Artist's glass creation will make stroll on bridge a walk in the clouds

During the day, it will alter the views of downtown as people walk above the waterfront railroad tracks just south of Myrtle Edwards Park.

At night, its bright colors will be lighted and visible from downtown skyscrapers and the waterfront.

"Seattle Cloud Cover," a 212-foot-long art installation in Olympic Sculpture Park, will be completed by this fall, in time for the opening of the new park. Its design is by Teresita Fernandez, a 38-year-old New York artist whose accolades include a coveted "genius grant" from the MacArthur Foundation.

Fernandez's piece will be a 9-foot-tall, 6-foot-wide L-shaped piece of glass on the edge of a pedestrian bridge over the railroad lines that cut through the park, she said Sunday during a lecture at the Seattle Asian Art Museum.

The lecture is the first of several by artists who will have works in the park, said Renee Devine, the art-program manager for Olympic Sculpture Park.

The sculpture park is part of a $180 million capital campaign that includes expansion of the downtown Seattle Art Museum (SAM) and improvements to the Asian Art Museum on Capitol Hill. Ground was broken in June on the 8.5-acre park. The land was purchased in 1999 for $16.5 million from Union Oil of California.

This will be Fernandez's first permanent public art installation and her first piece in Seattle. Her work has appeared in the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York City and the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., among other places.

Within the piece of glass, there will be a translucent, brightly colored image created from pictures of clouds but altered and colorized using computer software, Fernandez said.

The image also will have small holes to create a cinematic effect as park patrons walk along a gravel path over the bridge.

The piece will alter the views of downtown from the bridge, but the view of Puget Sound from the other side of the bridge will remain open, Devine said.

"Seattle Cloud Cover" also will serve a practical purpose, because park designers were required to put something over the bridge to keep people from throwing things onto, or jumping onto, the railroad tracks below, Devine said.

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600450 Artist's glass creation will make stroll on bridge a walk in the clouds
Date: 28 March 2006

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