Dana Lynn Louis:
I enjoy enhancing environments by highlighting the energy of a place - pulling viewers around a corner or across a street, inviting them to look at space in a new way, and creating relationships between interiors and exteriors, between our bodies and our environment, between our unique senses of self and our interconnectedness with all. One of my inspirations came from a trip that I took to Timbuktu, Mali. There I visited a library that houses some of the oldest manuscripts in the world. It was amazing to see the illustrations and writings in so many languages. Even though the languages were foreign to me, many of the concepts and illustrations were familiar.
Nearby Thornton Creek is in Seattle's largest watershed, where many small creeks come together throughout Northgate. The community center also brings people together. The plaza will have many streams of people flowing across it, between the community center, library, park, playground and daycare. People will be criss-crossing the space. How to get all these disparate paths to meet? Create an eddy, a place where the current flows downstream from the parking lot and into the plaza, where it spins off and creates a place of rest.
"Perch" honors the built and natural environments. It aims to celebrate both the vital energy of the city and a connection to nature. It addresses the tightly intertwined relationship between human patterns and the contours of the natural environment by focusing on the black-capped chickadee, a bird native to the area. This lively little bird is not rare or endangered. It is a hardy urban resident that is a symbol of mutual adaptation
About the artists
Dana Lynn Louis, Portland, Ore.
Louis' work includes large-scale outdoor work, indoor installations, individual objects, drawings and prints. For the last 12 years she has worked collaboratively with artists, engineers, architects and community members. Louis considers public art an opportunity to acknowledge the interconnectedness of art in our daily lives. Examples of Louis' work include ceramic and glass tiles and glass vessels that she created for the men's and women's restrooms at the Portland Convention Center, a kaleidoscopic glass drawing for the façade of the new facility at Mary Bridge Children's Hospital in Tacoma and a glass and metal wall in a fire station in Portland.
Nikki McClure, Olympia, Wash.
A self-taught artist, McClure primarily makes papercuts, cutting each image from a single sheet of paper. She publishes her own calendars and books, which are distributed worldwide, and also has made books for Sasquatch Books. She has shown her work nationally and internationally, including in Seattle, Brooklyn, Tokyo and Sweden. McClure has received public art commissions from the cities of Seattle and Olympia under their Emerging Public Artist programs. She aims to craft environments in which to rest and observe the busy world.
Linda Wysong, Portland, Ore.
Wysong is an interdisciplinary visual artist known for her thoughtful examination of our contemporary lives. She strives to create opportunities to "re-see" the everyday in a new and revealing manner. She has shown her work nationally and internationally, including in New York, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Rotterdam, and throughout the Pacific Northwest. Wysong has participated in numerous design teams and has public art installations along the Springwater Corridor and the Interstate MAX Line in Portland.
Special thanks to:
- 1% for Art Program funding through the Library, Parks and Seattle Department of Transportation.
- The Seattle Public Library Foundation for donating additional funding for the glasswork by Dana Lynn Louis.
- Wallace Grantor Trust, which contributed funding in memory of M. Marvin Wallace for the third birdhouse designed by Linda Wysong.
View Art at the Northgate Branch, Community Center and Park