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This summer the third floor of King Street Station will be awash with public art

Office of Arts & Culture explores Belonging and Resistance with site-specific and collection works
Opening August 3, 2017

This summer the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture’s (ARTS) public art program will enliven the third floor of King Street Station with 2D- and 3D works from the City’s collection and site-specific installations. The exhibition, focusing on themes of belonging and resistance, will be free and open to the public, and will open August 3, 2017. An anchor project by artist and educator Pedro Lasch will investigate ideas of nationalism and belonging, and will be accompanied by responses from regional artists. The exhibition will introduce the range of programming that the public art program undertakes to provide art experiences to residents of and visitors to Seattle, including lectures, performances and engagement activities.

The exhibition will be the first art installation at King Street Station by ARTS and will give the public a glimpse of how the third floor will be transformed when it becomes a new arts and culture hub. ARTS, in partnership with the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), is creating a permanent cultural space at King Street Station. ARTS engaged in an inclusive, city-wide outreach effort in order to hear from the community about their needs. ARTS’ intention with the new space is to increase opportunities for communities of color to present their work. The dedicated cultural space will provide public access to presentation and creative spaces, ARTS staff and resources, space for city convenings, and professional development and other services that were requested through the outreach process. This innovative plan utilizes an underused city resource to address issues of affordability and livability while preserving the unique creative economy that drives Seattle.

The city’s public art program provides opportunities for individuals to encounter art in parks, libraries, community centers, fire stations, on roadways, bridges and other public venues, enriching citizens’ daily lives and giving voice to artists. Seattle was one of the first cities in the United States to adopt a percent-for-art ordinance in 1973. The program integrates the work of artists in the envisioning of the public realm, advancing Seattle’s reputation as a cultural center for innovation and creativity. Public art projects create a special sense of place and enrich viewers’ experiences of the urban environment. The program specifies that 1% of eligible city capital improvement project funds be set aside for the commission, purchase and installation of artworks in a variety of settings.

The collection includes more than 400 permanently sited and integrated artworks and includes pieces by Isamu Noguchi, Marita Dingus, Mark Calderon, Ann Hamilton, Buster Simpson, and Michael Heizer. Artworks are commissioned through a public process. The city stewards and maintains its artworks through an ongoing program of coordinated conservation activities, which include inspections, major restorative work and routine maintenance.