Temporary art installations coming to a park near you this summer

The Seattle Park District continues to enliven the region with more art, more events and more fun through the Arts in Parks program.

Arts in Parks is a partnership between the Office of Arts & Culture and Seattle Parks and Recreation, celebrating diversity, building community, and energizing parks while connecting with underserved communities. A feature of the program is temporary art installations in public parks throughout the city.

Beginning in June, seven artists will install temporary artwork in four parks:, Ballard Commons Park, Dr. Blanche Lavizzo Park, Delridge Playfield and Pritchard Island Beach. Check out the full Arts in Parks summer schedule of events here.

June 3 to July 20
Once Upon a Time
Artist: Yeggy Michael
Delridge Playfield
4458 Delridge Way SW, Seattle, WA 98106

This interactive temporary sculpture is made of five standard-sized doors that are connected in the shape of a pentagon. The interior is adorned with a paper collage that speaks to the story of immigrants from the community. The exterior is painted with a US flag where anyone is invited to sign, draw and express themselves using the provided color markers.

June 17 to August 12
Passing By
Artist: Kalina Chung
Delridge Playfield
4458 Delridge Way SW, Seattle, WA 98106

This sculptural installation is comprised of wooden carpentry framing and paint. Kalina Chung, a local Delridge artist, uses a mint paint color that is representative of Cottage Grove Court, an iconic housing complex in the Delridge community. The artwork reflects the effect of Seattle’s growth on its neighborhoods, and encourages conversation about gentrification and its impact on the community’s architecture.

June 20 to July 21
Danisi, Qoob Ka, Movimiento, Sirba
Artist: Devon Midori Hale and Cheryl Delostrinos
Dr. Blanche Lavizzo Park
2100 S Jackson St., Seattle, WA 98144

An installation of screen-printed flags created in collaboration with local youth of Yesler Terrace serves as a stage for dance performances in the park’s amphitheater. Smaller flags with youth self-portraits and writings stand behind audience seating.

July to August
Portraits in the Park
Artist: Michelle Lassaline

This temporary activation connects audiences to art, wildlife and neighborhood spaces. Artist Michelle Lassaline will wear her handmade animal masks while painting individual portraits for participants as an animal of their choice. These free portraits are quick, whimsical watercolors that inspire imagination in viewers of all ages.

Ballard Commons Park

August 6, Sunday, noon-4 p.m.
August 13, Sunday, noon-4 p.m.
August 20, Sunday, noon-4 p.m.

First Hill Park

July 28, Friday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Flo Ware Park

July 29, Saturday, noon-4 p.m.

July and August
Artist: Carolina Silva
Ballard Commons Park
5701 22nd Ave. NW, Seattle, WA 98107

Artist Carolina Silva will install large-scale painted wooden panels in Ballard Commons Park, inspired by fabrics and patterns gathered from the community that reference different cultures. The panels fasten together like a 3D puzzle that overlaps and unfolds in space, suggestive of the need for support amid constant change within communities.

July 7 to August 19
The People’s Throne
Artist: Ari Glass and Rome Esmaili
Pritchard Island Beach
8400 55th Ave. S, Seattle, WA 98118

This project encourages the community to embrace its unique identity and actualize their power for creating positive change. Park-goers are invited to sit in an elaborate throne, providing them with a sense of empowerment.

September 1 to October 19
Immigration Signs
Artist: Michiko Tanaka
Ballard Commons Park
5701 22nd Ave. NW, Seattle, WA 98107

Attempting to increase understanding of the immigrant experience, Seattle artist Michiko Tanaka is developing a temporary installation in Ballard Commons Park. This installation will include artist-created icons, inspired by conversations with immigrant and refugee communities, that will be printed on “yield” traffic signs and attached to existing posts in Ballard Commons Park.

Community Garden, Wetland Planned for Former Delridge Substation

Volunteers remove blackberry plants from the former Duwamish Substation property during the 2016 Duwamish Alive event.

