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Art in Seattle's Public Spaces


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From cedar totem poles to high-tech video installations, downtown Seattle sparkles with hundreds of artworks adorning plazas, lobbies, parks, and waterfront piers and paths. This impressive collection, comprising works by artists with regional or international reputations (and often both), has expanded rapidly as Seattle’s urban core has grown.

The explosive development of South Lake Union in recent years has brought major works by Jaume Plensa, Julie Speidel, Annie Han and Daniel Mihalyo, Buster Simpson, Jenny Heishman, and more. The Seattle Art Museum’s ten-year-old Olympic Sculpture Park provides a breathtaking setting for Richard Serra’s monumental Wake and Beverly Pepper’s ever-changing Perre’s Ventaglio III, and links the downtown waterfront to Myrtle Edwards Park, which features Michael Heizer’s once-maligned and now beloved Adjacent, Against, Upon.

To tell the lively stories of those who commissioned and created these artworks, James Rupp interviewed and corresponded with more than ninety artists, also drawing from newspaper reviews, books, catalogs, and artist statements. Photographs by Miguel Edwards, all new to this book, showcase the pieces’ street-level presentation and help the reader understand the larger impact of each work in its neighborhood context. This comprehensive guide offers detailed information about the individual works of art, organized by downtown neighborhood, and featuring:

More than 350 artworksOver 300 color photographs9 detailed area maps for self-guided toursUnique descriptions of each artworkBiographies of all the artists

Perfect for art and architecture lovers, as well as visitors and newcomers to the city, Art in Seattle’s Public Spaces showcases the wealth of urban art to be freely enjoyed by all.