Temporary Sculptures for a Sculpture Park

Photo by Timothy Firth

In the winter of 2018, artist Tia Kramer and I were awarded an artist residency at the Seattle Art Museum Olympic Sculpture Park. During the residency we conducted participatory research with people visiting the park and conducted interviews with museum employees including security guards, groundskeepers, and the bakery owner of the park cafe. To respond to the different communities, we came up with a series of temporary sculptures and participatory events that helped people enact instructions meant to respond to the park. The final sculptures consisted of a tent from which to view the sky on a rainy day, weather balloons to aid in awareness of the wind, and a re-creation of directions from artist Grace Hwang’s project “take comfort”. The words GIVE, TAKE, and COMFORT are embroidered on three bags that now are a part of the museum’s collection for the play area.

The final event consisted of a tour of the sculpture park based on some of the sculptures in the museum’s permanent collection, our temporary sculptures, and stories of people who worked at the park. Contributors included Bobby and Joe who are in charge of landscaping and groundskeeping, Oscar who has an an amazing bakery in the pavilion, and a number of different security guards.

Photos by Jonathan Vanderweit