Seattle City Light, Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association, and Seattle Parks and Recreation are transforming a former Delridge substation into community green space with a community garden, wetland, and educational programs for students and adults on growing food and environmental stewardship.

“Delridge is a dynamic and diverse neighborhood that feels the pressure of urbanization. Longfellow Creek floods and salmon die from polluted stormwater runoff. What’s more we’re in a food desert with demonstrated lack of access to fresh food,” said Willard Brown, director of housing and environmental programs for the development association. “The Delridge Wetlands and Stewardship Project is our chance to help the neighborhood and provide things that the community wants and needs.”

Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association began working with Seattle City Light in 2015 when the 20,000-square-foot parcel was deemed surplus property to create a place that would provide access to fresh food, preserve a wetland, help control seasonal flooding and improve water quality in Longfellow Creek. Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association secured grant funding to purchase the property at fair market value for $80,000 and for design and restoration of the wetland.  Seattle Parks and Recreation will own the property. Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association will manage the site.

City Light laid the groundwork for the future community greenspace by removing contaminated soils. The utility also will remove the upper portions of six hazardous, diseased cottonwood trees in the 4,000-square-foot wetlands as part of the condition of transfer to Seattle Parks and Recreation. The cottonwoods will be converted to snags for wildlife habitat.

Brown is leading the charge for the property’s transformation and is bringing together the organizations that will transform the site. Students from K-8 STEM School at Louisa Boren, located two blocks from the site, and The Nature Consortium are working in the wetlands, removing invasive weeds, planting trees and learning firsthand how to care for the earth. A partnership with City Fruit and Tilth Alliance will bring a community orchard and garden to the former substation site. The Pomegranate Center, Outdoor Classroom Design and Gaynor Inc. are onboard to develop the site plan with community input this year.


Expanded wi-fi now available at 26 Seattle Community Centers

The City of Seattle has completed upgrading public wi-fi equipment at 26 Seattle Parks and Recreation Community Centers, and it’s already helping thousands of users. The increased access points were installed as part of the City’s Digital Equity Action Plan with support from Google. The City has seen wi-fi usage more than double in the past year with this addition of more and higher quality access points. Over 16,000 devices (16,166) connected in November, up from 7441 in November, 2015. The public wi-fi spots are especially valuable for low-income families who have no internet at home or are on limited data plans, and the homeless, who rely on wi-fi as a lifeline to look for work, complete homework, access health information, or stay in touch with family.

The community center upgrade project also enhanced capacity for digital literacy programming by replacing 49 computers in Community Center technology labs that provide public access and training at Delridge, Rainier, Rainier Beach, South Park and Yesler.

These improvements help ensure digital equity and opportunity in lower income neighborhoods. The robust upgrade expanded coverage so that users can connect in lobbies as well as in meeting and activity rooms at the community centers. The wi-fi expansion has been a classic case of If you build it, they will come. User rates have skyrocketed at several of the sites.  Danisha, a parent at Rainier Beach Community Center reports: “Not only do I get to watch my kids play basketball at the gym, I can now get online for social networking and check my work email.”

“We’ve seen an increase in the number of participants that come into the center just to use the wi-fi which, in turn, leads to conversations about what’s offered at the Jefferson Community Center,” said Doreen Deaver, Recreation Coordinator at the Jefferson Community Center.  “Overall, it has been very good for interest in our programs.”

Installation of the expanded service was led by Seattle Information Technology, the Associated Recreation Council, and Seattle Parks and Recreation. The system is using Cisco Meraki devices, with internet service currently provided in most sites by Comcast and by Wave Broadband in their service area. The expanded wi-fi provides another opportunity for users to connect to Seattle.gov, use the wi-fi for civic participation, or get online to sign up for programs at the Community Centers.  For those without devices, the community centers also offer public internet kiosk computers.

