Find Posts By Topic

New poetry and art at Seattle Center

Seattle Center is expanding their investments in temporary
artworks with the new Poetry Garden Art Series

Four artists have been commissioned to create temporary interventions in the Seattle Center Poetry Garden to call attention to the unique character of the site, a space designed to ask visual artists to draw inspiration from the written word.

The Office of ASCpoetrygarden72d75b3fb2fdb0dcb1b6a9bc68c486afrts & Culture and the Seattle Center have a 40 year history of partnering to bring permanent and temporary artworks to the Seattle Center campus. In 2015, the two organizations jointly invested in emerging artists by providing training and commissioning seven artists to create site specific temporary artwork for the campus. The 2016 Poetry Garden Art Series is a continuation of this investment.

The Poetry Garden was envisioned at its inception to be a site for temporary art activations. The garden, in the heart of the Seattle Center campus, is composed of crushed granite paths punctuated by 12 sculpted, polished, pink granite boulders engraved with an eclectic selection of poems by various authors. The boulders were sculpted and sited by artist/sculptor John Hoge.

Artists Elizabeth Gahan, Naoko Morisawa, Natalie Ball and Tara Tamaribuchi were selected to create temporary artworks in the garden. ARTS has also formed a partnership with Porchlit to have readings in the garden to complement each installation.


Elizabeth Gahan February 1 – May 1, 2016

Elizabeth Gahan has built a practice of creating dynamic forms from recycled materials. With her installation in the Poetry Garden she will create an array of bright flowers all made from reused and recycled materials.

Gahan is a Seattle-based artist. She received a dual undergraduate degree in Global Studies and Fine Art from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Master’s degree in Fine Art from Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, CA with an emphasis in painting. Gahan then attended a residency program at the Banff Centre, Canada to pursue installation art. Her current art practice combines 2D studio art and 3D installation art. Gahan currently works from a space at Equinox Studios in Georgetown, Seattle.

Naoko Morisawa May 9 – August 1, 2016

Naoko Morisawa will create a pattern of Morse code made of colorful garden hose tubing. She is transforming a functional garden material into an art object by amplifying the form and color of the garden hose.

Morisawa received a BA in Design from Tama Art University, Tokyo. Her (Seattle) artwork is made of hundreds of very small slices of natural/oil-dyed woodchips on board. The variety of wood grain and the pattern is never the same. The combination of natural grains creates interesting shadows and impressions. When seen from a distance, her artwork looks like a painting, and the details of the work slowly emerge when the viewer comes closer. Bright, fun, and unusual subjects attract and inspire her to work in new directions. Mysterious creatures and illusions are recurring themes.

Natalie Ball August 8 – October 31, 2016

Installation artist Natalie Ball will use the garden as a space to hang a large-scale textile artwork of doll houses that explores indigenous domesticity. The artwork will mix the tradition of storytelling through fiber arts to take a hard look at the conditions and experience of indigenous women.

Ball was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Ethnic Studies from the University of Oregon and she furthered her education in New Zealand at Massey University where she attained her Master’s degree in Maori Visual Arts. Ball is an indigenous artist who examines internal and external discourses that shape Indian identity through contemporary art.

Tara Tamaribuchi November 6, 2016 – January 31, 2017

Tara Tamaribuchi will respond to the panoramic landscape of the Poetry Garden through the lens of 16th Century Japanese screen paintings, by featuring cloud forms made of gold buttons that frame the foliage of the area.

Tamaribuchi received a BA in Journalism from George Washington University, Washington, DC and a BFA in Painting from Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland, OR. Tamaribuchi’s work today is driven by the desire to revel in the early development of her young child and her hand, to understand it and try to feel that raw creativity. She also investigates the children’s art and craft supplies that litter her home. Tamaribuchi’s work in the past has focused on traditional Japanese patterns and motifs to find a connection to her ancestors. She continues to employ this connection with the study of her daughter’s drawings, to link her hands with the hands of her ancestors.


Porchlit is a project by Yonnas Getahun, Campbell Thibo and Omar Willey. Getahum, Thibo and Willey have uploaded recordings of literature, including poetry, prose, and monologue, spoken every day on a porch for an entire year. Porchlit started on the porch of a historic home in Seattle and has expanded to Richard Hugo House, On the Boards, the steps of City Hall and now Seattle Center Poetry Garden. By inviting others to perform readings from historic and meaningful places, they hope to bridge history, community and literature – old and new.

Image: Poetry Garden, 2007. Glacial Red Granite by artist John Hoge