Seattle – Oddity Tour of Public Art!

I truly feel blessed to be living in Seattle. There’s so much to see and do here. Brian & I decided to play tourist and visit some of the more unusual public art that Seattle has to offer like:



The sweater trees in Occidental Park in the Pioneer district of south downtown Seattle. They were knitted by local artist Suzanne Tidwell and installed in June 2011 as part of the Artsparks program. They are so awesome! How in the world did she get them on the trees?

Then we went to the Pike Place Market,

    This very cool metal sculpture was installed on a 334-ft. concrete wall. Made by Ann Sperry, it won the Seattle Arts Commission competition.


  Of course you can’t go to the Market to look at art without going to see The Market Theater Gum Wall! The tradition began in 1993 when patrons of Unexpected productions’ Theatresports stuck gum to the wall. Others followed. Theater workers scraped the gum away a couple of times but couldn’t keep up with it. Eventually Market officials deemed the wall a tourist attraction in 1999. Standing in front of the wall you can actually detect a bubble gum smell. Kinda gross really! Another unusual art piece can be found under the Alaskan Way Viaduct at the corner of Western & Bell,

The Wave Rave sculpture by Dave Corson. Ok, it doesn’t look like much during the day but at night,

It’s all lit up with psychedelic lighting. Very cool!

Next we decided to head over to the Fremont district to pay our respects to


Lenin! This beautiful bronze sculpture was constructed by Slovak Bulgarian sculptor Emil Venkov under commission from the Soviet & Chechoslovak governments. After the revolution, the statue found its way to the scrap heap waiting to be sold for the price of the bronze. A Washington state teacher, Lewis Carpenter, was teaching English in Poprad when he found the statue. He wound up mortgaging his home to purchase the statue then arranged to have it shipped to the US. You can find it at Evanston Ave. N & N. 36th St. in Fremont (the center of the universe)

As the Fremont sign suggests, the district is the center of the universe! About a block from this sign is one of my favorite statues,

 This sculpture by Richard Beyer can be found on at N. 34th St. & Fremont North. Anyone is allowed to dress the sculpture provided they follow the rules:

1. be polite, 2. first come, first to decorate, 2b. there are lots of sides to the statue and decorations may be combined 2c. if decorations look fresh, please leave them, 3. no advertising slogans, words or logos, 3b. the sculpture may not be used for advertising without the permission of the artist, Richard Beyer. 4. decorations may be left for up to one week. A half a block away from this statue is this tribute to,

  JP Patches! Isn’t he fabulous? The artist is Kevin Pettelle. JP Patches was a clown portrayed by Chris Wedes on the J.P. patches show, a favorite among children in the greater Seattle area. My husband was a huge fan & the age of 4 he was actually on the show! JP had asked Brian to say spaghetti, but at 4 years old he couldn’t quite form the word so it came out “pisketti.” Apparently he was quite adorable! Saving the best for last we come to

The Fremont Troll! This mixed-media sculpture is located on N. 36th St. at Troll Ave. N., under the north end of the Aurora Bridge in Fremont. The troll is clutching a real VW Beetle with his left hand and has a hub cap for an eye. The sculpture is 18 ft. high, weighs 13,000 lbs., made of steel rebar, wire, and concrete by local artists Steve Badanes, Will Martin, Donna Walter, and Ross Whitehead. Sponsored by the Fremont Arts Council to build a greater sense of place in the neighborhood through art.

There are many public art pieces all over the city, but these are some of the more unusual pieces. If you are a local who hasn’t seen these in awhile, play tourist and visit these great pieces. If you don’t live here, do come visit us soon!

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About Carol

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One Response to Seattle – Oddity Tour of Public Art!

  1. debra says:

    These are great! Love the troll under the bridge and I think I need to see him when I come to Seattle in March. Thanks for making me aware of these fun sites.

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