Welcome, Jenny Ku, our new event coordinator

Jenny Ku is the newest member of the Community Development and Outreach team. As the event coordinator, she will coordinate events such as summer concerts, public art dedications, and the Mayor’s Arts Awards.

Originally from Taipei, Taiwan, she moved to Seattle in June of 2002 and has been an active member of our vibrant arts community ever since. Prior to joining the Community Development and Outreach team, Jenny served as the Director of Arts and Culture and Programming Coordinator for BurlyCon.

She is also the cabaret curator and coordinator for The Wing Luke Asian Museum and artistic director for numerous theatrical productions. Additionally, Jenny is a practicing visual and performance artist herself, and is thrilled to support the arts in this new capacity.







Jen Dixon selected to create artwork for Westlake Cycle Track

Artist: Jen Dixon

The Office of Arts & Culture in partnership with Seattle Department of Transportation has selected Seattle artist Jen Dixon to create a permanent, site-specific artwork along the Westlake Cycle Track route.

The Westlake Cycle Track Project will build a protected bicycle lane in the Westlake corridor and provide a direct connection between the Fremont Bridge and downtown Seattle/South Lake Union. The artwork Dixon has been commissioned to create is intended to address the functional aspects of the cycle track by including elements that may contribute to way-finding, lighting, or otherwise making the space more legible for cyclists and pedestrians.  Construction on the track will begin in late 2015.

Dixon was invited from a pre-selected roster of artists to apply for the commission. She is a cross-disciplinary artist whose work has been exhibited locally and nationally. Her art discipline includes small intimate objects, drawings, prints, and books and larger public artworks that reflect the communities they are call home.

Her process is close to that of an archaeologist ­–– uncovering and discovering hidden layers and piecing together a narrative from the remains. In addition, she is committed to projects that allow art to be made accessible to the public in ways that are both subtle and unexpected.

Dixon received an MFA in Sculpture from the University of Washington, a BFA in painting and drawing from Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and studied painting and drawing at the Leo Marchutz School in Aix-en-Provence, France. She has received a number of awards including Seattle Art Museum’s Betty Bowen Memorial Special Recognition Award in 1999.

Photo credit: Jennifer Dixon, FlipBooks, 2008. LOCATION; Interurban Trail, Between North 110th Street and North 128th Street at Linden Avenue North. FUNDING SOURCE; Seattle Department of Transportation’s 1% for Art Funds. Jim Tillman Photography


Police Precinct Art Tour


Seattle Police Precincts art tour

This month on our city art tour we will visit all of the Police precincts and headquarters. Whether you are there for work, fun or other reasons, the city’s police precincts serve as an in important hub in our community and the art work commissioned for the buildings reflect the police officer’s commitment and neighborhoods they serve.

For the uninitiated there are five police precincts in the city in addition to the downtown headquarters and each has its own unique character. The precincts cover anywhere between seven and 24 neighborhoods and each one has its own captain.

Seattle Justice Center, Seattle Police Department Headquarters, Lobby Artist Design Team

Codes & Protocols, 2002
610 Fifth Avenue
Seattle, WA 98124
Fleets and Facilities Department 1% for Art

Photo credit: Tom Colicott

Description: Seattle’s Justice Center is home to the city’s Municipal Court and Seattle Police Department Headquarters. The major artwork for the Justice Center was developed collaboratively by the team of Pam Beyette, lead artist, and Michael Davis, Norie Sato and Richard Turner. Early in the design process the artists agreed the artwork would engage community members in thoughts about the nature of the justice system and the roles of the police and the courts in their lives. A primary metaphor that developed was the “ripple effect” of an individual’s actions on society at large. A single act against the law affects not only the perpetrator and victim, but also families and friends of these people, sometimes unintended strangers and ultimately the judicial system.

