Slog News & Arts

Line Out

Music & Nightlife

« Lunchtime Quickie | Images of the Day »

Monday, July 21, 2008

Re: “Georgetown Artists” Angry with SBC?

posted by on July 21 at 12:15 PM

Painter and etching artist Ronald Aeberhard is the person who sent the email I posted about earlier, from “Georgetown_artists.” I spoke to him on the phone and he says he’s one of about 15 to 20 artists in Georgetown who want to protest SuttonBeresCuller’s Mini Mart City Park, which Aeberhard says is underway at 6525 Ellis Avenue South in Georgetown. I’m still waiting to hear back from SBC.

The idea behind the SBC project, which is funded by a prestigious Creative Capital grant, is to take an abandoned former gas station and turn it back into a little green zone. Aeberhard says SBC’s intention at 6525 Ellis Avenue South is to do that by ripping down what Aeberhard describes as “a great old folk art piece” on the property—the rock sculpture pictured below, which Aeberhard says was made by someone nicknamed Louie Moss sometime around 1950. (Aeberhard has lived in the neighborhood 20 years; he got the more ancient history from nearby residents who he says have mixed feelings about the project.)

“There’s several of us that have gotten together to try to do something,” Aeberhard said. He said the artists’ project has been approved by the Georgetown Community Council, but he and others disagree with the council’s decision.

“If the idea is to make art out of a former gas station, well, guess what? Louie Moss already did that,” he said. “People who live around here are just like, What? Why are they doing that? There’s mixed feelings. The place has been virtually abandoned for a while, so it’s good they’re doing something to it. But they’re basically destroying this guy’s rock art.”

Here’s a view of the rock piece:


Here’s a view of the house that Louie Moss designed and lived in a few blocks away at 6920 Flora Avenue, Aeberhard said:


Aeberhard hasn’t spoken to SBC about the rocks yet to confirm that SBC is in fact tearing them down. He bases his belief in this on the artists’ schematic drawings on their web site.

More, definitely, to come.

RSS icon Comments


remove all that rock and concrete? i doubt it. it would look nice with a bit of landscaping.

Posted by department of artland security | July 21, 2008 12:29 PM

SBC's project seems fatally flawed...

the amount of money they're going to spend on environmental cleanup of soil is gonna be really high.

wouldn't they be better off lifting the building on some pilings a la PLOT's Maritime Youth Centre?

Posted by holz | July 21, 2008 12:34 PM

what the hell's it supposed to be? looks to me like an amateur attempt at making a retaining wall.

are we supposed to save every pile of crap that someone has some sentimental attachment to? did i miss a memo? i say good riddance.

Posted by jason | July 21, 2008 12:35 PM

@3, I'm with you, pal. It ain't like it's Howard Finster's garden or anything. Meh.

Mr. Developer...tear down this wall!!!

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | July 21, 2008 12:42 PM

If the house is staying, why worry about the fucking wall?

Posted by keshmeshi | July 21, 2008 12:45 PM

I love the rock work - it needs some artist to art it up a bit - display artists - and get SAM to buy it

ship it to the Sculp. Garden

Posted by John | July 21, 2008 12:45 PM

Maybe if they do a good job of tearing out that nasty thing, they can come up and do the same to some other embarrassing local "art" landmarks, like the Fremont Troll and the hideous mushroom thingies in that park in Ballard.

Posted by Fnarf | July 21, 2008 12:57 PM

1. No buy it for $500,000 of taxpayer funds and ship it to Cap. Hill light rail station.

2. title it "Yabba dabba doo!"

3. Ensure rocks are a bit more ferrous

4. Put the Jimi Hendrix statute on it.

5. this will become a masterpiece that slyly and self referentially nodds to the "dialectic" between space (the "positive space rocks" inside the "negative space tunnel station" wrested from the "positive space" rocks -- surely you catch the sexual connotations? mmmm?) with a total double entendre to Seattle's culture and "rock" via the Jimi adonrment....

and AT THE SAME TIME man's ever upward quest for better transit (with the sly nod to the dinomobile in the title! wink, wink!)

ensuring that the piece "speaks" multiple "languages" that can only be "heard" in this specific site -- you know, other rocks are just rocks, but this is art! -- and even

"celebrates" the "diversity" of Capitol Hill by speaking those multiple languages

to boot in a most "ironic" way.

Thus we shall have made " 'art' "!

OK tell Sound Transit to send me $500,000.
I'm sure the folks paying the sales tax will love this artwork.

Thank you!

Posted by PC | July 21, 2008 1:02 PM

The hideous mushroom thingies in Ballard make my blood boil. They are uglier than hate. Also, that little public wedge is now about 30% as useful as it was before.

Posted by jessco | July 21, 2008 1:04 PM

@5 because everything that is older than the 1990s has inherent cultural value in Seattle.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | July 21, 2008 1:13 PM

I bought a Hawaiian shirt from the tweaker who was selling stuff there during the garden tour.

Posted by GV | July 21, 2008 1:16 PM

I totally dont miss the artists that sit around and jump to conclusions in the NW. That thing looks like some crappy public "art" in Port Townsend or something. Really- tear that shit down SBC!

