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First permanent waterfront artwork installed yesterday at Pier 62

Land Buoy Bells, artwork designed by Stephen Vitiello for the floating dock at Pier 62, was installed yesterday, June 30. This is the first of several permanent artworks that will be installed as part of Waterfront Seattle.

“We are excited to announce the installation of Land Buoy Bells at Pier 62,” said Marshall Foster, Director of Seattle’s Office of the Waterfront and Civic Projects. “This commission launches a program of permanent artworks that will be integrated into the Seattle waterfront to help tell the story of the environment and culture of this unique place.”

The sound-based installation, “five instruments performed by collected tidal energy,” uses the movement of the water rising and falling around the floating dock to strike five bell-like objects and create sounds that harmonize with their surroundings. Its goal is to integrate with the other sounds of the waterfront, including voices, the natural environment and industry.

“The Seattle waterfront is beautiful and ever-changing – misty, then sunny, then rainy. It inspired the idea of a piece that would be environmentally played, that would change with the weather and tides,” said Stephen Vitiello, creator of Land Buoy Bells and professor of Kinetic Imaging at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Visitors are encouraged to explore and listen to this artwork on the newly rebuilt Pier 62, a floating dock which opened to the public last September. There are nine other permanent art commissions included in the Seattle Waterfront art program that explores both the natural environment as well as the Indigenous roots of Seattle’s shoreline. There are seven artists from local tribes involved in art projects along the promenade and at the Overlook Walk. Among the artworks that will be installed in the next few years are those of Seattle artists Buster Simpson near the habitat beach, and Norie Sato, at the Union Street bridge.

Land Buoy Bells was funded with Seattle Department of Transportation Alaskan Way Seawall Bond Measure 1% for Art funds and was administered by the Office of Arts & Culture and the Office of the Waterfront and Civic projects.