Codes & Protocols is a series of installations located on the north and south walls of the police headquarters lobby. Two stone benches at either end of the lobby convey a sense of permanence, weight and stability. At one end, a cast police hat and keys represent service. The basket weave of police belts and holsters inspired the bronze sculptural panels. Together, the bronze and stone elements speak to the everyday reliability that citizens expect from the police.

North Police Precinct Neighborhoods Served: Aurora, Ballard, Bitter Lake, Broadview, Carkeek, Crown Hill, Fremont, Green Lake, Greenwood, Lake City, Laurelhurst, Licton Springs, Loyal Heights, Maple Leaf, Northgate, Phinney Ridge, Ravenna Bryant, Roosevelt, Sand Point, Sunset Hill, University District, View Ridge, Wallingford, Wedgwood
Paul Marioni
Khadi, 1984
10049 College Way N.
Seattle, WA 98133
Seattle Police Precincts Bond Issue 1% for Art funds

Detail image courtesy Office of Arts & Culture

Description: Khadi is comprised of nearly 500 iridescent glass blocks that form a larger-than-life interwoven pattern on a curving wall that separates the North Police Precinct’s lobby from its community meeting room. Artist Paul Marioni designed the wall with assistance from precinct architect Shavey, Degrasse, Shavey. The wall represents the weaving exercise called khadi that Mahatma Gandhi, the Indian political and spiritual leader, practiced as a form of meditation. The calming repetition of the warp and weft of cloth is elegantly reproduced by the identical glass blocks that Marioni rotated 90 degrees at a time in order to replicate the distinctive pattern. His work creates a soothing pattern that carefully unites qualities of light, color and texture in an interesting interplay that engages the eye and distracts the mind from the pressures of the moment.

East Police Precinct, Lobby Neighborhoods Served: Capitol Hill, Central Area, First Hill, Judkins Park, Madison Park, Montlake, upper Pike/Pine neighborhood
Diane Katsiaficas
Neighbors, 1986
1519 12th Ave. E.
Seattle, WA 98102
Seattle Police Precincts Bond Issue 1% for Art funds

Courtesy Office of Arts & Culture

Description: Ceramic artist Diane Katsiaficas designed the artwork for the East Police Precinct Lobby creating a mixed-media environment referencing the diverse Capitol Hill neighborhood where the station is located. Textured wall and floor mosaics composed of hundreds of glazed ceramic “people” fill a free-form design that cuts through the basic grid pattern of the precinct’s tile floor. Framing the large front window are two walls on which mosaics of figures have been arranged — in a ray-like pattern on the south wall, and along the basic outline of a house on the north wall. Below the window runs a curved bench backed by colorfully edged wood cutouts of nearby buildings and houses, forming a Capitol Hill skyline. A set of stairs near the wall references a front stoop and adds to the sense of community the space evokes.

Katsiaficas invited fellow ceramic artists Margi Beyer and Maggie Smith to partner on the project. The team also worked in partnership with local students from University Heights Elementary School and Sharples Alternative High School who helped create the myriad of ceramic figures. This spirit of collaboration works well with the themes of cooperation and relationship-building inherent in the piece, qualities that remind visitors of the important function the local police play in their neighborhood on a daily basis.

South Police Precinct, Lobby Neighborhoods served: Beacon Hill, Mount Baker, Columbia City Hillman City, Genesee, Georgetown, Rainier Vista, Lockmore, New Holly, Othello Park, Othello Station, Brighton, Dunlap, Rainier Beach, Upper Rainier Beach, Rainier View, Seward Park, SODO, Pritchard Beach
Liza Halvorsen
Salmon, 1983
3001 S. Myrtle St.
Seattle, WA 98108
Seattle Police Precincts Bond Issue 1% for Art funds

Courtesy Office of Arts & Culture

Description: Multitudes of ceramic salmon, glistening in subtly iridescent shades of pink, green and brown, swim and leap throughout the South Police Precinct lobby. Artist Liza Halvorsen used 12 different molds and approximately 350 tiles to create this collection of fish shown in various stages of their life cycle. To make the tiles, Halvorsen employed the time-intensive raku firing process that gives the tiles their distinctive colors and crackled surfaces.

