West Seattle, Washington
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Last weekend, a reader texted us to say that “Walking on Logs” – the sculpture installation by the pullout near the west end of the West Seattle Bridge – appeared to be missing another of its bronze “dancing children.” We subsequently verified at the site that only two of the original four remain.
So was the latest one to vanish stolen, or otherwise removed? So far, we haven’t found evidence of the latter.
Back in 2014, one of the original four sculptures was stolen, and to date, it’s never been found. Now, it appears the same fate may have befallen one of the remaining three – unless someone reading this has an explanation we haven’t been able to find despite a variety of inquiries with the people and agencies who’ve had past involvement. The one that’s missing is in the upper left of this photo taken after the 2014 theft:
The bronze sculptures were installed in 1996. The artist was Phillip Levine of Burien, who died last year at age 90. He told local historian/journalist Clay Eals in a 2014 interview that the sculptures were meant to exude “sheer joy.” They were part of the turn-of-the-millennium “Murals of West Seattle” project led by West Seattle community advocate Earl Cruzen, who died in 2017 at 96 and worked until late in his life to maintain the roadside area around the sculptures.
Community maintenance was part of the deal when the city originally granted permission for installation of the sculptures, as the city’s Office of Arts and Culture told us while we were reporting on the 2014 theft – “the whole project was funded from matching-fund grants from both King County and from Department of Neighborhoods. SDOT allowed the artwork in the right of way with the understanding that the community would maintain the artwork.”
So who is accountable for it now?
The community-volunteer effort dwindled for lack of new participation. The West Seattle Chamber of Commerce was once accountable pre-pandemic for granting permission to nonprofits to display messages at the site for special events, then handed that accountability off to Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association. We’ve checked with both those organizations and neither is aware of a reason one more sculpture is gone. Nor is the Kiwanis Club of West Seattle, which had some involvement with volunteer efforts in the past. Nor is the city – we asked SDOT, which in turn checked with Arts & Culture. We also asked Clay Eals, who hadn’t heard anything either.
In addition to the Walking on Logs sculpture stolen in 2014, other bronze artwork has been taken over the years – in 2015, for example, someone stole bronze fish from the Fauntleroy Creek overlook. And just last December, we published a Crime Watch reader report about bronze art stolen from outside a local home.
P.S. We visited the site twice in the past few days to verify and re-verify that the sculpture was missing. The first time, the pullout was empty; the second time – at midday Tuesday – this plateless, unoccupied pickup truck was there, backed part way into the muddy slope.
Related? No idea, but we did find that someone filed a police report yesterday about the truck. Police determined that it had been stolen from Pierce County and had it towed to an impound yard.
Here in the heart of winter, we have two more reasons to think ahead to summer! Just announced:
Mode Music Studios and Mode Music and Performing Arts (MMPA) are offering a wide variety of day camps this summer!
Mode Music Studios is accepting sign-ups now for our Summer Rock Bands! Students of any experience level between the ages of 6-12 (additional options for ages 13+ available upon request) have the chance to create, rehearse and perform in a student band — all in one week! Make them a full day by signing up for an afternoon camp at our neighboring nonprofit, mentioned below. For more information, visit modemusicstudios.com/camps
MMPA is offering 17 weeks of half- and full-day camps in July and August! All of MMPA’s camps and classes are offered on a pay-what-you-can basis with full scholarships available. Camps range from Star Wars Play Creation to All About Instruments to Musical Theatre Revue and are available for campers going into grades K-6. For more information, visit modemusicandperformingarts.org/camps
Mode Music Studios (WSB sponsor) and MMPA are headquartered in West Seattle, at 3805 Delridge Way SW.
February showers bring thoughts of June flowers! Advance tickets are now available for this year’s West Seattle Garden Tour, and the WSGT has announced Brooke Borcherding‘s painting Magenta and Lemon as this year’s art contest winner:
Each year, West Seattle Garden Tour provides an opportunity for one talented artist to showcase her or his original artwork on tour marketing materials and to take home a $500 cash prize. We are pleased to announce Seattle artist Brooke Borcherding as the winner for our 2023 tour.
