Local artists create temporary installations to Ship Canal project areas

A number of new art installations have gone up at the various Ship Canal Water Quality Project sites in Ballard, Fremont, and Wallingford.

Seattle Public Utilities commissioned the artists to help beautify the construction areas including the site at Shilshole Ave NW and 24th Ave NW in downtown Ballard, and on NW 45th St and 11th Ave NW in east Ballard.

The artwork project is known as FLOW, launched by he Office of Arts and Culture and SPU. The installations make use of temporary construction walls and fences as part of the Ship Canal Water Quality Project. The latest round of artists’ work will be on display until August.

The above image is located at Shilshole and 24th, and is titled “If only I Could” by Barry Johnson. Here’s his description:

“This work is about duality and the constant role changing that’s forced upon Black people. We have to navigate many of our public situations differently from everyone else. Something as simple as turning without using a signal can result in death or any other small act that can easily be glossed over. We’re forced to change and constantly adapt our images to exist without threat of punishment. This work reflects the constant change that is forced upon us.”

The below installation, at NW 45th St & 11th Ave NW, is by Hugo Moro and is titled “Watergates.”

Photo: Jason Huff

Here are his words:

The addition of this tunnel to our infrastructure is a testament to our community’s commitment to protect the beautiful Salish Sea. We must also endeavor to eliminate, or greatly reduce our individual carbon footprint, especially where single-use plastics are concerned. This work is constructed from plastic generated over a year by a family of two.

Whitney Lynn designed the below installation, located at NW 36th St & Leary Way NW adjacent the Burke-Gilman Trail. It’s titled “Wine-Dark See.”

Photo: Jason Huff

Here’s Whitney’s description:

Wine-Dark See is a series of narrative backdrops; a non-linear sequence of collaged public domain images combined with text drawn from Homer’s Odyssey, an epic poem describing a circuitous journey home, across stormy seas, after a prolonged series of difficult events.

And in Wallingford at N 35th St & Interlake Ave N, Janelle Abbott installed her work titled “The Future Needs You NOW You Need the Future.”

Photo: Jason Huff

Here’s Janelle:

The Future Needs You NOW You Need the Future is a temporary art installation that brings awareness to the impact of climate change on mental health in light of current trends of overconsumption. Artist Janelle Abbott invited community members to send her their well-worn t-shirts in order to recontextualized potential waste into art. The t-shirts were cut into strips, wrapped around wire, then attached to the fencing adjacent to the North Transfer Station in order to spell out this important message that invites everyone to pause and take action for the future of our planet.

The Ship Canal Water Quality Project is a multiyear undertaking to improve stormwater collection in North Seattle. The project includes building a 2.7-mile, 18-ft and 10-in internal-diameter tunnel that will extend from Ballard to Wallingford.

You can learn more about the project, its timeline, and local impact by clicking here.

Top photo by Vaughn Bell

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