Seeks Artists for Three Waterfront Parks / Employment
The City of Kenmore is seeking an artist or artist team to develop artworks for three
Kenmore waterfront parks:
• Log Boom Park: 17415 61st Avenue NE
• Squire’s Landing Park: 7353 NE 175th Street
• Rhododendron Park: 6910 NE 170th Street
Waterfront access improvements are planned at all three parks as part of the Walkways and Waterways bond levy that passed in 2016. Construction is expected between 2020-2023. The three Kenmore parks, bordering on the intertwined natural waterways ecosystem of river, stream and lake that define the City, will be grouped together for this public art opportunity. This approach gives an artist the prospect of creating stimulating, responsive artworks that showcase the interconnected waterway systems at work in Kenmore’s natural environment. This enhances the community’s understanding and appreciation of a wonderful part of their City’s environment. It is important to take full advantage of the uniqueness of Kenmore’s water tied to open spaces to give the community places of respite that contrast with the surrounding built and infrastructure environment.
The process for these linked public art projects is to select an artist in a timely manner so that they are able to work in a limited collaboration with the park design team (Mott McDonald, JA Brennan Landscape Architecture and Confluence) to develop artworks underlying and complementing the design of each park and impacting the experiences people will have within the parks. Beyond its familiarity with the sites as designers, the team has extensive experience working with artists on previous projects, making this a good opportunity to implement some exciting integrated artwork components.
Art Project Goals:
The primary goal is to have an artist create a set of linked public artworks that are genuinely integrated into the natural environment and physical conditions of the three parks. All artworks in each of the parks will uniquely highlight the special relationship Kenmore land has to water and the varied shoreline edge.
• Encourage a range of artwork types to address and weave into the specific environment and designs of each park.
o Artworks could have diverse conceptual underpinnings and cultural references, and could be of a variety of scales, materials, and how they engage the natural elements.
• Artworks are woven into the parks in ways that creatively expand and deepen the range of momentary experiences all park users will have each time they visit.
• Developed artworks are integral to the community’s understanding and sense of each park, as well as how people experience it – whether regular or one-time visitors.
• Artworks impact each park in a special, iconic way emphasizing the specialness of Kenmore’s relationship to its varied, rich shoreline.
• Artworks interact with and reveal the notable qualities of the land and water, daily shifting natural elements, park design and uses.
o Artworks would explore and potentially respond to natural elements such as rainwater, water conditions of the river, stream or lake, light and shadows, wind, seasonal and time of day changes, etc. — revealing these fundamental natural elements and forces to people in imaginative ways. This approach becomes a signature of the artworks in these parks.
• Artworks are engaging and meaningful for all by paying deliberate attention to diversity of ages of those who will be visiting and using these parks.
• Artworks may also provide elements of playfulness and fun, continuing the “love of Kenmore” theme where artwork projects have been implemented by community members to foster beauty and art and connect people together.
The City of Kenmore is unique in the abundance of natural systems that weave in and around the city, connecting the different neighborhoods through stream corridors, sensitive areas, and ravines to the Sammamish River and Lake Washington. These natural elements have defined and continue to affect Kenmore’s community setting. The natural environment provides habitat for fish and wildlife, enhances water, air and soil quality, and provides areas for passive recreation. Many of the city’s existing parks are located beside or contain a creek, river, or freshwater shoreline, wetlands or significant forested areas. Kenmore is approximately 6.15 square miles in area, with roughly 39,000 lineal feet of shoreline on Lake Washington (21,000 lineal feet) and along the Sammamish River (18,000 lineal feet). Improving public access to Kenmore’s waterfront is a priority. The City has over seven miles of shoreline on Lake Washington and the Sammamish River but limited opportunities for public access.
Urban parks are an essential component of a healthy, meaningfully balanced life when we live within the built environment of a city. Parks provide a place for people to shift from their daily responsibilities to a more relaxed, open experience of time and place. Parks provide a spectrum of experiences that contribute to personal and family well-being, while at the same time strengthening community through shared, interactive use.
Parks are very much about a range of experiences framed by what is happening. There are active and passive activities, differences based on time of day, weather and natural cycles, whether alone or with others, and more. Parks are places that provide the full experiential spectrum – from quiet solace to energetic activities. As such, they offer a fantastic, ever-shifting array of various conditions and unexpected circumstances. These conditions in turn offer park visitors on-going experiences that are unique from visit to visit, even if for example, the same trail is walked again and again.
Each park is wonderfully unique – the setting, the activities, the land, the vistas, the design. Yet the addition of art in a park can energize, enliven and enrich a particular park even further. Using art to further expand on a park’s particular uniqueness elevates that park to a place with the potential to provide even more memorable connections to place and people.
Adding a cultural, artful voice unfurling in unexpected ways expands the experiences of the environment of the park. Artworks encourage a spirit of creativity among visitors as they engage with imaginative, unexpected additions to a park’s environment. This engagement enhances the potential for remembering each visit by changing how people are engaged physically, mentally, and emotionally from moment-to-moment while in the park. Therefore, an art intervention in a park should generate unexpected experiences paired with the more typical park experiences of the weather, light, time of day, planned and unplanned activities, time spent alone or with friends and family, unexpected conditions or friendly meetings that shift one’s planned uses of the park.
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