“Magenta and Lemon is inspired by everyday scenes. My work often illustrates a small slice of life in a unique way. This piece shows a variety of floral foliage against a wall depicted in my distinct style of energetic markmaking and bold color,” says Ms. Borcherding about this winning piece.
Magenta and Lemon (36”w x 36”h; acrylic) will be featured on the 2023 garden tour’s official poster and ticket book. Ms. Borcherding will also receive a $500 cash prize. West Seattle Garden Tour will conduct a silent auction of the artwork beginning at the May 2023 West Seattle Art Walk (at Capers Home store) and concluding on the day of the tour, Sunday, June 25, 2023. Bids will also be taken on tour day in one of the gardens from 9 am to 5 pm. Proceeds will benefit the year’s eight designated grant recipient non-profit organizations.
Magenta and Lemon, along with works by four West Seattle Garden Tour Art Competition finalists will be on view at Capers Home during the West Seattle Art Walk, 5-8 pm, May 11, 2023.
WSGT tickets are only on sale online for starters; in-person sales will be announced later.
After this school year, Alki Elementary is set to be demolished, with a larger replacement built on the site. The Alki Elementary PTA says two upcoming events will provide chances to say goodbye to the old building, starting with a show:
Alki Elementary PTA is thrilled to announce “The CLAW!” – a new children’s musical! After two years of virtual performances, the Alki PTA musical has returned to the stage – and for the first time in decades it will actually be performed on Alki’s own stage as an homage to the building before the planned demolition this summer.
The Claw tells the story of a claw machine in the West Seattle Bowling Alley (we took a little artistic liberty there) that’s been broken down for years and what happens to the toys inside of it when it suddenly springs to life again! It boasts a cast and crew of 55 3rd, 4th and 5th grade Alki students and was produced by 100% volunteer parent power!
Tickets are a suggested donation of $5 and on sale now for 3 performances! Bake Sale, Flower Sale and Raffle Basket fundraisers benefiting Alki PTA before and after the show. Runtime approximately 45 minutes.
Friday, February 10 at 6:30 PM – SOLD OUT
Saturday, February 11, 1:00 PM Matinee and 6:30 PM Finale
The Alki PTA Musical is the first of the final events to take place in the longstanding school building slated for demo and rebuild over the next two years. Alki PTA welcomes you to “The Claw” and would like families, neighbors and alumni to save the date for their next event, “It’s The Final Countdown – Say Goodbye to Alki Celebration and Auction” – Saturday, March 25th – where guests will have a chance to visit the building one last time and join in the evening’s program by sharing alumni pictures and memories of Alki! More info to come! alkipta.com
You’ve probably seen the Endolyne Children’s Choir over the years at a West Seattle Junction Christmas Tree Lighting performance – but that’s just one of many ways in which this organization enriches the community. Now they’re looking for new support, with openings on the board. Here’s the announcement sent to us to share with you:
If you’re looking to give back to the community and add board-member experience to your resume, Endolyne Children’s Choir (ECC) wants to talk to you! ECC teaches the joy of singing in a community setting that fosters self-confidence, teamwork, and a lifelong appreciation for music.
Making this happen for thousands of kids over the last 20 years takes a village, and a vital part of our village is our board of directors. The leaders who serve on our board have a front-row seat to watch these kids connect with, inspire, and uplift the greater community, while developing lifelong appreciation for music and the arts.
Here’s what a few long-term board members had to say about why they serve:
“Creating community among our singers and their families. It’s such a joy to build relationships, to bring people together, and to watch our singers grow and mature both as choral musicians and as humans over the years.”
“I get to work with dedicated board members and staff to provide a caring and fun space and wonderful opportunities for our young singers to grow as individuals.”
