Public Art Coming to A Burke-Gilman Trail Near You?

Yesterday, the City released a call to artists for $80,000 towards public art to be installed along the Burke-Gilman Trail.  What’s interesting for Wedgwood and NE Seattle in general are the 6 potential locations suitable for public art identified by the City in their call to artists.  Of the 13.9 miles of trail located in Seattle, all 6 locations are in NE Seattle between 25th Ave NE and near NE 77th Street.

The following is from the City’s call to artists:

This call is open to artists residing in Washington state. All members of an artist team must reside in Washington.

Artwork Scope
The selected artist will create a durable, permanent, outdoor artwork for two to five select locations along the trail. Potential artwork locations are identified on the attached map. The multi-site art installation will function as one artwork in which the various parts will combine to create a larger vision, and each part will also enliven its immediate space. The artwork will serve to identify the trail as a connective conduit of the city and should add an element of discovery to peoples’ experience of the trail. The selected artist must use the split section of the trail east of 40th Avenue East as a portion of the overall artwork. The artist will need to consider the many users of the trail, including cyclists and pedestrians, commuters and people out for a leisurely outing. People will encounter the artwork while moving at different speeds or pausing for a break along the trail. The artwork should be responsive to these circumstances in order to not increase the risk of accidents.

The artist will coordinate with staff in SDOT, Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation (Parks), and the Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs in the selection of sites and development of the artwork. The artwork will be reviewed on the basis of safety and maintenance issues that relate to the site of the urban trail. The artist will also meet with community representatives during the development of the project.

Sites Along the Trail
The trail traverses a diverse section of Seattle. Along the trail’s route one sees residential areas, the University of Washington, views of Lake Union, the Ship Canal and Puget Sound, as well as industrial and maritime areas. On the westernmost section, the terminus of the trail lands in Golden Gardens Park with a dramatic view of Puget Sound. This trail end is notable as it is a beginning and ending point for cyclists who are cycling across the country. Many sites important to the community exist along the trail, including the Fremont Bridge, the Chittenden Locks and various parks.

Several factors dictate the potential locations of artworks along the trail. The trail is located along sections of the shoreline that are under the purview of the Army Corps of Engineers in some locations. Other sections of the trail are on University of Washington property. Along its length the trail is maintained in some sections by SDOT and in some sections by Parks.

The attached map and photos show possible locations for artworks, as well as indicating which locations are not recommended for art. In each location, the actual footprint available for the artwork is small and often occupies a linear stretch near the trail. For traffic safety reasons the standard lateral clearance for any multi-use trail is two feet (three feet preferred) from the edge-of-pavement to the closest part of any fixed object.

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