I had the good fortune to be one of 7 artists selected in 2016 to activate the Rainier Valley East-West Neighborhood Greenway, which is a pedestrian path that runs through a neighborhood, connecting parks at each end.
"Art Interruptions, an annual temporary art program created by the Office of Arts & Culture in partnership with the Seattle Department of Transportation, will offer ephemeral moments of surprise and reflection in the Rainer Valley East-West Neighborhood Greenway. This area includes: New Holly, Othello, Brighton, Lakewood and Seward Park. Beginning September, seven temporary installations on view in the greenway from through January 2, 2017, will inspire and enliven the route with an element of the unexpected. Art Interruptions is funded by Seattle Department of Transportation 1% for Art funds."
How did this project come about?
The City of Seattle maintains (and periodically updates) artist rosters, and when opportunities like these come around, artists can apply to the projects with specific proposals. (In business jargon, it's an 'RFP'). The proposals are reviewed by an panel of jurors comprising of citizens, artists, and city officials, and artists are selected based on the match between the proposal and the site/audience requirements.
My original proposal for this project was to traverse the neighborhood and create surprise/discovery by painting whimsical little vignettes on various surfaces (corners, sidewalks, rocks, poles, utility boxes) etc. The panel loved the idea, and I was selected as a project artist, only to discover that actual painting on public and private surfaces was a no-no (too permanent, invites graffiti, has site permission issues, etc).
The process involved:
* Identifying the most appropriate signs
* Finding a way to exactly measure the signs
* Creating designs that, as far as possible, took advantage of sign location, shape, or other attributes
* Finding a way to economically create 20+ designs
* Finding a medium on which to render the designs so they could be temporarily attached and eventually removed
* Overseeing the fabrication
* Painstakingly trimming each design to fit it's intended site (ever notice those rounded corners on street signs?)
* Finally, site installation - every one of these signs is 10 feet high!
Here are some process photos:
Many thanks to the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture and the Seattle Department of Transportation 1% for Art Funds for making this project happen.
Click below to see more details.
If you made it this far, maybe you'd like to get a copy of this special Dragon print based on one of the Mini-Mural designs...?
"Ombrophobia (Fear of Rain)"
Available in 3 different ready-to-frame sizes.