Art Interruptions 2016

"Art Interruptions" makes its way to the Rainer Valley East-West Neighborhood Greenway with whimsical temporary installations

Kick off Feet First's WALKTOBER with a Walk for Fun event
Saturday, October 1, 2016, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

Explore the SE Seattle neighborhood by foot and experience art interruptions and meet the participating artists along the new Rainier Valley Greenway on October 1. WALKTOBER is hosted by Feet First and encourages people in Washington to explore their surroundings by walking for fun, walking to work, and walking to school during the month of October.

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Art Interruptions, an annual temporary art program created by the Office of Arts & Culture in partnership with the Seattle Department of Transportation, will offer ephemeral moments of surprise and reflection in the Rainer Valley East-West Neighborhood Greenway. This area includes: New Holly, Othello, Brighton, Lakewood and Seward Park. Beginning September, seven temporary installations on view in the greenway from through January 2, 2017, will inspire and enliven the route with an element of the unexpected. Art Interruptions is funded by Seattle Department of Transportation 1% for Art funds.

The artworks range from street sign paintings to a collage fabricated entirely out of aluminum soda cans. The seven selected artists include Ruben David, Melissa Koch, Vikram Madan, Ulises Mariscal, Kemba N. Opio, little talia, and Junko Yamamoto. Working with the Seattle Department of Transportation and the Office of Arts & Culture, each artist designed a series of small-scale temporary artworks to be installed on city-owned street furniture and infrastructure, including signal boxes, utility poles, sidewalks, and street trees. (Several projects appear on private property adjacent to the right of way with permission of the property owners.) This year, six of the selected artists participated in the 2016 Public Art Boot Camp, a free two-day intensive basic training overview offered by the Office of Arts & Culture's Public Art Program offered to artists who are ready to translate their exhibition experience to the public realm.

The installations include a series of stencils featuring images of various community members that bring positivity to the pedestrians of the Greenway; tiny sculptures inspired by historic and present-day forms of transportation in Seattle; and a collage of butterflies representing cultural diversity. There will also be an opportunity to meet six of the seven artists during the WALKTOBER event hosted by Feet First on Saturday, October 1, 2016 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

About the artists and artworks

Huitzilopochtli 2336, Ruben David

Huitzilopochtli 2336

Ruben David

Ruben David's Huitzilopochtli 2336 showcases the Rufous hummingbird, which annually migrate thousands of miles from Mexico to its summer breeding grounds in the Pacific Northwest. Known as the most fearless and ruthless of all North American hummingbirds, they echo the fierce Mexica (Aztec) god of war and sun, Huitzilopochtli. Accompanying the hummingbird installation will be an audio component that will feature the natural sounds of the birds in flight (one day per month, three hours a day) during the four-month exhibition. Dates will be posted on artist's website. Ruben David primarily works with multi-media and video installations, and has exhibited at the NEPO 5k, the South Lake Union Block Party, and the Art of the City Street Festival.

Jazzed, Melissa Koch


Melissa Koch

Melissa Koch's temporary Art Interruption installation uses imagery inspired by butterflies as a metaphor about cultural diversity, cross pollination and the beat of life. Over 200 butterflies will cascade down a tree, flutter by a nearby street sign and embellish the entry to a building on the Greenway. Jazzed celebrates the importance of the butterfly as one of earth's pollinators and its significance as a representation of transformation. Koch combines drawing, painting, collage, printmaking and more recently, mixed media and cut Tyvek installations to create multi layered visual narratives that explore myths and stories. Her art practice and creative life purpose are an ongoing commitment to innovating and exploring new ideas not only technically and aesthetically, but also addressing the impact of our social, economic and environmental experiences.

Mini-Murals, Vikram Madan


Vikram Madan

Vikram Madan's artwork Mini-Murals is a menagerie of whimsical vignettes sprinkled behind Greenway street signs with the intent of enriching the Greenway pedestrian experience with unexpected elements of humor and surprise. Featured are assortments of human, animal or anthropomorphic figures. Madan grew up in India where he became an engineer. Years later, he followed his heart into the visual and literary arts and currently creates art that is humorous, quirky, fun, lighthearted, philosophical, thought-providing, and, sometimes, all of these at the same time.

Greatness Starts Here, Ulises Mariscal

Greatness Starts Here

Ulises Mariscal

Ulises Mariscal photographed people in the Rainier Valley neighborhood and created different visual scenarios that represent the Greenway and values of the community. Greatness Starts Here is a series of six stencils, created from the photographs, featuring various community members that bring positivity to the pedestrians of the Greenway. Mariscal began painting at the age of 12 in Mexico City and was always impressed by the great murals that David Alfaro Siqueiros and Diego Rivera left all over Mexico, along with the political and social message each piece has. Their murals have influenced the work of Mariscal with the hopes of inspiring the same type of power in people.

Flavors of Us, Kemba Opio

Flavors of Us

Kemba Opio

Kemba Opio created two portraits fabricated entirely out of collaged aluminum cans donated by local DRY Soda Company. The portraits feature two different African-American women, one being Opio's older sister and the other a local musician. The images serve to reflect the beauty and diversity within women, and in particular, women of color. Originally from Georgia, Opio relocated to Seattle in 2009. Before moving to the Northwest, she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in fashion design from Savannah College of Art and Design in 2007. In 2012, she began working as a buyer for a downtown Seattle women's boutique and continues to work as a freelance artist and painter; exhibiting her artwork throughout the country.

Miniature Mobility, little talia (Talia Silveri Wright)

Miniature Mobility

little talia
(Talia Silveri Wright)

Miniature Mobility honors the history of Seattle transit (especially in Rainer Valley) -from street cars to light rail - with a transportation-themed scavenger hunt. The tiny artworks, measuring approximately 1.5"x.75" will be installed in unexpected locations along the Greenway. The transportation themed sculptures are inspired from historic and current day street cars including buses, trains, bikes and other forms of transportation. Talia Silveri Wright is an emerging street artist and sculptor living in Seattle by way of Buffalo, NY. Fascinated with scale, Wright began to work in miniature in 2009 and has since worked on an ongoing street art project, Minis In Situ. This photographic series features miniature sculptures placed throughout Seattle (and beyond), photographed, and left for passersby.

Gathering Existence, Junko Yamamoto

Gathering Existence

Junko Yamamoto

Gathering Existence is based on the idea of gathering everything together with a furoshiki, a type of traditional Japanese wrapping cloth used to transport gifts, food, clothes, and other goods. Yamamoto will create an installation by wrapping a cluster of street furniture (pole, utility box, signal light, bollards) with vinyl stickers collaged with repetitive patterns and forms. Born and raised in Tokyo, Japan until she was 16 years old, Yamamoto moved to the U.S. to study abroad. She graduated from Cornish College of the Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1999. Yamamoto's work is included in public collections at Swedish Medical Center Foundation, Group Health Bellevue Medical Center, Harborview Medical Center, and the Idaho Trust National Bank.