Artist Sam Trout selected for Seattle’s Shoreline Street Ends public artwork

Artist Sam Trout has been selected by a panel to create public artworks for the Seattle Department of Transportation’s Shoreline Street Ends program. The program aims to improve Seattle’s shoreline street ends for public access and ecological enhancement. Trout will design art interventions at three to nine sites on Lake Union, Lake Washington, the Duwamish River, Elliott Bay and Puget Sound. Art will be used as a tool for enhancing site identity, creating playful amenities, and to improve the legibility of these sites as public spaces.

Sam Trout is beginning conceptual design to propose functional elements, such as bike racks or benches, in addition to small stand-alone artworks. Trout will also be responsible for a graphic rebrand for Shoreline Street Ends, along with signs for the initial sites. He is interested in showcasing the unusual character of different shorelines and using public art as a tool for way finding.

Sam Trout was raised in Anchorage, Alaska and moved to Seattle in September 2000 to start his art career. He is a designer and illustrator, and co-curated a monthly crafter fair called I Heart Rummage from 2001-03. Additionally, Trout has created a number of artworks on commission and through public art grants. He has previously partnered with the Office of Arts & Culture on ArtSparks and Art Interruptions projects, and was commissioned for a 20- foot mural on Broadway on the Link Light-rail construction fence panel.

Photo credit: Sam Trout, “Welcome…See you later”, 2013. Photo by Juan Hernandez.


Dive in to “My Swimming Pool” in the Seattle Presents Gallery

Juan Alonso-Rodriguez is filling the Seattle Presents Gallery with swimming pools from January 19 to March 20, and he needs your help! His project, “My Swimming Pool”, will incorporate ideas from people about their dream swimming pools, and how their swimming pool ideas might be reimagined through his painting process.

He writes, “I want to know what your ideal swimming pool would look like. Shape, size, color, setting or any other abstract idea you may want to put into it.”

To submit your dream pools to Juan, you can sketch, scan or email ideas to, with the subject line POOLWORKS. With your submission, please include a statement with your consent for Juan to use your submission either with your name, or anonymously.

You can visit Juan Alonso-Rodriguez at the Seattle Presents Gallery to discuss your ideal pool, on Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. from January 20 to March 16. The submission of ideas will be ongoing throughout the residency.

Seattle Presents brings the city’s cultural vibrancy to the Downtown core. Here the city will present a variety of immersive installations, curated exhibitions pulled from the City’s Portable Works Collection, resident artists, and original artworks.

Painting by Juan Alonso-Rodriguez.


Fire Station 20 Open House (+ meet the artist!)

On January 31, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the brand new Fire Station 20 will host an open house, inviting the community inside for tours and to meet the firefighters. The new station is located at 2800 15th Avenue West, in the Interbay neighborhood of Seattle.

There will also be an opportunity to meet Rob Ley, the artist of the new public art piece at the site, Wind and Water. Ley will be at a table inside the station between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to discuss his process creating the piece, including working with the firefighters at the station, and other inspirations.  Ley will also have images on hand to show the work in progress, shipping and install and give a sense of the process. We invite the public to meet the artist and find out more about the fire station’s artwork Wind and Water.

Ley installed Wind and Water at Fire Station 20 in December. The artwork is created with more than 100 one-inch stainless steel tubes, stands over 14 feet tall, and can bring to mind the flow of water, or the movement of the wind. The sculpture engages passing pedestrians, and frames the entrance to the building. The fire station also includes state-of-the-art sustainability upgrades and increased space for more fire engines.

The Office of Arts & Culture commissioned Wind and Water with Department of Finance and Administrative Services Fire Facilities and Emergency Management Levy 1% for Art funds. Photos courtesy City of Seattle.

The Incredible Intensity of Being Human at City Hall events

Event Dates:

January 9, 2015, Friday, 4-6 p.m. Opening Reception 

We will be serving artisan toast and coconut water. Ezra Dickinson will be performance. Featured Speakers: Representative Tina Orwall, Representative Brady Walkinshaw, Office of Arts and Culture Director Randy Engstrom, Department of Neighborhoods Director Bernie Agor Matsumo, invited speaker former King County Executive Randy Revelle, and more special guests.

January 13, 2015, Tuesday, 12-1 p.m. Double Trouble: Dual Diagnosis of Psychosis and Addiction

Exhibiting artist June Sekiguchi and mental health professional Eli Hastings, MFA, MA co-lead an exhibit tour and talk about the dual diagnosis of Psychosis and Addiction.

Eli Hastings is a father, counselor, author and Seattleite. He rolls with a crazy 4 year old named Pax, an ancient Golden named Kaya and is married to a doctor much smarter than him.  He has published two nonfiction books and many smaller pieces and is now Assistant Director at Pongo Teen Writing and serves clients through Changing Stories Counseling.

January 14, 2015, Wednesday, 2 p.m. Poetry reading during City Council meeting

Poetry Curator Ann Teplick will read a poem to open Seattle City Council’s meeting during Nick Licata’s Words’ Worth program

January 23, 2015, Friday, 12-1 p.m. Acts of Recognition

 Exhibiting artist Ezra Dickinson and Dr. Doane M. Rising, M.D. co-lead a tour of the exhibit

Dr. Doane Rising started her career in the arts then completed training to become a psychiatrist/psychoanalyst.  Worked in community psychiatry and is now in private practice. Has several family members with major psychiatric disorders which, like so many of us, set her on this particular path in life.

