Kite Hill re-opening at Gas Works Park – Monday, June 15, 2015; Reception at 5:30 p.m.

The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture and Seattle Parks and Recreation are celebrating the reopening of Kite Hill at Gas Works Park. On Monday, June 15 at 5:30 p.m. there will be a short ceremony honoring the architecture of Gas Works Park and the artwork Sundial 

Designed by renowned landscape architect Rich Haag, Gas Works Park is a unique reclamation of industrial land as a public park. Haag will share his experiences designing the park and will be joined by artists Chuck Greening and Kim Lazare, as they share the story of the creation, fabrication and installation of the artwork Sundial.

Kite Hill has been closed since Sept. 2, 2014 as Gas Works Park has undergone a soil cover project on the hill. The project added a layer of soil and new grass on Kite Hill in advance of an offshore sediment cleanup at the edge of Lake Union. By adding clean soil to Kite Hill the risk of recontamination of the sediments from the surface flow of storm water is minimized. Both Ecology and the federal Environmental Protection Agency are very supportive of this early action as we move towards the sediment remedy.

Gas Works Park is located at 2101 N. Northlake Way on the edge of Lake Union.

For more information please visit  Contact:   Calandra Childers, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, (206) 684-7306  or  Erika Lindsay, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, (206) 684-4337



Sonic Bloom Inspires Musical Streetlights in South Korea

Sonic Bloom

Sonic Bloom, a solar powered artwork commissioned by Seattle City Light that delights visitors to Pacific Science Center has inspired the Seoul Municipal Government in South Korea to install musical streetlights.

According to Korea Times, the planned Seoul streetlights “will include playing tunes that best match the weather of the day, and changing them based on the movement of people underneath it.” Read the full Korea Times story here.

Sonic Bloom was created by Seattle Artist Dan Corson, who has been exploring green design and new technologies and how these tools can frame and amplify the natural world and our shifting relationship to it.

The artwork consists of five giant flowers that are powered by solar panels on the tops of the blooms and the science center roof. When people walk by, the each of the flowers “sings” a different musical note. At night, the blooms light up in a variety of colors.

A grant from City Light’s voluntary Green Up program and in-kind donations paid for the Sonic Bloom installation. Green Up allows customers to invest in renewable energy and sets aside some of the money collected from participants to promote awareness.

Among the other numerous projects locally and nationally that Corson has created are “Wave Rave Cave” under the Alaskan Way viaduct for City Light, the “Rain Drum Courtyard” at the Cedar River Watershed Visitors Center in North Bend for Seattle Public Utilities and the green and black striped “Safety Spires” at the Sound Transit maintenance facility.

Historic Georgetown Steam Plant Inspires Art Exhibition

Artist Chris Crites works inside the Georgetown Steam Plant during the Duwamish Artist Residency.

Seattle City Light’s historic Georgetown Steam Plant will be part of the focus of an art exhibition from March 5 to 26 at Gallery4Culture, 101 Prefontaine Place S.

For the past two summers, a variety of artists have visited the steam plant during the Duwamish Artist Residency. During their visits, the steam plant inspired them to create paintings, photographs, collages, screen presses and other works.

“We go down to the river to explore and to learn,” residency co-organizer Fiona McGuigan said.

“The first year we spent exploring the river, being outside, navigating access places, and learning about the history of the river. We focused on educational things, doing tours, and just finding places you can access the river. Whereas the steam plant was a whole different experience, it was such an amazing part of our residency,” she said.

“Walking into the place, it took our breath away, the artistry in the machinery, every piece of pipe that was wrapped individually, each one of the valves knobs is different, all the imperfections,” McGuigan said. “You can feel the hand-made, artifacts of working. It’s a different kind of history that you can feel in the steam plant. Everything has a history, and the steam plant remembers who worked there.”

Fiona McGuigan created this stencil based on machinery at the Georgetown Steam Plant.

 Artist Jessica Dodge even produced a short film, “Ghost in the Machine.”

“Last summer, when I was creating the images for this show over the many hours we spent in the cavernous, industrial space of the Georgetown Steam Plant, I was struck by a lingering presence of the men who had built that brilliant grid of pipe, stoked the furnaces, and kept the steam flowing through those enormous generators to produce power for the homes and businesses of the region,” Dodge said. “My intention with this film is to conjure for the viewer the persistent human element I’d felt while working in that environment.”

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the filming of “Ghost in the Machine” here: clip-ghost in the machine

Gauges and knobs at the steam plant inspired artist Chris Crites to create these prints.