“The fun and collaborative environment! Being able to share my enthusiasm for children’s choral singing/music education by brainstorming new and creative ideas with an amazing group of dedicated volunteers!”
Interested in using your accounting or fundraising expertise and leadership to make a difference in your community? ECC is actively recruiting for a Treasurer and Fundraising Chair, so reach out to us at email@example.com
Historic Kenyon Hall is hosting the duo Great Aunt all the way from Down Under this Saturday and thought them worth a special shoutout:
Kenyon Hall proudly presents
GREAT AUNT (from Melbourne, Australia)
January 28th, 2023
DOORS @ 7:00 PM
SHOWTIME @ 7:30 PM
“Raw and austere, simple and bold; full of stomping feet and clapping hands, chants and harmonies, whispered words and soulful lament – that’s the music of Great Aunt. Listen, and you’ll hear tales of joy and grief, whiskey and wine, gratitude and purpose-seeking.”
Great Aunt sets out on a US tour starting in Portland with Hall favorite Mary Flower, and lending their talents to our stage before heading East.
TICKETS: $15 General, $10 Seniors (ages 55+) and Students (ages 18 & under)*
TO RESERVE TICKETS: Go here
Haven’t been to Kenyon Hall? It’s at 7904 35th SW.
Julia Douthwaite Viglione, a local educator/writer whose community involvement includes leading the monthly Classic Novels (And Movies) Book Club, is offering a free writing workshop for kids/tweens starting one week from today:
Write YOUR Story
Ages 8 – 12
Thursdays, February 2, 2023 – May 4, 2023
4:30 – 5:30 pm
High Point Community Center
6920 34th SW
Free writing workshop! As a peer group, you’ll evaluate 3 existing stories selecting one plotline as the basis for a brand new story. The group will then create a brand new story, and illustrate it before it is sent to print. For the second part of the program students will be working on their very own story with support and guidance from professional writers. The program ends with a celebration—a chance for each participant to share an excerpt from their work and play some games. Each participant will receive a spiral bound, color copy of the group book. Each registrant must be committed to attend all 12 sessions for the program to work. Enrollment required. To enroll, call 206-684-7422.
Here’s a flyer for the workshop.
While the music video above for Not Dead Yet‘s “West Seattle Hey” features some WS icons, the bridge is not among them. Who knew, when the video was made in 2012, that the bridge would close for 2 1/2 years? But that’s all in the rear-view mirror now, and Not Dead Yet is still standing – and playing. This Friday (January 27th), you can see for yourself at The Skylark, doors at 7, music at 8. Not Dead Yet’s piano player Paul adds, “We will be joined by two other local W Seattle bands, The Still Peaking Project at 9 pm and the premiere of the Palm Ave Lounge Band at 10 pm.” So go enjoy a night of all-local music at 3803 Delridge Way SW (right next to the aforementioned bridge).
Lauren Grosskopf of Pleasure Boat Studio is publishing another zine with work by young creators – and she’s calling for submissions. The next “Kids For Kids” zine is intended as both a fundraiser and morale boost for Ukrainians living through the war. She welcomes art, poetry, and comics from 3- to 18-year-olds. The zine will be made available as a free PDF, with printed copies for $25 to raise money for three nonprofits. You can go here to find out more, including how young artists and writers can contribute (free), and how you can support the effort. Last year, Pleasure Boat Studio published a 100-page zine with creations by kids and teens.
As we write this, it’s only lightly raining … good night to go show some love to local artists! Find your nearest venue(s) on the list/map featured on the West Seattle Art Walk website. We’re just back from one – a student-artist show!
West Seattle High School artists are showing their work tonight at West Seattle Grounds in North Admiral. Above is Amelia; below, Maxi:
All three are juniors. Tonight’s reception continues at WSG (2141 California SW) until about 7 pm. West Seattle Art Walk happens every month on the second Thursday!