Posted by catnextdoor | July 21, 2008 1:32 PM

@9, I'm with you on the boiling rage, but the space isn't less useful than before, because it has never been useful. Triangular wedge parks are never useful. Those spaces should be used for buildings, because wedge-shaped buildings ARE useful, and attractive, and make corners come alive. Parks kill corners like that, though.

Posted by Fnarf | July 21, 2008 1:45 PM

I have a pile of wood in my back yard that I've needed to get rid of for a while now. Now I see the solution is to just leave, name it, and call it art.

Posted by monkey | July 21, 2008 1:58 PM

Question for these "artists". If they value that rock sculpture so much, why haven't they been maintaining the property? The rock wall was literally covered up with brush and blackberry brambles until a couple of weeks ago.

Posted by SP | July 21, 2008 2:03 PM

For all,
A few facts to set straight on the project.

1) The entire building was slated to be torn down and the property was going to be sold to a developer for condos.

2) For zoning and code purposes, the rock wall must be removed so that the columns of the awning can be retro-fitted and brought up to code. Rock wall simply cannot stay.

3) The artists have spoken with several members of the neighborhood, including the owners of Louie's former home on Flora. The artists have promised to re-use the rock wall in their project. While it will not be reconstructed as it is now, the wall's use will honor Louie.

4) The Georgetown Community Council did not vote to tear the wall down.

5) This is a really amazing opportunity for the property to be re-purposed not only as green space but also a gathering space for the community.

Holly Krejci
Georgetown Community Council - Chair

Posted by HK | July 21, 2008 2:18 PM

We start bombing in 5 minutes.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | July 21, 2008 2:20 PM

So tedious when things work out so nicely.

Posted by It's Mark Mitchell | July 21, 2008 3:07 PM

"a gathering space for the community" = a place for hookers to smoke crack.

Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me | July 21, 2008 3:07 PM

@19, Taskent!!!

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | July 21, 2008 3:09 PM

Re: #16
I'd like to make corrections on #1 and #5. Neither are fact.

#1 - The land is zoned for condos. But, I do not have confirmation from the property owner as to the fate of the land/building. I was speculating.

#5 is clearly a statement of personal opinion.

I apologize if I have mislead anyone.

Posted by HK | July 21, 2008 3:09 PM


Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | July 21, 2008 3:10 PM

The definition of art is not one that can be resolved here, but a large segment of this community treasures the work in this area that gives it character and many feel that this is one of those works. The folks who have lived here for a long time are particularly sad and see it as another change to the face of Georgetown.

The owner of the heating oil company that was there, Mr. Perovich, used it for offices and storage and asked Louie to make this work for his building. He really felt that he was getting a work of art. More than 50 years later it is still there.

We love the idea of this project and look forward to the final result, but this wall should be respected and incorporated into the project. There is no need to tear down this small landmark

Posted by ronald aeberhard | July 21, 2008 4:26 PM

it's a landmark because...
still waiting.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | July 21, 2008 4:34 PM

Save the Kalakala!

Sometimes it's OK to let things die.

Posted by ejamadoodle | July 21, 2008 4:43 PM

Bellevue Ave have you even been down there to see it? Anyone from the neighborhood knows the sculpture is a landmark. It also represents part of old Seattle art that is fast being obliterated by impersonal corporate style art. If you read the SBC web page you can clearly see that their Mini Mart project was designed before the site was selected. If SBC really wants to bring back the original nature of the site they should retain Mr Moss"s sculpture in it's original form as part of their design.

Posted by AA | July 21, 2008 4:56 PM

Yeah let's knock down the rock wall so generation ass-hat can turn Georgetown into Kirkland.

Posted by delfina jones | July 21, 2008 9:25 PM

I live in Georgetown. NO one in the community know it was going to come down until like last month, if that. It is what makes a place unique. I was wondering who the person was with the city that told the artist the wall had to come down? I was looking around for a permit. NOthing was found. The build has been throught at least 2 or 3 earthquakes and everything is still standing. I highly don't the wall or the building isn't structually sound. I do believe that the artist need to be honest with the community and just admit that they want it down and in 6 months when no one is taking care of their "green space" Georgetown will be left with another really nice place for homeless and drug addict to go hang out in the dead space. With no wall to remind us of just how different we were. Now we can look like every other place in Seattle. Souless. But hey people who are not from Seattle like to come in and change the city I've lived in all the time. Yeah please make me think I'm in Cap Hill. Great!

Posted by Con | July 28, 2008 4:50 PM

Sorry for all the mispellings. I'm not a spellchecker.
So that place is a brown site. Are they going to really clean it and with what money. Condos really. Don't think so but that's what I heard. You can speculate all you want. And as far as landmarking. I know someone who was actually in the process of doing that landmarking. To bad waste of time. People don't want to save old Seattle because that won't make them money or in this case get them some fame. Way to go! Yeahhhh for future dead space!

Posted by Con | July 28, 2008 4:59 PM

Comments Closed

Comments are closed on this post.