All the Colors - CODAworx

All the Colors

Submitted by Stephen Yates

Client: Cedarhurst Elementary School

Location: Burien, WA, United States

Completion date: 2011

Artwork budget: $40,000

Project Team


Washington State Arts Commission


Stephen Yates

Yates Arts


The project was to create a large, horizontal frieze-like acrylic painting for the entry-lobby of Cedarhurst Elementary School. It is one continuous image on eleven panels installed side by side to create a single image when seen together. The location for the artwork placement was selected by the committee and artist during the artist site visit December 2, 2010. It is sited on the two side walls of the foyer and across a third wall below the mezzanine overlook straight ahead of the entry doors.


The committee suggested a number of locations for the artwork and the artist suggested in his proposal the entry of the school. They desired a signature, inviting artwork. It is spaced so that if feels like it is made for the location and is a perfect "fit." It is now the focal feature of the entry, providing and unique and colorful welcome to the school.


At an initial meeting with the artist, the school art committee and the state arts commission representative reviewed their ideas and discussed ways the artist might incorporate them. The artist returned with a presentation of his sketches and examples of past work and his vision for the space. After further discussion the proposal was accepted and the artist returned to his studio to complete the artwork. During the process updates were sent via the arts commission representative to keep the project on track and on schedule.

Additional Information

The concept for this painting was to create a lively image with such energy and activity that it can sustain repeated and extended viewings. It refers to the imagined underwater and the above-ground worlds surrounding much of the Puget Sound region, and I abstracted and heightened these “views.” It has a variety of references such as the transition of time and seasons, the complex relationships of our environment and how we as individuals play are part in making up the greater whole; adding our threads to a complex, diverse and colorful world tapestry.