The Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS) in partnership with Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) has commissioned local emerging artists to develop new temporary art installations for four locations in north Seattle. The project features four site locations in Wallingford, Fremont and Ballard that make use of temporary construction walls and fences as part of the Ship Canal Water Quality Project.
Beginning this summer, artwork by a variety of artists will begin to appear. Grab your bike or walking shoes and visit all four locations to see some artwork that inspires. The artworks can be viewed from sidewalks and streets near the Ship Canal, and especially from the Burke-Gilman trail.
Chaac is the Maya god of rain. This piece emulates the great carved stone masks that can be found on the pyramids in the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. The masks were made of stone carved into intricate shapes which were assembled together to form the powerful visage of the god. Chaac had both human and animal characteristics, showing the interdependence of all living things and their relationship to life-giving water. It illustrates the natural cycle of the flow of water, as it originates in the clouds, where Chaac strikes his jade axe and causes thunder and rain, to where it falls on the land, is crucial. Water infrastructure will safeguard our environment for future generations.
Wallingford – N 35th St & Interlake Ave N (July 2020)
Kalee Nelson and Crystal Christopherson
Elevating awareness of Missing Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) is the key goal of this temporary installation that includes a large scale mural featuring traditional formline design of Killer Whales. Kalee Nelson is an Alaskan Native from the Tsimshian Tribe and Crystal Christopherson is Alaskan native from the Tlingit tribe.
East Ballard – NW 45th St. & 11th Ave NW Katie Miller (August 2020)
Crossing is inspired by Seattle’s maritime industry, the nearby ship canal, and our relationship to water. Crossing alludes to a journey moving through or along water and serves as a metaphor for our individual experiences, personal connections to, and reflections on water.
Fremont – NW 36th St. & Leary Way NW Minh Carrico (August 2020)
Honoring the waterway connecting Lake Union and the Puget Sound, the phrase “TATTARRATTAT” is spelled out using the International Code of Signals for water vessels moving in either direction of the canal. The repetition of the palindrome serves as a visual interpretation of the “knock, knock” emanating from a construction site for months to come.
FLOW: Art Along the Ship Canal is an annual program that will use the construction fences along the project as a backdrop to allow artists to showcase their unique voice and provide a changing gallery of experiences for those who walk, bike, drive along the Burke-Gilman Trail and throughout the area.
Artists were selected by a panel of artists, community members, and city staff. The project is commissioned with SPU 1% for Art funds.