Ezra Dickinson is a multi-disciplinary artist who began dancing at the age of four and trained at Pacific Northwest Ballet for twelve years on full scholarship. Ezra regularly practices and is commissioned in performance and choreography, ceramics, visual art, murals and film.

January 30, 2015, Friday, 12-1 p.m. Crooked thoughts

Exhibiting artist Holly Ballard Martz and mental health professional Gillian Vik co-lead a tour of the exhibit.

Gillian Vik, MA, LMHC is a psychotherapist in private practice on Capitol Hill where she treats individuals suffering from depression, anxiety, panic attacks, nightmares, trauma, grief and loss, post divorce issues, insomnia, and other life transitions. She currently volunteers for the Clinic Without Walls and the CG Jung Society. She is a Seattle native.

February 2, 2015, Monday 10 am-1 p.m. Free haircuts at Orion Center

 Cuts for Compassion Coven Salon sponsors haircuts to those in need at YouthCare‘s facility the Orion Center.

February 5, 2015, Thursday 12-1 p.m. Poetry Reading

Poetry Curator Ann Teplick hosts a poetry reading of six local poets who will read poetry they’ve written that reflects their personal mental health challenges; their navigating the challenges of those whom they love; and their experience writing with others who struggle to stay afloat. Lobby, Seattle City Hall

February 5, 2015, Thursday 1-3 p.m. VOICES UP! Writing our Grit and Silk

Poetry Curator and Poet Ann Teplick hosts a poetry workshop following a reading; Room 370 on the 3rd floor of Seattle City Hall

February 10, 2015, Tuesday 12-1 p.m. Youth in crisis: from homeless to home, finding a way out. 

Exhibiting artist Valaree Cox and a representative from YouthCare co-leads a tour of this exhibit.

For 40 years, YouthCare has been a leader in providing effective services to Seattle’s homeless youth. YouthCare builds confidence and self-sufficiency for homeless youth by providing a continuum of care that includes prevention, outreach, basic services, emergency shelter, housing, counseling, education, and employment training.

February 13, 2015, Friday 12-1 p.m. Poetry Reading

Poetry Curator Ann Teplick hosts a poetry reading by five local poets will read and talk about the work of well-known poets, no longer with us, who were afflicted with mental illness, such as Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Theodore Roethke, and more.

February 18, 2015, Wednesday, 4-6 p.m. Panel discussion: de-stigmatizing mental illness

Moderated by Sandi Ando, Esq. Speakers: Joe Guppy, Ann McGettigan, Rev. Craig Rennebohm, Katema Ross, Dr. Charles Huffine.

 Exhibiting artist Ezra Dickinson performs

February 19, 2015, Thursday, 12-1 p.m. Compassionate companionship: from isolation to connection

Curator, Painter and Social Practice Artist Kate Vrijmoet & Mental Health Advocate Judy Lightfoot co-lead an exhibit tour and talk about companioning.

Judy Lightfoot writes for Crosscut about how the region’s people face challenges in a time of economic stress and diminished expectations. She often draws on her weekly one-on-one coffees with individuals sharing our public spaces who are socially isolated by homelessness or mental illness. Formerly a teacher and professor, she also writes about books, education, and the arts.

February 20, 2015, Friday, 12-1 p.m. Forget Me Knot: Anxiety disorders and caretaker care

Exhibitning Artist Holly Ballard Martz & Tanya Ruckstuhl-Valenti LICSW, MSW co-lead an exhibit tour.

Tanya Ruckstuhl LICSW is a clinical social worker in private practice in the Seattle area. She specializes in anxiety disorders including PTSD, runs a monthly social skills group for adults with social anxiety disorder, and also works with adult attention deficit disorder. Tanya works with individuals, couples and families.

February 24, 2015, Tuesday, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Linea and Cinda Johnson speak

Linea & Cinda Johnson, authors Perfect Chaos, A Daughter’s Struggle to Survive Bipolar and a Mother’s Journey to Save Her, speak at the Seattle Public Library Microsoft Auditorium

February 27, 2015, Friday, 12-1 p.m. Dissociative Identity Disorder Demystified.

Exhibiting Artist Lynn Schirmer & Brian Moss, MFTco-lead an exhibit tour about Dissociative Disorder.

Brian Moss, MA, LMFT is a Clinical Fellow and Approved Supervisor of the American Association of Marriage & Family Therapy. Based in Seattle, he consults internationally—working in partnership with clients and their therapists regarding the seldom-discussed aspects of Dissociative Identity Disorder.


Artwork credits:

June Sekiguchi “Silk Road Prayer Wheel”. Photo courtesy of the artist
Ezra Dickinson “Mother for you I made this“. Photo credit: Linas Phillips
Kate Vrijmoet “Wherever you are is called here”. Photo credit: Cameron Nagashima
Holly Ballard Martz“Catch me when I fall“. Photo credit: Cameron Nagashima

Welcoming Erika Lindsay to the Office of Arts & Culture

We’re pleased to welcome our new public relations specialist, Erika Lindsay, to the office!

Prior to joining the communications team, Erika worked as a media and community relations professional at arts groups for more than 12 years including the Smithsonian, Seattle Art Museum and the Frye Art Museum. Originally hailing from the sultry suburbs of Washington, D.C. Erika graduated from St. Mary’s College of Maryland with a B.A. in English. She is happiest in the Pacific Northwest working in the arts and enjoying the liquid sunshine with her family.

Please help us welcome her to the Office of Arts & Culture!