Artists calling for community submissions for Ship Canal public art installation

Two local artists are calling for public contributions for their public art installation at the Fremont Ship Canal Water Quality project site.

The Seattle Office of Arts and Culture and Seattle Public Utilities have commissioned several artists for an art program called FLOW to help beautify the many Ship Canal Water Quality project sites around Ballard, Fremont, Wallingford, and Queen Anne. Two artists—Lisa Liedgren Alexandersson and Kait Rhoads—will be installing a new piece at the project site in Fremont (N. 35th St and Interlake Ave N), and they’re looking for community involvement to add to their installation titled Oceans of Emotion.

“In mythology around the world, water is a symbol of life energy. As SPU is updating the drainage system through north Seattle neighborhoods to reroute wastewater safely—the artist team is inviting Seattle residents to express their feelings—in words and drawings on sequins,” the artists write.

Alexandersson is a multidisciplinary artist who uses a broad range of media to investigate themes of multiculturalism, identity, and place. She’s also founder of Why Women Bend Like Pretzels, “an initiative bridging contemporary art with the community through public weaving-gatherings,” according to Alexandersson.

Rhoads specializes in Venetian blown glass; her public sculpture Salish Nettles is featured in the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma.

The installation Oceans of Emotion is a reference and response to the pandemic and turbulent political times. After a year when many of us have experienced isolation this project is a welcomed opportunity to connect and collaborate. It’s an invitation to clear your emotional system to make room to attract new experiences.

There are two ways to get involved; either in person or digitally. For both, Alexandersson and Rhoads will guide participants in creating a 2-inch disc/sequin that will be displayed as part of a large-scale design.

“Embrace your feelings from this past year…and flush them away! Express your hopes for the future and release them to the universe. Drawings and writing are welcome,” the artists write.

To participate in person, join the artists for a collaborative art session; the artists will bring all the materials. There are two upcoming dates to choose from:

  • Sunday, Aug. 8: Gas Works Park near Lake View Point, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Sunday, Aug. 15: Installation site at Interlake Ave N and N. 35th St, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To join digitally, you can submit your contribution by November 1st by following these instructions.

All collected submissions will be attached to the fence along the Wallingford East Shaft Site along Interlake Ave N and N 35th St, where they’ll be displayed from mid-August until February 2022.

To learn more about the project or see examples of submissions, visit Oceans of Emotion on Facebook or Instagram.

Photos: Lisa Liedgren Alexandersson and Kait Rhoads

Help support My Ballard's independent local journalism