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Monday, June 4, 2007

Public Art

posted by on June 4 at 13:04 PM

I went to SAM’s sculpture garden/glorified pedestrian overpass twice this weekend. It was, uh, nice enough. But the best piece of public art I saw on my visit wasn’t in the park at all. It was along the waterfront in Myrtle Edwards Park…


I loves me some driftwood art. Nice work, whoever pulled that piece together. SAM should write you a check, cast the thing in bronze, and put one of their “don’t you FUCKING touch this thing” signs on it.

The worst piece of public art I saw on my trip wasn’t in the sculpture garden/glorified overpass… or in Myrtle Edwards Park… or in downtown at all. It was in Fremont… and I spotted it on my ride home… and it’s monstrous and something ought to be done…


Have any drunken frat boys died trying to climb this thing? Any apartments been broken into because of it? Any way we can get it declared a public menace and hauled away?

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if only. i fucking hate that thing.

Posted by nomi malone | June 4, 2007 1:25 PM

Yeah, I hate that building too. Instead of putting up another faux-craftman condo up they put up a faux-craftman condo covered in faux-art.

I guess the important word here is "faux".

Posted by monkey | June 4, 2007 1:28 PM

Step. Away. From Fremont.

That is OUR art. So it upsets your delicate Capitol Hill sensibilities.


Deal with it.

It's our art - not YOURS.

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 4, 2007 1:35 PM

Was Dan threatening to loot Fremont and haul its "art" off to Capitol Hill?

Posted by EXTC | June 4, 2007 1:42 PM

I pretty much agree with Dan... that piece is pretty damn ugly. Though, that might be my Capitol Hill sensibilities speaking.

Posted by Jono | June 4, 2007 1:47 PM

Oh come on, it's pretty. In a completely bizarre and horrifying way. I love it.

Posted by Lythea | June 4, 2007 1:49 PM

Uh, sightly poor taste there, Dan, considering some 26 year old guy died last week from a rooftop fall just a couple blocks from there.

Posted by DOUG. | June 4, 2007 1:50 PM

That building needs a four foot high, glowing "USBank" sign on the corner.

Posted by NapoleonXIV | June 4, 2007 1:51 PM

#3: Puh-leeze. Hopefully not all Fremonters would have the same divisive response.
Besides, that building is indefensibly ugly. Arguably the ugliest building in town.

Posted by A-Train | June 4, 2007 1:55 PM

@3 - Really? People in Fremont take pride in that noxious metal spray of design-by-focus-group? The place's character has degraded more than I thought.

Posted by dirge | June 4, 2007 1:56 PM

Goddamn right - keep that 'art' in Fremont. Hideous shit, it is.

Can't Walgreens rent that thing out and hang some neon off it?

Posted by amen | June 4, 2007 2:07 PM

If it's killing drunken frat boys, isn't it more of a public service than a public menace?

Posted by Lauren | June 4, 2007 2:15 PM

You know at the end of the movie Beetlejuice when Catherine O'Hara's "artwork" all comes to life and starts walking around like a herd of strange and creepy creatures? If they all climbed up the side of a crap condo in Fremont, this is what it would look like.

Posted by meh | June 4, 2007 2:23 PM

if ONLY it were some "Capitol Hill" sense speaking...that Fremont sculpture is AWFUL, and WiS to claim it as "OUR" art...well, I understand you might claim it as to "empower "yourself since you know that you can't get rid of it, but why would you do that, though, it's ok to say it's ugly...

Posted by ballard? hipsters? hardly. | June 4, 2007 2:24 PM

Maybe it's just the photo, but I think it looks way cool.

Posted by Sean | June 4, 2007 2:24 PM

its not that great, but there's worse art integrated with buildings - try the 4 retarded circles on the north end of Seahawks stadium. WTF does Apached art have to do with the NW? why not a fucking totem pole?

Posted by maxsolomon | June 4, 2007 2:29 PM

I like it. Far more interesting than the boring tin box it would be without all that stuff on it. More please.

Posted by SDA in SEA | June 4, 2007 2:42 PM

1. it is terrible.
2. at least they tried.
4. and failed miserably.
3. worst: EMP.

Posted by infrequent | June 4, 2007 3:03 PM

I love it. I've always found those steel sculptures to be really well done and totally inviting. The building beneath them is no-great-shakes, but I wish that more architects in Seattle paid as much attention to the facade of their buildings as these folks did. The EMP is admittedly ostentatious, and the sculpture park tends to elitism, but I've never understood why it's so trendy to hate this Fremont building. Maybe instead of just throwing 75-cent words around, someone can explain their objections to this one?