The steam plant, a National and City of Seattle Historic Landmark, stands today as a reminder of the era of electrification of America’s cities and a time when industry was first attracted to Seattle by its inexpensive hydroelectric power and electric trolley car system. Built in 1906-1907 by the Seattle Electric Company on 18 acres of land along the Duwamish River, the plant was once at the center of the bustling residential and industrial activity in the rapidly growing Georgetown neighborhood of Seattle.

In 1951, the City of Seattle Department of Lighting – today’s Seattle City Light – purchased the plant and operated it on a limited basis until the 1970s.

Linda Davidson focused on the details of the Georgetown Steam plant in this photo.

“The Georgetown Steam Plant is an incredibly intact industrial site and we are delighted to have shared it with the artists in the Duwamish Residency,” said Seattle City Light’s Jennifer Meisner, who coordinates programming at the steam plant. “It’s thrilling to hear from the artists how their time in the space inspired their work and to see the rich and varied ways they re-interpreted it.”

Modern operations for City Light continue nearby at the Duwamish Substation. Built in 1955, the substation accepts 230,000 volt electricity from transmission lines and provides 26,000 volt electricity into the distribution system that delivers electricity to our customers’ homes and businesses.

If you would like to visit the Georgetown Steam Plant, it is open to the public on the second Saturday of every month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free guided tours are offered at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

For more information about the steam plant, visit


Waterfront call for artist series presents Stephen Vitiello

Stephen Vitiello has been commissioned for an integrated, sound-based artwork on the Elliott Bay waterfront.

Working with the sound-filled setting of the Seattle Waterfront, Vitiello will use sound as a major component in a new work that will expand visitors’ experience.

“The Seattle waterfront is beautiful and ever-changing—misty, then sunny, then rainy. It inspired the idea of a piece that would be environmentally played, that would change with the weather and tides,” says Vitiello.

Born in New York City, Vitiello lives and works in Richmond, Virginia, where he is Associate Professor in the department of Kinetic Imaging at Virginia Commonwealth University. He began his career as a punk guitarist and composer, and moved into sound as an artistic medium around 1990. In 1999 he was artist-in-residence in the World Trade Center, resulting in a widely presented field-recorded installation. Recent solo exhibitions include All Those Vanished Engines, MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA (2011-2016) and A Bell For Every Minute, The High Line, NYC (2010-2011). Vitiello’s work was featured in the 2013 MoMA exhibition Soundings, the first major US museum survey of sound art. Working with the sound-filled setting of the Seattle waterfront, Vitiello will use sound as a major component in a new work that will expand visitors’ experience of the place.

Artist Cedric Bomford selected for Waterfront Seattle commission

The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture is pleased to announce the selection of Cedric Bomford for a major commission as part of Waterfront Seattle. A Canadian artist working in photography and installation, Bomford is currently based in Winnipeg, where he is an assistant professor in the University of Manitoba School of Art. This project is Bomford’s first in the U.S.

Building on a conference on “Art, Design and Play” organized by Waterfront Seattle and the Office of Arts & Culture last March, the call’s focus was to bring an artist into the process of designing play areas or equipment for Waterfront Seattle. Bomford will join a team of architects, planners and city designers to create the project over the next several years.

Waterfront Seattle is the large-scale project to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct with 26 acres of new public space, streets, parks, and buildings. Arts and culture will play a central role on the Waterfront, through permanent commissions, live arts and entertainment, and the creation of new cultural spaces for artistic production and presentation. Responding to the history of the site, its ecology, economy, and communities, the art program will help to create a sense of place on the renewed waterfront that will act as an invitation to residents and visitors alike.

As outlined in the Working Plan for Art on the Central Seattle Waterfront, commissions and ongoing cultural programming are part of the construction process for the waterfront. Major commissions, such as this one, will engage residents and visitors and make the Waterfront an active cultural center for the city. The art plan advocates for “cultural connections between the city and the rest of the world.” The pier site for this commission links to Seattle’s history as a port, and to connections between the local and the global on the waterfront.

About Cedric Bomford

Born in 1975, Cedric Bomford lives and works in Winnipeg, where he is assistant professor in the University of Manitoba School of Art. He holds a BFA from Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, Vancouver, and an MFA from the Malmö Art Academy, Sweden. His work has been exhibited across Canada and internationally.

Photo caption: Cedric Bomford, Das Amt, 2001