There is a lot of public art in Seattle. My friend’s mom also has a membership at the Seattle Art Museum, so my friend and I were able to go there. In this post I will show you some of the pieces, give brief reviews, and wonder a little about the public availability of art.
The first piece of art I saw was the Burien Helios sculpture. The slanted red disc at the top is supposed to represent the sun, and the sculpture as a whole is supposed to resemble an woven basket.
Also in Burien and actually opening this weekend is a network of water-related sculptures and fountains and mini-aquaducts in Burien’s Town Square Park. I love fountains and I love little water channels. This is my favorite thing I’ve seen so far.
Yesterday my friend and I went to the Seattle Art Museum, and saw its two exhibits, about Kurt Cobain and Andy Warhol. Neither of them were that exciting for me. I think I like sculpture more than two-dimensional art, and I like the meanings visible in public art more than the celebrity which seems more the focus of fancy art museums. Outside the museum, though, is the Hammering Man, which is pretty neat.
I like public art more than art that the public has to pay in order to see. Art makes park spaces and cityscapes more welcoming and special, whereas museums are very restrictive and elitist. No, you can’t bring your water bottle in here. No, you can’t get too close. No, you certainly can’t touch the pieces. Give me a public fountain or sculpture or combination thereof in a nice city park; such works do much more for the basic culture of a place than a fancy art gallery does.
[Edit: After I wrote this post, we visited Olympic Sculpture Park. It was wonderful, especially Mark Dion’s “Neukom Vivarium”. A refreshing dosage of public art. I got a picture of myself pretending to climb the Eagle, with the Space Needle in the background, despite the “do not touch” signs.]