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Spencer Finch’s Forest in the Heart of South Lake Union

10/16/2014

Spencer Finch’s Forest in the Heart of South Lake Union

10/16/2014

Residents of the Pacific Northwest are lucky to live in such close proximity to natural beauty. Through a commissioned public work by artist Spencer Finch, Vulcan just brought it that much closer.
 
Vulcan believes that public art is vital for a vibrant community. Since the initial planning stages of the South Lake Union neighborhood development, quality of life, history and community have remained top priorities. Finch’s installation “There is Another Sky,” transforms what was formerly a dark alley into an urban forest sanctuary at South Lake Union’s Amazon campus. The colorful glass awning, intended to mimic a forest canopy, covers the outdoor public space, complemented by a flowing stream,  heated outdoor seating, and 100 LED in-flight fireflies choreographed to begin twinkling at dusk. 
 
A recent article in Art Ltd. highlights Vulcan’s active support of public art and explores the many different works that dot the streets and lobbies of South Lake Union. Although a private company (and as such under no obligation to purchase public artwork), Vulcan has nevertheless installed 18 commissioned works of art in a concerted effort to make the neighborhood more livable, workable, and memorable. 
 
Already ranked one of the most walkable and bikeable neighborhoods in Seattle, South Lake Union makes it easy for visitors and residents to experience art firsthand. Even the streets and sidewalks are worthy of pause—as evidenced by Seattle artist Ellen Sollod’s installation of mosaics incorporated directly into the sidewalk. Many of the region’s gifted artists capture elements of Pacific Northwest culture and history, then assimilate them into works destined to be viewed in the burgeoning neighborhood. 
 
Blending old and new, Vulcan’s Stack House apartments are located adjacent to the hundred-year-old Supply Laundry Building, whose architectural elements have been restored and incorporated into the apartment’s community. Seattle artist Whiting Tennis built upon the building’s history with his commissioned cast-bronze sculpture “The Laundry Strike.” Whiting’s work—its name taken from the 1917 Laundry Strike, when Seattle women demanded a new wage scale and better working conditions—adds even greater visual, historical impact to the Stack House and larger South Lake Union community.
 
You can find a walking map of South Lake Union public art pieces stretching from Denny Way to the waterfront of Lake Union. 
 
Not all of the neighborhood’s art pieces are permanent. Temporary installations like Suzanne Tidwell’s work on the corner of Denny and Westlake ensure that visitors and residents will always experience something new—fitting for this dynamic neighborhood.
 
 
Take a virtual tour of our newest installation, "There is Another Sky" below.

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