A 225-square-foot mural is the centerpiece of the work. Spanning the length of the wall over the reception desk, the mural depicts salmon swimming through ceramic tile water past stylized island forms, a vista reminiscent of the San Juan Islands where Halvorsen makes her home. Other salmon appear throughout the station, populating the walls at the front of the reception desk and the bathrooms. The mural also includes several whimsical touches including a whole group of salmon that leap over a water fountain set into the lobby wall. A hardier variety of brick salmon inhabit the exterior of the building as well, lining the entryway and stairs.

Swimming salmon create a soothing atmosphere for the police station lobby, a space generally characterized by the comings and goings of busy officers and harried visitors. For Halvorsen, who spent time observing salmon at the Ballard Locks, watching them swim by was “calming,” an effect she thought “would work for other people, to see them swimming by and see how beautiful they are.”

Southwest Police Precinct Neighborhoods Served: Admiral, Alki, Arbor Heights, Beach Drive, California Junction, Delridge, Morgan Junction, Gatewood, Endolyne, Fauntleroy, Pigeon Point, High Point, Harbor Island, Delridge, Westwood Village, South Park.

Kay Kirkpatrick Streambed Memories, 2003; Sanctuary Grove, 2003; Dream Forest, 2003; Waterprints, 2003
2300 S.W. Webster
Seattle, WA 98106
Fleets and Facilities Department 1% for Art

Courtesy Office of Arts & Culture

Description: The Southwest Precinct is home to multiple installations by Kay Kirkpatrick; from the entrance to the interior walls, artwork is embedded throughout the building. Streambed Memories, a vertical wall, serves as a signpost for the building and memory marker for officers lost in the line of duty. The scattered leaves derive from the officers’ existing tree memorializing a fallen comrade at their old precinct.

Courtesy Office of Arts & Culture

Sanctuary Grove, a wall-mounted sculpture of stripped ash branches, forms a shelter-like opening and represents the building as a sanctuary for police, as well as citizens seeking aid.

Courtesy Office of Arts & Culture

Dream Forest features the image of a forest cast onto the east exterior wall of the facility using projected light. As if in a dream, the forest appears and disappears with the time of day.

Courtesy Office of Arts & Culture

Waterprints, comprised of etchings in the windows, casts changing patterns on walls. The etchings appear to glow when seen from the outside. Text embedded in the etched pattern and translated into several languages spoken in the Delridge neighborhood, reinforces the police department’s mission to the public.


West Police Precinct Neighborhoods Served: Downtown Business District, Waterfront, International District, Pioneer Square, Belltown, Queen Anne, West Edge, SoDo, Westlake, Eastlake, Seattle Center, Denny Triangle, Magnolia, South Lake Union
Elizabeth Conner and Design Team (Benson Shaw, David Lilienthanl and Steve Marks)
24-Hour Street Grid, 1999; Plaza Seat Cubes, 1999; Lockers (lobby), 1999; Lockers (hallway), 1999; 911 “History Wall”, 1999; 911 Benches, 1999
810 Virginia St.
Seattle, WA 98101
Department of Finance and Administrative Services 1% for Art Funds

Courtesy Office of Arts & Culture

Description: 24-Hour Street Grid, suspended above the front lobby, is a glowing fiber-optic grid structure that symbolizes the network of urban streets patrolled by West Precinct officers. The cables slowly change color over time as a reminder of the force’s around-the-clock watch.

Courtesy Office of Arts & Culture

Plaza Seat Cubes.  A pattern of 2′ x 2′ squares enhances the plaza and stairs in front of the precinct. Cast concrete cubes placed across the pattern bear marks and geometrical indentations that mimic urban motifs such as hatchcovers and footprints commonly seen by offices on foot patrol.