If you like your music loud and electronic, the West Seattle band anMech might be for you. Band member Noah Schoenfeld emailed us because they’re proud that anMech has been chosen by rock radio 99.9 KISW as its “Loud and Local Band of the Week.” Noah explains that the band plays “a mixture or industrial, metal, and synth wave blended together into unique sound.” They released their first album “The Curse of Hope” on Halloween, “a full-length EP that was recorded this past summer.” anMech plays at venues around the area and Noah, a longtime Delridge resident, says they’re extra-excited to be playing West Seattle’s own Skylark next month – here’s the poster:
You can find more music from anMech – short for “animal mechanical” – on YouTube and Bandcamp. They even have merch.
The West Seattle Community Orchestras invite you to two free concerts this week – if you haven’t already seen them in our Holiday Guide or Event Calendar, here’s the full announcement:
The West Seattle Community Orchestras are returning to our home at Chief Sealth International High School to kick off our 20th season of winter concerts. We have been online and in alternate performance spaces for almost 3 years, so it is incredibly exciting to be back at Sealth, performing in the hall.
Tuesday 12/6 at 6 PM is the Debut Orchestra, conducted by Rachel Nesvig, and Concert Orchestra, conducted by Bryan Kolk. Both groups are playing a selection of pieces, including several timely Holiday pieces.
Friday, 12/9 at 7 PM, the Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Dr. Anna Wittstruck, is performing a selection of pieces, and we are so excited to showcase the Elgar Cello Concerto with soloist Alastair MacRae. Mr. MacRae is a local artist joining us from Tacoma, where he is the Cordelia Wikarski-Miedel Artist in Residence and cello instructor at the University of Puget Sound, as well as the cellist of the Puget Sound Piano Trio.
This should be a fantastic set of free concerts; we are so excited to see the community again, and provide some indoor entertainment after the week of snow!
(While there’s no admission charge, WSCO, as a nonprofit, is always happy to accept donations.) CSIHS is at 2600 SW Thistle.
Paths are cleared to get to the Senior Center of West Seattle door at 4217 SW Oregon, and once you’re inside, you’ll see tables ringing the main hall with items you won’t see anywhere else – like Denise LeBlanc‘s calendars featuring her Northwest-scenery paintings:
Jen Vanderhoof‘s underwater photography gives you an up-close perspective on sea life:
Jen also has “beaver stick” pencils – made from sticks left behind by beavers.
Also crafted from wood, the dulcimers that Norm Zemke is selling:
They’re challenging to make, he explains, requiring “steam bending.” Then there are some repurposed crafts – Tammy Majeski‘s wreaths are made from vintage Christmas ornaments:
Other vendors have handmade apparel, jewelry, and baked goods – you’ll even find “fidget spinners,” This is all happening until 4 pm, which is when The Junction’s festival starts, so go early and catch the bazaar too.
Before we get back to snow coverage – a message about holiday giving. You have ample opportunities throughout the season (we have a list of donation drives in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide), but today in particular has become known as Giving Tuesday. Your favorite local nonprofits appreciate community support. Among them, Mode Music and Performing Arts, on a mission to make arts education more accessible to more students. Here’s what they asked us to share with you:
In honor of the global generosity movement Giving Tuesday, and in support of your local West Seattle nonprofit arts education organization, Mode Music and Performing Arts (MMPA) is encouraging folks to sign up for our monthly giving options.
Mode Music and Performing Arts was created as a nonprofit to make arts education more accessible for Seattle’s students.
MMPA’s ability to offer scholarships through a pay-what-you-can model is entirely because of people like you – people who care about kids having access to arts education in school AND out of school. This year, we’ve served 351 students in all of our programs, and we’ve offered over 100 partial and full scholarships! Your gifts help make this possible.
All donations to MMPA support our multiple arts education programs — learn more about them at modemusicandperformingarts.org or donate using the link below!
Listen to our parents and students speak about our MMPA programming.
