Photo headshot of artist Norie Sato

Norie Sato’s artwork at the Union Street Pedestrian Bridge includes a steel abstracted fern frond framing the passageway, and a screen on the bridge that layers abstracted imagery of seagull wings over that of a fern.

Rendering of the completed Union Street Pedestrian Bridge showing the steel fern frond arching over the stairs.
Rendering of the completed Union Street Pedestrian Bridge showing the steel fern frond arching over the stairs. | Click to enlarge

Artist Statement

Norie Sato was chosen to collaborate with the project design team to create original artwork on the new Union Street Pedestrian Bridge between Western Avenue and Alaskan Way. Her artwork takes its inspiration from the natural environment that manages to make its presence felt on the working waterfront. 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. Watch Sato talk about her personal connection to the Seattle waterfront and discuss the varied influences for her work.

Image 1 and 2: The screenwall combines the image of a fern frond and outstretched wings of a seagull, abstracted and layered in cut metal to remind us of these two intrepid natural inhabitants of the waterfront.

The screenwall combines the image of a fern frond and outstretched wings of a seagull, abstracted and layered in
cut metal to remind us of these two intrepid natural inhabitants of the waterfront.
Image 2 | Click to enlarge
The screenwall combines the image of a fern frond and outstretched wings of a seagull, abstracted and layered in
cut metal to remind us of these two intrepid natural inhabitants of the waterfront.
Image 1 | Click to enlarge

"One of my hopes for the Waterfront is that it creates moments of magic and wonder for people who live here, and may feel very familiar with Seattle, and yet when they come down to the Waterfront, there will be moments where they feel, 'Wow, this is a fantastic place.'"

image that portrays the future screen wall artwork. There are bird wings in the center that overlap a field of ferns. The ferns continue past the wings on the left and on the right. There is a label on the far left that says Western Avenue: Single Layer, a label in the middle that says Bridge: two layers plus lighting and labels on the far right that say East wall elevator: single layer, and South wall elevator: single layer.

The artist-designed screen wall along the new pedestrian bridge at Union Street features the image of a fern overlaid with the wing span of a seagull rendered in cut stainless steel | Click to enlarge