Remember, when you were a kid, flipping the corner of a small book really quickly and watching a cartoon come to life in your hands? The grown up (sort of) version can be seen along the Interurban Trail in north Seattle, only this time you need to move through space, either on your feet or on a bike, to activate a progression of colorful photographic and digital images that are mounted on sign posts.
Seattle artist Jennifer Dixon’s FlipBooks greets bicyclists and pedestrians on this leg of the regional trail system that will eventually extend from Seattle to Everett. The artist studded the pathway between N. 110th to 128th Street in the Broadview-Bitterlake neighborhood with five storylines, or “flip books” that celebrate the journey one follows along the trail. You can watch a deer sprout flowers on its antlers, a jelly-bean volcano erupt, and a child blow a bubble, among other delightful animations.
The artist drew her inspiration from “a photograph in the collection at the Shoreline Historical Museum depicting a series of Burma Shave-style advertising signs along the original Interurban. I wanted to create a larger-than-life flipbook-style animation that would provide a continuous experience for users of the trail. The artwork whimsically invites users of the trail to experience a sense of movement and play along the public right-of-way.”
So get on your bike, strap on your rollerblades or lace up your sneakers, and take the scenic route through north Seattle to catch a glimpse of some colorful artwork that’s sure to make you smile.
FlipBooks Jennifer Dixon, 2008 Aluminum, MacTac vinyl, galvanized steel commissioned with Seattle Department of Transportation 1% for Art funds. Photos: Jim Tillman