MMPA is the nonprofit sibling of Mode Music Studios (WSB sponsor). Both are based in North Delridge.
On this day of emphasis on “shopping small,” here’s one of your chances to buy from individual crafters/artists: Today’s holiday craft fair at C & P Coffee (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor). Among those participating are Karen Johnson, whose drawings explore “the biodiversity of our world … to serve as a reminder to us all that the world is full of many wonders, and we should use it wisely”:
Also there (L-R below) are Jim Dwight with woodwork and Thor Cutler with small stained-glass pieces:
C & P’s craft fair continues until 2 pm today.
Earlier this month, we reported on the future public art for Highland Park Way/Holden, part of the city’s 1 Percent For Art program in conjunction with upcoming intersection changes including the installation of a permanent signal. Today we have our first look at what the giant Steller’s Jay sculpture by artist Matthew Mazzotta will look like, in the rendering above, made public by the city Office of Arts and Culture. The city’s update notes that the previously reported tentative title for the $120,000 installation, “Where’s the Party,” refers to “the fact that a group of jays is known as a ‘band,’ ‘cast,’ and a ‘party’ of jays.” It’s expected to be installed next summer, though other work at the intersection is scheduled to start this winter.
As previewed in our traffic alerts the past few mornings, SDOT was out today painting community-designed salmon in the street in High Point. The decorative fish are planned for two “Healthy Street” sections of 31st SW and SW Graham. We went over late today to see what had been completed in the first round of work.
The fish we found are on 31st south of Graham, so it looks like they’ll be working on Graham tomorrow (Sunday, November 13), starting as early as 6 am.
The project is explained here.
(Seattle Public Library photo)
This weekend, the historic West Seattle (Admiral) Library hosts the return of a pre-pandemic favorite – the Ladies’ Musical Club. They bring free classical-music concerts to the library, and the first one in three years is scheduled for 3 pm this Sunday (November 13). The concert features woodwind duets; you can see the program on the library’s website.
Every time we’ve seen West Seattle artist Desmond Hansen, he’s been out along a street, in protective gear, painting a signal box. Tonight, a different setting, and some of his other work:
As previewed here earlier this week, Hansen is the featured artist tonight for the West Seattle Art Walk debut of the new West Seattle Realty (WSB sponsor) office at 2715 California SW. He painted a Seacrest Pier mural on the office’s north interior wall, and other creations of his are on display tonight and throughout the month – including these:
Around the corner from West Seattle Realty, we found Carla Dreams Nitkey at Good Society (2701 California SW), showing her abstract/expressionist work inspired by feng shui principles:
Three Art of Music performances enhanced tonight’s Art Walk, too – we caught part of Sarah Brunner‘s set at West Seattle Grounds (2141 California SW):
Next month’s Art Walk is an ectra-festive holiday edition, Thursday, December 8th.
If you’re not already ticketed for the Mode Music and Performing Arts Friendsgiving Fundraiser this Sunday (November 13), you can still buy tickets tonight! Here’s the announcement:
We’re celebrating Thanksgiving early this Sunday at our Friendsgiving Fundraiser, and we’re most thankful for YOU, the community members who make up the Mode/MMPA extended family.
We still have more tickets available for purchase, and we’re hoping for a full house! Our ticketing site turns back into a pumpkin on Thursday at midnight, so act fast! Need convincing? Here’s some exciting details to get you to smash that “buy tickets” button at the end of this email.
PRICELESS Experiences Available At Our Live Auction
How would you like to host a private house show by Seattle girl rock band THEM?
Or maybe you’d like some VIP tickets for you and the family to attend Bluey’s Big Play at The Paramount?
What about an entire summer’s worth of FREE MMPA day camps?
All this and more is up for grabs at our Live Auction!
Live Performances From Mode/MMPA Teachers and Students
We’ll be hosting performances by some of Mode and MMPA’s talented teachers, as well as a set by our student rock band It’s All Happening. And we’ll end the night with a killer playlist to bring you to the dance floor, curated by our superstar emcee, KEXP DJ Troy Nelson.
