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April 2012
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CityLink Seattle

Seattle artists and volunteers to create a soaring spiral sculpture at Lake Union Park

April 27 to June 17, 2012. See volunteer opportunities below.

The Spiral Project – a Spiral of Hope, an evocative sculpture event, will begin construction in Lake Union Park on April 27.

In partnership with Seattle Parks and Recreation and Seattle University’s Project on Family Homelessness (supported by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation), project coordinator Urban Art Concept will bring together artists and volunteers to assemble a 300-foot long sculpture using recovered tree branches.

Urban Art Concept focuses on humanizing everyday spaces with compelling art works and creating unique experiences in unusual spaces. President Bryan Ohno directed the recent MadArt projects including Mad Homes, a three-week-long installation in the Capitol Hill neighborhood last summer that brought the work of 14 Seattle-based artists into five homes before they were demolished for urban development. It attracted more than 7,000 visitors during viewing hours plus thousands of others after hours.

“We’re pleased to be partnering with Urban Art Concept and Seattle Parks and Recreation on this project,” said Prof. Barry Mitzman, director of Seattle University’s Project on Family Homelessness in the Center for Strategic Communications. “We hope to stimulate and engage the community to consider the meaning of home and the situation of family homelessness.”

Spirals are seen in nature and architecture. The installation will merge both aesthetics. Made almost entirely from fallen tree branches from the woods of the East Duwamish greenbelt, formerly known as “The Jungle,” the branches will be assembled by artists and community members. Rather than the tragic, downward spiral of hopelessness, the form will spiral up in a metaphor for “hope and opportunity.” At its entrance, the Spiral will rise from three feet above the ground, ascending to 12 feet in height, twisting toward the center, and ending in a living tree. Park visitors are invited to walk through the labyrinth-like spiral to reflect on the powerful message of hope the sculpture will radiate.

The Spiral of Hope is a pilot project of the Finding Home series by Urban Art Concept. This series of projects is designed to foster a connection between our community and artists through art and to find new voices and expressions to the meaning of what homes signify in the 21st century. More important, the artists try to seek what it means when we don’t have a place called “home.” The artists hope to generate a dialogue, to create awareness, and to measure the well being of our society.

Family homelessness is experienced by an estimated 12,500 parents and children in the state of Washington on any given night. Through the voice and creativity of art, we want to bring this reality to light. Family homelessness is almost invisible in our daily lives, but right in our community, families who have lost their homes move from one living room couch to another, live in a motel or shelter, or spend nights in family cars on mall parking lots – all while trying to work and keep their kids in school.

Just as photographer Dorothea Lange hauntingly captured the bleakness of the Depression era, The Spiral Project will evoke the 21st century version of family homelessness in our community, yet with a message of hope.

Volunteer opportunities
We seek Seattle area artists, students, and community members to help collect tree branches and subsequently to create the monumental sculpture at Lake Union Park. Interested candidates should:
–Visit www.urbanartconcept.com and click on Spiral Project Volunteer; or
–Send an e-mail to info@urbanartconcept.com with “Spiral Project Volunteer” in the subject line; or
–Visit Facebook at Spiral Project Seattle and add your name and contact information to the signup sheet; or
–Call Urban Art Concept at 206.459.6857.

Branch Gathering: April 14 and 15; 21 and 22 (Saturday and Sunday) Dr. Jose Rizal Park, 1008 12th Ave. S, Seattle, WA 98134

Spiral Creation: Friday, April 27 to Thursday, May 17 (weekends based on interest) Lake Union Park, 860 Terry Avenue North, Seattle, WA 98109

Opening Reception: Friday, May 18

Exhibition Ends: Sunday, June 17

Supporters
Urban Art Concept does the branch collection in cooperation with the Seattle Parks and Recreation, Seattle Department of Transportation, and Washington Department of Transportation. The Spiral Project, described above, is created in partnership with Seattle Parks and Recreation and supported by Seattle University’s Project on Family Homelessness in the Center for Strategic Communications. The Project on Family Homelessness (www.su-familyhomelessness.org) is funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

About Urban Art Concept
Urban Art Concept focuses on humanizing everyday spaces with compelling art works and creating unique experiences in unusual spaces. President Bryan Ohno directed the recent MadArt projects including Mad Homes, described above, and a temporary sculpture garden in Cal Anderson Park; and art installations in the windows of local businesses in Seattle’s Madison Park neighborhood. UAC works to enliven the gray. It embraces art as a way to reconnect and complement architectural design with the natural, from which it is so often displaced, encouraging balance in a frenetic and unbalanced world.