Artist Elizabeth Gahan selected to create public artwork for new Lake City Park

The Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS), in partnership with Seattle Parks and Recreation, has selected Seattle artist Elizabeth Gahan to create a permanent, site-specific artwork for a new park in Seattle’s Lake City Neighborhood.

The new neighborhood park located at 12510 33rd Ave NE, previously housed an office building that was purchased in 2010 as part of the Green Spaces Levy, and demolished early 2016. The park will serve Lake City’s growing population with much needed green space and provide a safe place to play, exercise and enjoy. Seattle Parks and Recreation has worked over the past year to gather community input into the overall design of this ¼ acre park.

Gahan will work closely with the design team to integrate artistic elements within the new park. Her artwork will consider the park location and conversations with the Lake City community will inform her work to create an interactive space that engages diverse audiences. Community conversations and design work will occur in early 2017, with the construction scheduled to start in late 2017/early 2018. “Elizabeth’s work will bring a positive energy to this area,” said community representative Cheryl Klinker. “This new park will offer a variety of activities to Lake City, and we think the color and style of her work will be an excellent fit to the neighborhood.”

Gahan is a Seattle-based artist. She received a dual undergraduate degree in Global Studies and Fine Art from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Master’s degree in Fine Art from Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, CA with an emphasis in painting. Her current artwork considers relationships between natural and built environments as well as local community and global connectivity. Having completed numerous temporary commissions including Seattle Center’s Poetry Art Garden Series in 2016, Gahan has also recently been awarded commissions for new permanent artwork for the City of Spokane as well as a Washington State Arts Commission project at Washington Elementary School in Wenatchee, WA.

The artwork is being funded through Seattle Parks and Recreation.

Photo: ELIZABETH GAHAN, Urban Flora, 2014. 20′ x 4′ x 4′, Corrugated plastic ads, spray paint & wire

Description: Colorful corrugated plastic is manipulated to take on an organic form existing symbiotically with the host tree. Yet, the use of synthetic materials and ads points to a broader conversation of the impact of urban growth and consumer culture on the natural environment. 


Art in the Parks and other Seattle Park District Funding

Apply now for Seattle Park District funded programs for community activities in 2017

Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) is now accepting applications for three Seattle Park District-funded programs for community activities in 2017.

Arts in Parks

– This program funds outdoor arts and cultural events in parks throughout the city.

– Funded projects include new and established festivals, events, and temporary public art that bring life to Seattle’s parks, especially in underserved areas of the city.

– Individual artists, neighborhood arts councils, and local community-based groups are eligible to apply.

– Applications are available online at www.seattle.gov/arts/arts-in-parks, in multiple languages. Applications are due by October 19, 2016 at 11 p.m.

– For more information, please call Jenny Crooks at 206-684-7084 or email her at jenny.crooks@seattle.gov.

Get Moving/Recreation for All

– These programs fund culturally relevant physical and enrichment programming to under resourced communities and in neighborhoods where health and enrichment disparities are prevalent.

– The goal of the community funding is to further strengthen the collaborative working relationship between SPR and Seattle communities through innovative and sustainable programs.

– Nonprofit organizations, small businesses, and community groups are eligible to apply.

– Applications are available online at http://www.seattle.gov/parks/about-us/special-initiatives-and-programs/get-moving in multiple languages. Applications are due by October 24, 2016 at 5 p.m.

– For more information, please contact Lakema Bell and Jeron Gates at SPRfunds4all@seattle.gov

Learn what makes a strong application by attending a workshop. This interactive question-and-answer session will cover specifics on eligibility and how to apply. We can make interpreters available with 72 hours advance notice. First time applicants are encouraged to attend.

October 1, 2016, 5-6:30 p.m.
Van Asselt Community Center, 2820 S Myrtle St.

October 4, 2016, 5:30-7 p.m.
Douglass-Truth Library, 2300 E Yesler Way

October 11, 2016, 6:30-8 p.m.
Southwest Teen Life Center, 2801 SW Thistle St.