Westside Seattle: Art Interruptions

Delridge neighborhood becomes outdoor art gallery

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The Delridge neighborhood has become an outdoor gallery, as part of the Art Interruptions program – offered through a collaboration of the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture and the Seattle Department of Transportation. One of the featured artists is Akira Ohiso. His piece “Smelting” features delicately drawn fish on white windsock kites.

 

Mon, 11/20/2017

By Lindsay Peyton

Art has blossomed in the Delridge neighborhood this fall – popping up on roadways, in parks and at homes. 

Akira Ohiso’s piece “Smelting” features delicately drawn fish on white windsock kites, an homage to the smelt that once lived in Longfellow Creek before the Industrial Revolution. 

Nestled among the bamboo forest in a home on 26th Ave SW is Shawn Park’s “Orange you glad for green? Yes, I pink so.” The artist creates colorful lines, drawing contrast to the nearby greenery. 

Tia Matthies created a small herd of brightly painted goats for her “Goats of Many Colors” – and Maria Jost made a surreal undersea-scape for her “Sea Creature Scavenger Hunt.” 

For his piece “Hinernacula: Batcall,” Ryan Burns placed a delicately carved bat box in a neighborhood park. Susan Brown created theatrical collage characters that were placed on poles throughout the neighborhood for “Wild and Creative Wonders.”

Jasmine Brown’s work “Black Teen Wearing Hoodie” was made to commemorate the fifth anniversary of Trayvon Martin’s death. 

She created life-size decals of her son wearing a black hoodie and participating in his day-to-day activities, from reading a book to playing music. 

Brown said her son is 14-years old – and a hoodie is part of his school uniform. 

“I wonder how many of our white neighbors would be afraid if they saw him going to school wearing his hoodie?” she said. “Every time my son leaves the house, I worry. Does he have a target on his back?”

She said the piece is her way of making a strong statement. “What I use is my art, my camera, my paintbrush, my work as a way to protest and make a mark,” she said. 

For Brown, the location of her work is also meaningful. The photos are installed across the street from the Cooper School Artist Lofts, where she first lived with her son after moving to Seattle. 

“I still feel a connection to the neighborhood,” she said. “It was my entrance to Seattle. It’s cool to see my work on the landscape there.”

Artists featured in this outdoor exhibit participated in the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture Public Art Boot Camp. 

“They explain how to seek big commissions, how to start out, how to adapt your work,” Brown said. 

Marcia Iwasaki, project manager for Seattle Office of Arts & Culture Public Art Program, explained that the boot camp is intense. The free program is held each spring and offers insight into every aspect of public art -- from how to maintain outdoor work to the ins and outs of contracts. 

Participating artists are encouraged to apply for the Art Interruptions program – offered through a collaboration of the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture and the Seattle Department of Transportation.

“Right away, they get their first opportunity,” Iwasaki said. “And they have enough background to understand what goes into it.”

Summer Jawson, senior civil engineer in project development for the Department of Transportation, explained that Art Interruptions follows on the heels of the department’s Neighborhood Greenway program.