Seattle Public Utilities, in partnership with the Office of Arts & Culture, has commissioned a suite of artworks, both temporary and permanent, that will help tell the story of the underground storage tunnel. Aligned with the goals outlined in the Ship Canal Water Quality Project and the SPU Drainage and Wastewater Art Master Plan, the artworks seek to make the invisible visible and to provide visitors with an understanding of the flow of water on site and through the surrounding neighborhoods.
The City of Seattle's Public Art program integrates artworks and the ideas of artists into a variety of public settings, advancing Seattle's reputation as a cultural center for innovation and creativity. The program specifies that 1% of eligible city capital improvement project funds be set aside for the commission, purchase, and installation of artworks in a variety of settings. For more information about the Public Art program visit, the Office of Arts & Culture’s Public Art webpage or email the Office of Arts & Culture at email@example.com.
Audio tour: Saltwater Soundwalk
Saltwater Soundwalk is a site-specific audio experience, created by artists Jenny Asarnow and Rachel Lam (Anigiduwagi enrolled Cherokee Nation), about our relationships and responsibilities towards the Salish Sea and connecting waters, centering Indigenous Coast Salish voices and language. Listen on site in Seattle’s Fremont, Wallingford and Ballard neighborhoods or anywhere you listen to podcasts.
Commissioned with SPU 1% for Art Funds
Administered by the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture
City of Seattle, Bruce Harrell, Mayor
Saltwater Soundwalk is a podcast that takes listeners on a journey from Gas Works Park along the Burke Gilman trail to the entrance of the Ship Canal at the Fremont Bridge, and explores the people, land and waterways that define Seattle. Artists Jenny Asarnow and Rachel Lam created Saltwater Soundwalk as a site-specific audio experience that explores our relationships and responsibilities towards the Salish Sea and connecting waters, centering Indigenous Coast Salish voices and language.
The audio experience includes a 55-minute-long walk and 12 one-to-three-minute shorts, which can be listened to on site or anywhere in the world. Individuals featured include Ken Workman (Duwamish), Warren King George (Muckleshoot), Michelle Myles (Tulalip), Archie Cantrell (Puyallup), LaDean Johnson (Skokomish), Owen Oliver (Quinault), Lydia Sigo (Suquamish), Randi Purser (Suquamish), RYAN! Feddersen (FLOW artist, Confederated Tribes of the Colville - Okanogan / Arrow Lakes), and Eric Autry (Seattle Public Utilities). The podcast is available on Soundcloud, and all podcast applications.
The podcast is a rhythmic audio experience connecting streams of stories as they ebb and flow, intermixing English with Coast Salish languages. Listeners can learn where the traditional fishing ground "Hit the Water" is located in Seattle. The podcast also explores the traditional Tulalip names of local places, the colonial history of Seattle, and the construction of the Ship Canal. The audio narrative also highlights Indigenous rights, responsibilities, and cultural preservation that are essential to healing these waters, our relationship to them and to each other.
In addition, the podcast includes narratives from public artists and a Seattle Public Utilities manager about how we all impact our living water ways. It provides a unique opportunity to experience how we all connect to the Salish Sea area and is a step towards creating healthier human relationships with this changing ecosystem.
Saltwater Soundwalk consists of one 55-minute audio tour and 12 one-to-three-minute shorts. All may be experienced in the Fremont, Wallingford and Ballard neighborhoods, or heard on Soundcloud or wherever people listen to podcasts.
‘Seattle is an engineered city, but it only happened yesterday’ (55 min) The centerpiece of the project, this is a 55-minute audio tour intended to be listened to starting at Gasworks Park. Follow the route along N Northlake Way and the Burke Gilman trail to the entrance of the Ship Canal at the Fremont Bridge; and then return the way you came.
Shorts (1-3 minutes each)
- Our people named these places in Lushootseed - Transcript (PDF)
- Hit the Water - Transcript (PDF)
- It was like a barren wasteland, just plain mud - Transcript (PDF)
- 74,948 feet of pipe - Transcript (PDF)
- Our non-human kin - Transcript (PDF)
- We recognize that’s their land - Transcript (PDF)
- You know the history of the ship canal, don’t you? - Transcript (PDF)
- Paddling straight for four hours in one spot - Transcript (PDF)
- RYAN! Feddersen’s ‘Overflow’ - Transcript (PDF)
- Your body as a body of water - Transcript (PDF)
- The Lushootseed language comes from the land - Transcript (PDF)
- Treaties are guaranteed by the Constitution - Transcript (PDF)
Audio tour route
Artworks by a variety of local emerging artists are on view at some of the construction sites for about six months. Get on your bike or put on your walking shoes and check out the new artwork!
