The Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS) in partnership with Seattle City Light (City Light) has commissioned Kate Clark to be the utility’s Artist-in-Residence for approximately one year, starting in September 2021. Clark will work closely with City Light staff to learn about the utility’s operations and facilities, enabling her to create an art master plan that will guide and inform City Light’s future public art programming. This plan will be a robust, cohesive long-range vision for how City Light can leverage their 1% for art funding to connect with community members, provide support to the arts community, and reflect the mission, vision, values, and Race and Social Justice goals of City Light and the City.
Artist-in-Residence Kate Clark has extensive experience navigating and shaping one-on-one experiences, meaningful community collaborations, and the ebb and flow of city energy and resources. Clark is the creator and director of the art program Parkeology, a collection of multimedia, permanent and temporary public artworks that explore shared and sometimes hidden public stories and knowledge throughout public spaces and museums internationally. Most Parkeology projects include live programming, permanent installation, and documentary texts/videos/podcasts and Clark plans to integrate these working methods in designing the Seattle City Light Art Master Plan.
Kate Clark studied as a Parson’s Urbanisms of Inclusion fellow at Istituto Universitario di Architettura di Venezia and received an MFA in interdisciplinary public art at the University of California, San Diego. Clark has taught about the intersections between public art, public history, and urban studies with the Bauhaus Institute Weimar, San Diego State University, and Georgetown University. She has also served as a research fellow at Provisions Library for Arts and Social Change and co-founded Knowledge Commons DC — a nomadic free school that since 2011 has served over 8,000 students throughout Washington D.C. — through the Hirshhorn Museum. In addition to serving as City Light’s Artist-in-Residence, Clark is also currently developing two large-scale permanent public art commissions with the City of San Diego, the Washington State Convention Center, and 4Culture. She lives and works as an uninvited guest on the traditional territory of the Samish Indian Nation, now known as Anacortes, WA.
Seattle City Light’s mission is to provide customers with affordable, reliable, and environmentally responsible energy services. The values of customers first, environmental stewardship, equitable community connections, operational and financial excellence, and safe and engaged employees guide the utility’s work and will serve as the foundation for developing the Art Master Plan. The plan that Clark creates over the next year will outline potential public art enhancements for future City Light projects, sites, and initiatives with a cohesive vision that is inclusive of and celebrates the broad diversity of Seattle’s neighborhoods and communities.
Clark was selected by a panel of artists, community members, and City Light staff. The project is commissioned with Seattle City Light 1% for Art funds.