West Seattle weekend scene: ‘Mystery art’ on Alki, embraced and explained

11:02 AM: Thanks to Chi Krneta for the photos and report:

I saw this art display at the Statue of Liberty this morning on Alki. There are pens and stencils for people to leave comments on the artwork.

Chi wonders if anyone knows who created and placed this. Certainly not the first guerrilla art to show up at Statue of Liberty Plaza – but the first we’d heard of this.

1:44 PM: We’ve heard from the artist, Sarah Reitz, who explained via text that it’s part of her graduate thesis work.

4:41 PM: Thanks to Max Szyszkowski for this photo taken a few hours ago after more participation:

9:53 PM: Artist Sarah Reitz has just sent us more about her project:

I spent the day on Alki with the installation and have now moved it back to my studio (didn’t want it to be in the way of 5k activities tomorrow).

I’m a graduate student at the University of Washington studying visual communication and experience design in the School of Art + Art History + Design.

My graduate thesis (working title “Landmark”) focuses broadly on the area of participatory exhibit design. Through it, I’ve been exploring ways to make the visitor experience at memorials or monuments more interactive. I picked the Alki Statue of Liberty as a case study for my research several months ago, and since then I have conducted a series of smaller prototypes at the statue that ultimately informed the design of today’s installation. The prototypes helped me determine what material to work with, what prompt to ask, and how to make the interaction as welcoming as possible for park visitors.

The main questions I explored through my research are:

Do people value experiences that ask them to write, draw, or materially contribute information in an outdoor setting? If given the opportunity, would people participate?

Would the installation spark conversation? What types of responses would I receive and what types of interactions would I observe?

Most importantly, what kinds of things could I do as a designer to make participation intuitive, delightful, and meaningful?

ADDED 11 AM SUNDAY: The artist also tells us in response to our followup question that while she has no current plan to bring it back, she’s open to the idea, or to “donating it to any community group that might be interested.” It’s not available until late June, though – it’ll be on display with other students’ theses at the Henry Art Gallery June 3-25.

6 Replies to "West Seattle weekend scene: 'Mystery art' on Alki, embraced and explained"

  • Alki Resident May 20, 2017 (11:51 am)

    This breaks my heart.

  • KD May 20, 2017 (1:17 pm)

    BEAUTIFUL. Thankyou to whomever assembled it and put their humanity and heart out there for us (and for.. U.S!) Seriously, the national media needs to show this too. (Calling CNN!!)

    • WSB May 20, 2017 (1:43 pm)

      I have heard from the artist. Her name is Sarah Reitz. More info to come, I hope.

  • J May 21, 2017 (12:08 am)

    Sarah Reitz,

    I appreciate your creativity and desire to learn and understand.  

    How do you measure:

    Do people value experiences that ask them to write, draw, or materially contribute information in an outdoor setting? If given the opportunity, would people participate?

    Would the installation spark conversation? What types of responses would I receive and what types of interactions would I observe?

    Most importantly, what kinds of things could I do as a designer to make participation intuitive, delightful, and meaningful?”

  • d May 21, 2017 (8:52 am)

    Very cool keep up the good work you are a modern day pioneer good luck with all your endeavors

  • Nora Gibson May 22, 2017 (1:37 pm)

    I walked by on Saturday and watched two little boys rush over to it. One asking if it was okay to draw on it and the other one saying, “Yes, it’s okay, that’s why they left all this stuff”

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