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Artists bring life and design to Downtown Seattle

The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS) in partnership with the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and King County Metro, commissioned three artists from Public Art Boot Camp alumni to create temporary art in the downtown corridor using out-of-service Real-Time Information Sign kiosks. Artists Angie Hinojos, Baso Fibonacci, and Naoko Morisawa transformed the decommissioned kiosks into art installations that line Third Avenue downtown. SDOT is working with King County Metro on longer-term plans to replace and update bus stop infrastructure in this area. There is potential to expand this project to a kiosk in Pioneer Square. We are working with the Preservation Board to determine interest. 

This innovative public art project uses existing infrastructure as canvases for the artists to create personal and distinctive artworks giving viewers alternate perspectives on the urban environment. Each artist created one design that is installed at eight different locations. The three artists explored their heritage and histories in their artworks.  

Angie Hinojos’ The Five Creations

Angie Hinojos drew from traditional Aztec beliefs for her installation, The Five Creations, 2022. It is a story of birth, destruction, hope, and the passage of time that illuminates our past and orients us toward the future. 

Colorful Aztec patterns and imagery of corn and creatures.
The Five Creations by Angie Hinojos on the west side of 3rd Ave, north of Pike. Photo by Rebecca Johnson.

Naoko Morisawa’s Target Forever II

Naoko Morisawa’s installation Target Forever II, diptych, 2021, originates from her recent series of works, Target Forever, that is inspired by personal Target’s to live better and Major League Baseball Player and MVP star, Shohei Otani. The original works are created out of handcrafted, oil-stained wood and paper mosaic painting, including acrylic and washi. 

Loose circular patterns radiating outward.
Target Forever II by Naoko Morisawa on the east side of 3rd Ave, north of Pine. Photo by Rebecca Johnson.

Baso Fibonacci’s Hop On

Baso Fibonacci based his installation, Hop On, 2022, on his own past growing up in the 90s and 00s downtown when Seattle was a ‘ride free’ area. The colors in his artwork are based on the color schemes of the buses he rode as a kid and young adult. 

Geometric shapes in a limited palette of golds, oranges and black.
Hop On by Baso Fibonacci on the east side of 3rd Ave, north of Pine. Photo by Rebecca Johnson.

Freely accessible, public art humanizes our built environment, defines our space, elevates our communities, illustrates our history, and creates a sense of ownership and belonging. During the past two years, we have also seen how public art builds community and combats feelings of anxiety and social isolation. 

The three artists selected for the installations are graduates of ARTS’ Public Art Boot Camp

Public Art Boot Camp is a professional development and mentorship program for visual artists who are interested in the public art realm but have never done work in the field before. The upcoming 2022-23 Public Art Boot Camp will be a cohort model of 12 artists that will be paired with a staff mentor and participate in monthly lectures, workshops and meetings on a variety of topics throughout the year. Stay tuned for more information on how to apply for the 2022-23 Public Art Boot Camp cohort in the coming weeks. 

The reimagination of the Real-Time Information Sign kiosks is a temporary public art project funded by SDOT’s 1% for Art Funds and administered by the Office of Arts & Culture.