Artists Selected for FLOW: Art Along the Ship Canal
FLOW: Art Along the Ship Canal is an annual program that utilizes the construction fences along the Ship Canal Water Quality project as a backdrop to allow artists to showcase their unique voices and provide a changing gallery of experiences for those who walk, bike, drive throughout the area. Artists were selected by a panel of artists, community members, and City staff.
See below for more information about the current and past artists on display.
Current temporary artwork
Water to Sky
Water to Sky is a mural painted with latex paint on plywood representing the interconnectedness of nature – from the cool clear water of the Pacific Northwest to the stars above. The work depicts various creatures in our immediate natural environment that depend on the health of our waters to thrive.
I have always been interested in screens with patterns that stop the eye before seeing what is behind. In Flow Mosaic, I have taken inspiration from Islamic mashirabiya screens and Chinese lattice work from the historic Silk Road regions as a starting point to create an aggregate of over 100 hand-cut marine vinyl panels of bright primary and secondary colors. The panels are cut in a variety of patterns to activate the construction fence that started with a repeating pattern of water, but a variety of additional geometric patterns complete the mosaic.
CONNECTING THE VISION
In these paintings, I explore and capture profound relationships of humankind. As an immigrant and artist, I connect my past experiences to the present through the impact of human behaviors influenced by socio-cultural factors. Through collage, I combine materials such as paint and yarn to create textured and layered effects that reflects outside influences that deeply impact our lives. The result is a rich visualization of my dreams that captures our emotional journey as we navigate through the natural and human worlds.
Wisdom and Empowerment
Women of color each have different lived experiences that inform their actions, perceptions, and contributions to the world. What I intended to capture here and share is the wisdom of the experiences that female professionals, artists, and activists from around the world used to make their world a better place. Combining the quotes with diverse portraits of ordinary women, I aim to create a holistic yet peaceful visualization of the fight against oppression across the planet, and to share the names and titles of wise women who have a wide variety of personal histories and heritages.
The depictions of women in the artwork are not portraits of those quoted.
Water embodies many forms: ice, mist, rain, river, and ocean. We are awed by its power, captivated by the mystery of its pelagic depths, and lured by its enchanting ever-changing beauty. We have created many myths and stories connected to water; water lore has a place in our childhood games and in the beliefs that have been passed from generation to generation over thousands of years. This series examines our relationship to water and what it provides-- from reverence, to sustenance, to joyous immersion, to a medium of exploration and wonder.
Angie Hinojos is influenced by the patterns found in nature as well as the replication and adaptation of those patterns for our own inventive uses. Her work highlights history, culture, and human connection. As a Mexican American artist, Angie values bringing untold stories to light and amplifying community voices. Her work aims to highlight the value of cultural traditions.
Angie Hinojos Yusuf is a Mexican American painter and sculptor. She is the co-founder and Director of Centro Cultural Mexicano and Chair of the Redmond Arts and Culture Commission. As a graduate of UC Berkeley with a degree in architecture, she has a deep appreciation for the built environment, which has influenced her sculptural work. As an architect, Angie has managed international projects from design through construction. She is currently the Director for Centro Cultural Mexicano, where she uses art and cultural events to connect and empower communities through social and civic engagement. She is a public artist who has worked with regional cities and organizations to create and install art in public places, many with community-engagement components. In the last year her work has been featured at Seattle Center, Westlake Park Seattle, Redmond Downtown Park, and many other locations in a variety of cities. Angie’s practice integrates social justice advocacy, history of place, community engagement, and cultural legacy.
My paintings are specialized from years of prepress print making techniques applied to my distinct analog contemporary painting style. Each line and block of color is carefully placed to create a larger composition of movement and energy. My work mostly utilizes a warm and rich color palette of bold reds, burnt oranges, and ochre yellows with hints of copper. These colors are in contrast to splashes of teals, tiffany green and turquoise that bring energy and conflict to the composition.
I’m a Chickasaw & Choctaw Visual Artist working professionally since the early 2000s. Being raised in a cross-pollinated environment of the O'odham rez at our grandparents and by our mom in the city. My reference points growing up were adaptability from different domains, they are an element of energy for my creative process. It's the multiple variable points that keep pushing my desire to create. My heritage, self-identity, experiences, world views, the voice of my grandfather. My work is international with projects throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.
Joe Goes There
The people depicted here, each varying in age, wisdom, knowledge, and experience, are a personification of some well-known Fremont and Wallingford locales. The connecting “dialogue” between them is public transit - usually reliable, sometimes late, but able to get you there when needed.
The patterns and motifs seen throughout are found in many cultures but are specific to the artist’s Tongan heritage from which he draws his greatest inspiration.
