An Extraordinary Time » How We Got to Where We Are and How We Are Shaping Our Future

Masthead header

Urban Environmental Art

A state Appeals Court recently reinstated City Light’s participation in the One Percent for Art program.  This ordinance requires 1% of capital improvement projects be allocated to public art by any capital department.

“Tree Reflection” is a mural by Sue Gundy displayed on the Electric Gallery, on a City Light substation. She received this commission through a special grant program administered by the Office of Art & Cultural Affairs, City of Seattle.  It stands 14 feet high by 100 feet long.

The CityArtist program currently has an open call for  film, new media  literary, visual/ installation artists. Deadline is Feb. 21st . More information can be found at




Sue Gundy, 38

I chose this subject matter because the site itself is very industrial and kind of ugly and so I really wanted to bring some nature and color into that space…. I also wanted to bring in the idea of northwest themes and bringing some of northwest nature into this industrial site.

The fish were photographs that I took of salmon in the Ballard Locks… and I just loved that fish ladder and salmon are so prominent in this area and so to me salmon really is a strong northwest symbol.  The trees are from photographs I took of individual trees out in eastern Washington near Winthrop.  I just love the grandness of the trees. They’re so huge and just incredibly beautiful.  For some reason I just had this idea that I would merge the two together.

…there is this pretty ugly industrial site and probably however many years ago, a hundred years ago, had some trees and grass or whatever was there before and was covering it all up and put buildings there and parking garages and streets.  It’s a gentle reminder to people that we do have to preserve our wildlife and our natural spaces and trees and fish.

I hope that people will just stop for a minute and pause and reflect on the actual beauty of the world we live in and really appreciate it.

Where you live actually effects your artwork too.  In Seattle since people are so environmentally aware its nice to have artists who feel the same way that I do about the environment and trying to preserve it and appreciate it and enjoy being here.

Whenever I go down with my son we’ve noticed that its gotten dirty.  From all the soot and smog and pollution in the city which unfortunately we have since we use our cars and everything.  I keep hoping that the city might clean it.  That’s what happens in nature anyways is that things get dirty when they’re outside.

D i s c l a i m e r
N e i g h b o r h o o d s