Detail, courtesy Office of Arts & Culture

Lockers (lobby), two free standing Plexiglas lockers act as silent sentries on either side of the lobby door. A light illuminates the contents of each locker revealing artifacts contributed by officers and the Seattle Police Department archive. Acting as a compact police museum, the old-style locker cases display public safety relics made accessible to current officers and the general public.

Courtesy Office of Arts & Culture

Lockers (hallway), 27 “lockers” depicted on several colors of plastic laminate continue, with slight alteration, the standard wainscot treatment that is found throughout the West Precinct halls. This long row of lockers also alludes to officers lined up in traditional watch photographs. Four of the lockers are open, displaying police artifacts contributed by officers and borrowed from the Seattle Police Department.

Courtesy Office of Arts & Culture

911 “History Wall”, a transparent wall, viewable from both sides, contains miles of recycled cables, photographs and artifacts that reflect the recent history of “911” and the call-takers, dispatchers and other staff members that help run this service. End-lit fiber optic cables deliver pulses of light that represent the rapidly changing communications technology that drives the “911” system.

Courtesy Office of Arts & Culture

911 Benches, constructed out of cherry wood and steel, these benches provide sleek but utilitarian seating for visitors. Their uniform appearance, each a variation on the same geometrical theme, works to tie each element of the facility together.

Public Art Boot Camp Training

This spring the Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS) is offering an intensive two-day basic training overview on how to work successfully in the area of commissioned public artwork. Invested in cultivating and training the next generation of public artists, ARTS has created a free training to prepare artists who are ready to translate their exhibition experience to the public realm.

Public Art Boot Camp is open to artists living in Washington state who have not received a temporary or permanent public art commission (an artwork that is created by an artist at the request of an entity: public agency, corporation or individual). Up to 30 artists will be selected to participate in the Public Art Boot Camp.

“Investing in artists as much as artwork is one of the missions of the Office of Arts & Culture,” says Ruri Yampolsky, Public Art Program Director. “We are dedicated to expanding opportunities and cultivating new artists who can create culturally relevant artworks that represent the diverse population of the city.”

The two-day training will help to demystify and simplify the process of creating publicly commissioned artwork.  Artists selected for the Boot Camp are required to attend both full day workshops on May 9th and May 16th from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., held at the Experience Music Project. Topics and presentations will include submitting a competitive application, the selection process, contracts, navigating design teams, public presentations, fabrication and installations and dedications. In addition, artists who are selected for and complete the two-day boot camp will be eligible to apply for an opportunity to create a temporary artwork in one of two sites later this summer at either the Seattle Center campus or the Central Area. There is an optional workshop for first time applicants on Monday, March 30, 6-8 p.m. at the Garfield Community Center – Arts & Crafts Room, 2323 East Cherry St, Seattle, Washington 98122.

Artists can apply online through April 9, 2015. For more information, contact Marcia Iwasaki at (206) 233-3946 or Elisheba Johnson at (206) 684-0182.
Image: Artist Megumi Shauna Arai, installing “A Tribute”.  Image courtesy of Bruce Clayton Tom

New Staff: Welcome Kristen Ramirez

Please join us in welcoming Kristen Ramirez, as the new Arts Program Enhancement Project Manager at the Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS) and Seattle Department of Transportation. Prior to ARTS Ramirez worked at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle in a variety of capacities including: Art Faculty, Manager of Summer & External Programs, and Manager of Academic and Community Engagement. Kristen has also taught at the University of Washington, Tacoma Museum of Glass, Pratt Fine Arts Center, Edmonds Community College, and Path with Art, a non-profit that serves adults in recovery. In addition to teaching, Kristen is an artist, whose artwork explores many media, including printmaking, drawing, painting, installation and public art. Her work is often about place, conjuring an affection for disorienting urban/suburban places by appropriating signs and symbols of commerce. Her studio practice takes her increasingly into the public realm through community-based projects and murals. Ramirez earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz, a MA in Education and California Teaching Credential from San Francisco State University, and a MFA in Printmaking from the University of Washington.


Photo credit: Dan Carrillo