Toka Valu is an indigenous Pacific Islander artist and illustrator with over 15 years of illustration work, visual arts expertise, workshop facilitation, and community organizing experience. Toka’s artistic and design influences are deeply rooted and informed by his cultural upbringing as a Tongan, now expatriate, living with his partner and child in Seattle, WA.
Chaac is the Maya god of rain. This piece emulates the great carved stone masks that can be found on the pyramids in the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. The masks were made of stone carved into intricate shapes which were assembled together to form the powerful visage of the god. Chaac had both human and animal characteristics, showing the interdependence of all living things and their relationship to life-giving water. It illustrates the natural cycle of the flow of water, as it originates in the clouds, where Chaac strikes his jade axe and causes thunder and rain, to where it falls on the land, is crucial. Water infrastructure will safeguard our environment for future generations.
Elevating awareness of Missing Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) is the key goal of this temporary installation that includes a large-scale mural featuring traditional formline design of orcas. Kalee Nelson is an Alaskan Native from the Tsimshian Tribe and Crystal Christopherson is Alaskan native from the Tlingit tribe.
Crossing is inspired by Seattle’s maritime industry, the nearby ship canal, and our relationship to water. Crossing alludes to a journey moving through or along water and serves as a metaphor for our individual experiences, personal connections to, and reflections on water.
Honoring the waterway connecting Lake Union and the Puget Sound, the phrase “TATTARRATTAT” is spelled out using the International Code of Signals for water vessels moving in either direction of the canal. The repetition of the palindrome serves as a visual interpretation of the “knock, knock” emanating from a construction site for months to come.
Rain activated art by RYAN! Feddersen
In 2019, RYAN! Feddersen installed a series of rain activated medallions based on community input and ideas exploring the idea of how we use water. The temporary series could be seen at various locations along the storage tunnel alignment. She is currently developing a concept for her permanent artwork.
If only I could
This work is about duality and the constant role changing that's forced upon Black people. We have to navigate many of our public situations differently from everyone else. Something as simple as turning without using a signal can result in death or any other small act that can easily be glossed over. We're forced to change and constantly adapt our images to exist without threat of punishment. This work reflects the constant change that is forced upon us.
The addition of this tunnel to our infrastructure is a testament to our community’s commitment to protect the beautiful Salish Sea. We must also endeavor to eliminate, or greatly reduce our individual carbon footprint, specially where single-use plastics are concerned. This work is constructed from plastic generated over a year by a family of two.
Wine-Dark Seee is a series of narrative backdrops; a non-linear sequence of collaged public domain images combined with text drawn from Homer’s Odyssey, an epic poem describing a circuitous journey home, across stormy seas, after a prolonged series of difficult events.
The Future Needs you NOW You Need the Future
The Future Needs You NOW You Need the Future is a temporary art installation that brings awareness to the impact of climate change on mental health in light of current trends of overconsumption. Artist Janelle Abbott invited community members to send her their well-worn t-shirts in order to recontextualized potential waste into art. The t-shirts were cut into strips, wrapped around wire, then attached to the fencing adjacent to the North Transfer Station in order to spell out this important message that invites everyone to pause and take action for the future of our planet.
Dozfy is a Seattle-based artist who explores stories, histories and connectedness through his public artworks. Reflecting a balance of yin and yang, his art embodies planning and effortlessness, precision and flexibility. Dozfy has a degree in studio art from the University of Texas, and his artistic style is influenced by Chinese calligraphy, Japanese and American art, realism, comic books, Ansel Adams and Jackson Pollock.
As part of the FLOW ship canal project, Dozfy has chosen to spotlight three local salmon species that have shaped history and culture in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest for thousands of years. Sockeye, Chinook and Coho salmon are intrinsically linked to Ballard—roughly 75,000 pass through the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks. Ballard itself, home to an industrial working waterfront and strong maritime heritage, also reflects some of the defining characteristics of salmon. Like the keystone species, Ballard and the people who call it home are hardworking, determined, tough and willing to meet challenges head on.
"My work is inspired by the geometry of quilting and textile patterns as well as the joy of working with yarn and fibers. The design of Convergence, Divergence was inspired by the idea that the water we use converges from many rivers and streams into our homes and then diverges again to drainage, treatment, and the broader sound."
– Christy Caravaglio
Oceans of Emotion
The title of our installation is a response to the pandemic and turbulent political times. As SPU is updating the drainage system through Seattle neighborhoods to reroute wastewater safely, ‘Oceans of Emotion’ aims to free stagnant life force and release collective emotional blockage. The artist team has invited Seattle residents to create miniature artworks responding to the phrase ‘Release and Embrace’ in words and drawings.
Content advisory: The installation is made of publicly sourced content. While the artist team encourage participants to express themselves freely, they will not include discriminatory or graphic language, imagery or hate speech.