Posted by Gurldoggie | June 4, 2007 3:30 PM

Its only been there 6 years. get out a bit

Posted by Chris | June 4, 2007 3:33 PM

What Chris said @20.

Also, there are some ugly ass buildings on Cap Hill too. Nobody wants to say this, but have you taken a good luck at the crumbling old shack currently housing the cha cha, et al? What a dump. No wonder they're tearing it down.

Posted by Matthew | June 4, 2007 3:43 PM

@18: LOL!

Posted by Monique | June 4, 2007 3:59 PM

FYI, that is an apartment building, not a condo development.

Posted by Umm... | June 4, 2007 4:20 PM

That building makes me grimace. So does Fremont.

Posted by Katelyn | June 4, 2007 4:34 PM

I like it, although I agree that the rest of the building is dull (and monolithic). The whole thing should be covered in that sculpture, and the streets awash in haters puke. It would smell like victory.

Posted by Randy | June 4, 2007 4:49 PM

Maybe Dan should stay out on Vashon.

Posted by opus23 | June 4, 2007 5:17 PM

Because I don't like that one building in Fremont?

And my Vashon period is over. Back on the hill now, thanks. But, man, I miss the island sometimes.

Posted by Dan Savage | June 4, 2007 5:25 PM

So then, why diss other neighborhoods when your's is so art-free (as in zilch), my man?

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 4, 2007 5:32 PM

I like it. I like the idea of giant, metal plants climbing up buildings.

Posted by Gitai | June 4, 2007 5:57 PM

Fremont is always so sensitive about THEIR art, and that's probably because most of it is whimsically hippy and pretty much terrible.

Posted by DanDamage | June 4, 2007 6:03 PM

Like I said, put up or shut up.

We're building art, you're not.

So you don't like it ... too bad.

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 4, 2007 6:10 PM

I like Lenin. (I LOVE Lenin.) I like the rocket. I even like Waiting for the Interurban.I like the Fremont Market -- come damn near every week. I just don't like that one building. So sue me.

And the Hill does so have art. I mean, Jimi Hendrix, man.

Posted by Dan Savage | June 4, 2007 10:29 PM

bah, ha ha! jimi hendrix! man, talk about fug.

@13: i know!

@15: it's the photo.

@31: just because you're "building art", doesn't mean you get some kind of prize. that shit is ugly, and there is plenty of bad art in fremont, but plenty of awesome stuff too. i was working in fremont back when it was built, and it was my signal to leave. i still love the market, but that whole PCC corner area makes me feel like iím in a totally different neighborhood now, and not in a good way.

@21: i'll take dilapidated, graffiti covered shacks over corrugated tin boxes covered in weird mall art any day.

Posted by nomi malone | June 4, 2007 11:17 PM

awww, did we hoit your feewings?

We have new art coming online this summer and fall.

One teeny statue of Jimi doesn't even put you in the runner-up category.

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 4, 2007 11:22 PM

WiS, we have graffiti on tree stumps. Some of them are a foot wide, even two. With life-like squirrels.

Posted by Capitol Hill Curator | June 5, 2007 12:00 AM

Will, I live in Fremont. Taking some retarded fifth grader's metal shop project and sticking it to the side of an already ridiculously ugly building is not art. IT IS NOT ART. Waiting For the Inter-Urban is art. The Troll is art. You might even venture to say that Lenin- placed where he is- is an artistic statement by the Fremont community. They weren't created based on some yuppy, pretentious idea of how Fremont should be represented.

And fuck Fremont anyway. Over the past ten years, it's turned into a pretentious yuppy haven. In that context, that "sculpture" is quite appropriate.

Posted by stiletto | June 5, 2007 1:09 AM

@ 16 Apache art is just about as appropriate for this regions as totem poles would be, because totem poles are NOT traditional to this area AT ALL! Totem poles are traditional way up the coast--not in Seattle! Seattle's first totem pole was actually stolen out of Alaska.

Posted by zil | June 5, 2007 10:43 AM


Posted by Bill | June 12, 2007 12:59 PM


Posted by Bill | June 12, 2007 1:00 PM


Posted by Bill | June 12, 2007 1:00 PM

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