Take a journey throughout the city and discover Mark Lere’s Seattle Scatter Piece, begun in 1981 and completed in 2005. The installation thematically connects the four Seattle neighborhoods of Beacon Hill, Interbay, Laurelhurst and Bitter Lake through the repetition and transformation of the iconic image of a boat. These reiterations of the boat form, created from concrete at each site, were originally designed to be united figuratively by the viewer’s voyage from site to site, constructing a larger boat shape.
Lere’s sculpture began as a simple line drawing of a boat overlaid on a map of Seattle; the corners locate the sites of the artworks. Each of the artworks sites incorporate a part of the boat and other elements such as a boat-shaped drinking fountain at Laurelhurst Playfield, located at 4554 NE 41st St.; a viewpoint at Interbay located at 22nd Avenue West and West Emerson Place; and geometric forms that invite passersby to pause and reflect on the neighborhood and downtown Seattle at the Beacon Hill Reservoir, located at Beacon Avenue and Spokane Street. The artwork at the Bitter Lake Reservoir, located at North 143rd Street and Evanston Avenue North, was rebuilt after the original piece was removed for the development of a small park. The artwork now incorporates the boat form into the rolling “waves” of a grassy landscape surrounding the sculpture. One artwork, for Harbor Island, remains unrealized.
Lere was chosen through an invitational competition to select a publicly owned site for a project proposal. Due to the complexity of his proposal and the number of approvals required by the city, the project took many years to achieve by the time it was completed.
The artwork was funded by the Seattle Public Utilities 1% for Art funds (originally Water and Parks Departments 1% for Art funds).
IMAGES: Mark Lere; Seattle Scatter Piece; 1981-1992, 2005; concrete, metal. Located at four sites in Seattle.
Weekly Art Hit is featuring artworks every week from the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s and 2000s. to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the city’s public art program.
Can anyone please give more information about what the viewpoint in Interbay is supposed to look like? Is there an actual sculpture or some sort of marker there? We went there to try to find it, but couldn’t. Is it even still there (whatever it is…?)
Sandy Esene says
There are a lot of signs and trees near/around the artwork making it hard to see while passing by. It is located on the west side of the intersection of 22nd and Emmerson. Behind it is a large “Welcome to Magnolia” sign and it is directly across from a 76 gas station. I hope this information is helpful in your search.
Thank you for the information! It was very helpful, and I was able to finally find it with the help of the details you’ve provided!
I’m not sure if it can be changed, but in the description of the piece on this webpage, it says, “a viewpoint at Interbay located at 23rd Avenue West and West Emerson Place”, which is where we originally went. Actually, as you have so kindly pointed out, it is not at 23rd, but at 22nd.
Thanks once again. We did visit all four of the locations and were able to enjoy finding each of the installations.
Otts Bolisay says
Hi Linda, I’ve updated the address for the Interbay piece. Thanks for helping us fix the error, and really glad you got to see it with Sandy’s help.