In conjunction with the First Thursday Art Walk on June 2, ARTSPARKS 2011 launched its summer program in Occidental Square. ARTSPARKS 2011 is a FREE PROGRAM for all ages and a special collaboration between 4Culture, the Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, and Seattle Parks and Recreation.
This program brings avant garde art out of the galleries and into the public’s daily life, infusing Pioneer Square with creativity and art all summer long, as eleven works are showcased in the park from June through October. A call for proposals was issued in March, and a curatorial panel made up of arts and community professionals convened to select 10 proposals that create a dynamic public space where art and daily life entwine.
From the sky and trees above to the ground below, the ten installations, happenings, and performances delve into the history of Seattle and Pioneer Square while exploring the concept of public space. All works will bring a sense of whimsy and imagination to this downtown urban setting.
The ARTSparks program kicks off on June 2 for First Thursday with Gallery(206), a truly Seattle-specific installation by Todd Jannausch. Jannausch seeks to celebrate the community of Seattle artists by transforming a phone booth into a space for art. Every aspect of the phone booth, from the Plexiglas side panels to the pages of the phone book, is art by a local artist.
Other installations during the summer will play with our concept of park space in various ways. Sammamish artist Suzanne Tidwell adds whimsy by knitting the park’s London Plane trees a colorful coat as part of Yarn Bombing Day for June 11, in her piece, Knitted Trees.
On July 5, 6, and 7, the Millinery Artisan Guild will celebrate the many “hats” we wear in our lives as well as the cultural richness hats can offer with Dancing Hats—three nights of live music, social dancing, and hats.
Also in early July, Celeste Cooning returns to ARTSparks with her cut ornamental pieces, which will drape from trees adding shadow and beauty from above. Flock of Seagulls by LSq will do the same, finishing the summer program by creating an interactive group of seagull sculptures with pull cords. Michelle Arab is once again participating in ARTSparks with Shadowcast, a chalking of July’s shadows onto the park ground.
Pioneer Square’s pre-regrade history will be revisited with two works, as the shoreline that once lay where the park is now is recreated by Perri Lynch, beach boulders and all, while Sarah Ferreter and Jenny Kempson create ripples around the London Plane trees to recall the ocean with their piece, Lifelines.
Other works include Kletzerbalm, who will perform klezmer music, roots Yiddish folk music from Eastern Europe, for three performances in June, while Erin Shafkind will distribute Universal Artistic Licenses during July. Seattle favorites NKO will convene a happening in July, as they explore acts of God through the Salish culture.