Delicious Food From Our Friends at Skylark Cafe
Our neighbors and pals over at Skylark will be serving up a tasty taco bar, and we’ll also have a cash bar with beer and wine from some local spots! Come eat, drink and be merry!
We’d LOVE to see you there!
Join us THIS Sunday (November 13) from 6:00 to 9:00 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. We can’t wait to celebrate with our community!
BUY TICKETS: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mmpa-friendsgiving-fundraiser-tickets-429906651367
Mode Music and Performing Arts is the nonprofit sibling of Mode Music Studios (WSB sponsor), headquartered in North Delridge.
As featured regularly on the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar, the peninsula has several regular open-mic events. This, however, is a first: An extraterrestrial-themed Alien Open Mic this Friday. West Seattleite Krystal Kelley is organizing and hosting the event with the Seattle UFO Network (SUFON) at Freshy’s (2735 California SW). She explains, “Collectively, SUFON coordinators encourage any artform as long as it does not harm anyone or any property. Ideas are poetry, music, comedy and storytelling — costumes are also encouraged. Come to share your sightings, your encounters, your knowledge from past and future lives, your dreams, your soul missions, your off-planet experiences — anything alien. All are welcome in peace: Humans, hybrids, ET’s.” It’s set to start at 5:55 pm on Friday (November 11) and run until about 8 pm. You can sign up early via this form. Otherwise, just show up. And if you want to check it out without going in person, the Alien Open Mic will be streamed on the host’s YouTube channel.
Meryl Sidikman is one of the first artists you’ll see when you walk into the Fauntleroy Fine Art and Holiday Gift Show, continuing until 8 pm tonight and both days this weekend. She’s a White Center artist with a studio in Highland Park, and her booth includes brightly hued paintings including the frog and bats shown in our photo. Right around the corner in the event venue at Fauntleroy Church, you’ll see Rance Holiman:
His paintings include landscapes and portraits. We also talked with Rhonda Porter – a longtime local mortgage consultant who is also an artist; this is her first show:
Work of hers that caught our eye include Elvis (as seen in the photo) and colorful chickens. The full lineup of participating artists is in our calendar listing; you’ll also find artists showing and selling work in many other media, including textiles, jewelry, and metal. The show continues 10 am-4 pm Saturday and 11 am-2 pm Sunday; the church is at 9140 California SW.
We noted in coverage of last week’s HPAC meeting that an artist has been chosen for the “percent for art”-funded installation that will be part of finishing changes to the Highland Park Way/Holden intersection. (You might recall that the signal there now is a “temporary” version installed quickly days after the West Seattle Bridge closure, when the intersection suddenly had to handle a dramatically increased share of traffic.) HPAC said the art would be a “giant Steller’s Jay.” Those of course are the fractious blue-and-black birds often seen (and heard!) in local neighborhoods:
As promised, we followed up with the city Office of Arts and Culture to find out more about the plan. Here’s what spokesperson Erika Lindsay told us:
The selected artist is Matthew Mazzotta; the artwork is tentatively titled Where’s the Party. The artwork concept is a large-scale Steller’s Jay that will overlook the intersection of Highland Park Way SW and SW Holden Street.
Construction on this intersection-improvement project includes new permanent signal lights and roadway improvements, which will begin in January. The new artwork will be installed in Summer 2023. Total project cost is $120,000 and is funded through SDOT % for Art.
So how big is “large-scale”? Lindsay says, “We are still working to determine clearances from overhead wires, but for now the estimate is that the overall sculpture will likely be over 10 feet in total height.” (The city had presented three very different concepts for the intersection project last year, as we reported here, and at the time said $120,000 wasn’t enough for a sculpture.)
P.S. The “percent for art” program isn’t new – it was created almost 50 years ago.
| 42 COMMENTS