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Travel Articles
Seattle: Art in Transit
Art along Seattle's new light-rail line
brings the city's neighbourhoods to life
(posted on Aeroplan Arrival)
By Heather Larson

 

Inside Seattle's Tukwila International Boulevard Station, an oversized drop of water and the resulting "splash" hang above the escalators to the southbound platform. Titled "A Drop of Sustenance" and created by Portland artist Tad Savinar, this sculpture shows the role water plays in the Seattle neighbourhood of Tukwila: sustenance for every living thing, 37 inches of rainfall yearly and the rivers, lakes and streams within the city limits.

Although the ride on Seattle's new light-rail system is smooth and swift, it's the art in the stations that makes it memorable. Planning for the nine installations began in 1998. More than 30 different artists contributed to making each transit station attractive, welcoming and, most of all, relevant to the neighbourhoods the system serves.

Artist Victoria Fuller's "Global Garden Shovel" in front of the Columbia City Station reflects the ethnic makeup of the community by imprinting a compendium of the world's plants into a sculpture of a 35-foot-tall, turquoise garden spade. "In exploring the neighbourhood, I noticed that people took pride in their gardens, and I wanted to capture that feeling," Fuller says.

At the Rainier Beach Station, artist Buster Simpson created a sculpture of pears and wrecking balls morphing into one, illustrating the dynamic growth the community has experienced.

"Our hope is [that] the art will spark conversation, interpretation, joy and inquisitiveness, and that visitors will realize Seattle cares about and embraces art and culture," says artist Norie Sato, who not only contributed her own pieces but coordinated all the commissions. "It might even challenge people to think differently about the neighbourhoods served."

made in usa  heather larson parable

 

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