Soak It Up
Art does not need to be long-term. This is a 'time will tell' project that responds to the stormwater upgrade through the Ship Canal Water Quality Project. The idea is for elements of our environment to be absorbed into the sponges over 6 months. They will transform starting out bright, fresh and new. What goes into our water and environment is up to us. A visual reminder that everyone is always downstream from someone else. Hopefully viewers will soak it up.
Landscape, Collage, Waterway, Tapestry
Visual artist Allyce Wood's large scale drawings depict our changing city and the waterways that connect us. With colors borrowed from this specific environment, she uses digital means to create new views of our surroundings, incorporating symbols like ribbons, currents and streams, and raindrops to speak to shifts and changes, pools and weather fronts. This series tells the story of the constant pull of water in all of its changeable states.
Medium: Digital Paintings on vinyl banners with hardware
“Life on earth depends on water. Throughout the ages, all living creatures have congregated around it. Humans have designed vessels to contain it, traverse it, and created structures to reroute and utilize it. It has been culturally significant throughout history and has inspired imaginative stories that gave rise to timeless legends, deities, and mythical creatures.
For the FLOW project, I randomly asked members of the community what objects, animals, and myths came to mind relating to water. I then drew icons based on the responses I received and used the icons to create a series of kaleidoscope designs.
As an unexpected fun twist, I’ve incorporated three “spot the difference” elements within each kaleidoscope design, inviting passersby to participate beyond just briefly viewing the designs.”
- Marsha Rollinger
A Visual Love Letter
I want to dedicate this mural to my younger self and to the communities that poured love, light, and energy into me throughout my life. As I enter my 31st year around the sun, I am growing a deeper appreciation for the importance of self-love, self-care, and self-preservation. This artwork is a visual love letter of positive and healing energy for those who gaze upon it. Healing starts within. My question to you: What part of yourself needs more love and attention?
"Young love, don't ever waste your life
I see that you're searching for peace of mind
Young love, I want you to value your light
I see that you're searching for peace of mind"
-Lyrics by Cleo Soul
Malayka Gormally has exhibited her work in two-person and group exhibitions in museums and galleries in the U.S. and Europe. Her drawings of immigrants are in the collections of SeaTac Airport, City of Seattle, City of Bellevue, and corporate and museum collections. She is currently incorporating the imagery from her ink, watercolor, and gouache drawings into public art projects for the City of Seattle and Sound Transit.
A daughter of an immigrant, Gormally is interested in highlighting immigrants' individuality and presence in our society. Immigrant Footprints incorporates imagery from Gormally's drawings of immigrants in our region who are from India, Ethiopia and Cameroon. Also included in this project are her drawings referencing imagery from vintage photographs of European immigrants at Ellis Island (New York) in 1900; Gormally’s maternal ancestors came through Ellis Island in this time period.
As a part of the Ship Canal Water Quality Project, five new permanent artworks will be developed and displayed. Explore below for more information about each artist and their inspiration or take a look at our public art fact sheet.
Vaughn Bell creates interactive projects and immersive environments that deal with how we relate to our environment. Bell will be creating a Connective Thread artwork that will tie all the art themes together and which will run the length of the new tunnel. Bell was an Artist-in-Residence at Seattle Public Utilities and created the SPU Drainage and Wastewater Art Master Plan.
Jeffrey Veregge is an award-winning Native American comic book artist from the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe in Kingston, Washington. His work uses Coastal Salish and contemporary graphic design techniques. He is dubbed “Salish Geek” by his fans and peers. Veregge has recently installed murals at the Smithsonian, The Burke Museum, Snoqualmie Casino, and the Citizen M Hotel.
Christian French’s, Sing, Calypso, embedded images and a poem into the new 24th Ave NW Pier. The artwork tells the simple tale of a fisherman who was saved from drowning by a magical fish he had spared out of compassion. The artwork can temporarily be seen while the pier is open through the summer.
Artist team Preston Singletary and David Franklin have been commissioned for the Fremont and Queen Anne locations. Their artwork will tell the traditional native story of Petrel Guards the Water and Raven Steals the Water Paddle through two large-scale canoe paddle sculptures constructed of glass and steel that will flank each side of the ship canal waterway.
RYAN! Feddersen is a mixed-media installation artist who specializes in interactive and immersive artworks that invite audience engagement. She was born and raised in Wenatchee, WA. She was inspired to create interactive and temporary artworks as a way to honor an indigenous perspective on the relationship between artist and community. Her approach emphasizes humor, play, and creative engagement to create opportunities for personal introspection and discovery.
The artwork concept, Overflow is a waterjet-cut art fence which illustrates connections between our water usage, city planning, hardscapes, waterways, and underground systems. By reflecting on the many ways we need water to live healthy and happy lives, we acknowledge that we all personally benefit from access to clean water.