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Seattle Center Art Activations: Summer 2022

In August, four new artists created unique temporary art installations at Seattle Center. The Seattle Center Art Activations provide visitors new opportunities to view and interact with the Seattle Center campus. Artworks range from sculptural and conceptual, to comical and surprising with an element of grandeur.  The 2022 Seattle Center Art Activations features artists Micah McCarty, May Kytonen, Matthew Dockery, and Nikita Ares.  

Seattle Center Art Activations is part of a slate of art installations and events this summer. A diverse mix of local artists, genres, and themes will make the summer of 2022 one filled with arts experiences for everyone. This year’s slate of art and artists explore themes of nature, conservancy, history, connections, resilience, and responsibility through both permanent commissions and temporary public artworks that are ephemeral, experiential, and experimental allowing artists to explore current issues. Seattle Center temporary art installations offer ephemeral moments of surprise and reflection and is funded by Seattle Center 1% for art funds. Funds are administered by the Office of Arts & Culture.   

Sojourners Shelter in Time Canoe by Micah Lawton Hawt’wilth’iayatuk McCarty (Makah Hereditary Custodian, Master Artist, former Tribal Chairman)  
Lenny Wilkens Way & 2nd Ave N

Sojourners Shelter in Time Canoe tells the story of Coastal Peoples traveling traditional water trails with canoes turned upside down to shelter sojourners while far from home. The project represents generations of Makah Coastal family history embedded in the Salish Sea areas. Micah was raised with elder memories of the Todd shipyards, and the Kalakala, among other stories of Elliott Bay and Seattle. This heritage history has influenced many of his continued artistic presence endeavors in Seattle and creative career.  

Path of the Sky Dragon by May Kytonen   
Monorail Walkway

Inspired by the concept of the celestial dragon in Chinese mythology, or Tianlong (天龍), this installation is an abstract interpretation of the dragon’s winding form, watching over and protecting a high-traffic area. The body of the “dragon” is made up of hundreds of strips of recycled fabric that were collected locally and is a representation of the life of the city and each individual who was once clothed in this material. As Long (龍) are traditionally considered to be benevolent and wise in Chinese tradition, this Sky Dragon hovers over the pedestrian pathway to watch over visitors to the Seattle Center.  

To Catch the World by Matthew Dockery  
Fisher Pavilion (West Side)  

To Catch the World by Matthew Dockery; Photo by Ricky Reyes

To Catch the World explores the delicate balance between the determinate and the indeterminate. The inspiration is a “Penrose tiling,” a process for combining certain sets of shapes in a way that leaves no gaps between them. The pattern can be extended forever, and while there are similarities between different areas, it never actually repeats itself.  

Skating in the Sky by Nikita Ares  
Seattle Center Skate Plaza

Skating in the Sky by Nikita Ares; Photo by Ricky Reyes

For this project, Nikita brought together the colors and energy of Seattle Center to demonstrate the fleeting movement from the changes we have seen in this area throughout the years. Nikita’s artwork involves movement and gestures that call the viewer’s attention through loud colors and invite them to get in touch with their senses and be invigorated with fresh new energy. The intention of the artwork is to remind the viewer that even in their everyday lives, the world around us is filled with vibrancy and brightness. The mural design is made of colors that are synced together to create a harmonious rhythm inside the world it will have of its own.