational programs and goals for the Center contributed to Myers’ approach for designing the artworks.

The artworks were commissioned with Seattle Parks and Recreation 1% for Art funds from Shoreline Parks Improvement Funds.

 – Tamara Gill, Community Development & Outreach