Arts and culture will play a central role on the waterfront. Responding to the history of the site, its ecology, economy and communities, permanent art commissions will help to create a sense of place that will invite residents and visitors alike to visit the waterfront.

For more information on overall vision for the art program, read our 2012 Art Plan.


Map of the waterfront area showing the locations of the permanent art installations
Design rendering of Stephen Vitiello’s art piece “Land Buoy Bells” which will include several large bowl-shaped metal pieces on Pier 62
Land Buoy Bells will be installed on the floating dock, and when rain or waves hit the bells, they will ring softly

Stephen Vitiello has been commissioned for an integrated, sound-based artwork that will be located on the new Pier 62. When rain or waves hit “Land Buoy Bells” on the new floating dock, the bells will ring softly.

Born in New York City, Vitiello lives and works in Richmond, Virginia, where he is Associate Professor in the department of Kinetic Imaging at Virginia Commonwealth University. He began his career as a punk guitarist and composer, and moved into sound as an artistic medium around 1990. In 1999 he was artist-in-residence in the World Trade Center, resulting in a widely presented field-recorded installation. Recent solo exhibitions include All Those Vanished Engines, MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA (2011-2016) and A Bell For Every Minute, The High Line, NYC (2010-2011). Vitiello's work was featured in the 2013 MoMA exhibition Soundings, the first major US museum survey of sound art. Working with the sound-filled setting of the Seattle waterfront, Vitiello will use sound as a major component in a new work that will expand visitors' experience of the place.

Ann Hamilton discusses the concept for her art installation on the waterfront

Internationally recognized artist Ann Hamilton has been selected for a commission on the new public piers as part of Waterfront Seattle.

Hamilton, known for large-scale, sensory installations, is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship and has also represented the United States at the Venice Biennale. She will join a team of architects, planners and city designers to create the project over the next several years. Hamilton is known for recent installations such as the event of a thread at the Park Avenue Armory in New York, and tower · Oliver Ranch, in Geyserville, California. Seattle audiences will recognize her LEW Wood Floor at the Seattle Central Library, with raised letters spelling out the first sentences from books in the library's collection in 11 languages. In addition, the Henry Art Gallery hosted an eponymous exhibition of Hamilton's work in 2014.

The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture has selected artist Cedric Bomford to join a team of architects, planners and city designers to develop play areas and equipment for Waterfront Seattle over the next several years.

Bomford’s interest lies in the built environment and the politics embedded within it. A Canadian artist working in photography and installation, Bomford is currently based in Winnipeg, where he is an assistant professor in the University of Manitoba School of Art. This project is his first in the U.S.

Design rendering of Shaun Peterson’s art piece “In the Spirit of Chief Sealth”, showing people on the park promenade enjoying three sculptures of Coast Salish-inspired welcome figures
Shaun Peterson’s In the Spirit of Sealth will reflect the Coast Salish tribes that have a historic connection to the Seattle waterfront area

Artist Shaun Peterson, of Milton, WA, has been selected for a new permanent art installation called In the Spirit of Sealth, which will be located on the park promenade near Pier 58.

Peterson is a pivotal figure in contemporary Coast Salish art traditions, and is a member of the Puyallup tribe. He has major installations throughout the Northwest, ranging from works created in wood, glass and metal. Peterson is working with the city and its design team to develop a site-specific artwork or artist designed space that reflects the Coast Salish tribes that have a historic connection to this territory.

Watch Sato talk about her personal connection to the Seattle waterfront and discuss the varied influences for her work

Norie Sato was chosen to collaborate with the project design team to create an original artwork or series of artworks on the new Union St between First Avenue and Alaskan Way.

This project has a personal connection for the artist: in 1991, Sato created a temporary artwork on the waterfront that marked the location of her arrival to this country by ship.

Oscar Tuazon will create a new permanent installation that will be located on the bike path between Columbia and Spring streets.

Oscar Tuazon was born in Indianola, WA, and first learned sculpture from Suquamish carvers Larry Ahvakana and Ed Carriere. His work has been shown in solo museum exhibitions in Switzerland, France, Germany, and England, and was included in the 2011 Venice Biennale and the 2012 Whitney Biennial. He is currently based in Los Angeles and the Olympic Peninsula. He will work with frequent collaborators, his brother, the glassblower and artist Elias Hansen, and architect Antoine Rocca. His work with Hansen has been shown regularly in Seattle, including exhibitions at the Seattle Art Museum and Western Bridge.

Design rendering of Buster Simpson’s art piece, Anthropocene Beach, showing children climbing on sculptures that resemble logs and rocks near the beach.
Buster Simpson’s Anthropocene Beach will integrate natural and manmade materials from the waterfront

Buster Simpson will develop a permanently-sited public at the southern end of the park promenade.

Simpson is an internationally recognized public artist based in Seattle, with permanent projects in the U.S. and Canada. He has exhibited and participated in design teams around the world, often addressing environmental issues in his work.