Client: Washington State Arts Commission, Wing Luke Elementary School
Location: Seattle, WA, United States
Completion date: 2021
Artwork budget: $123,000
Creative project management and partnerships with fabricators, engineers, installers, and consultants in all fields.
Public Art Services
Full structural engineering services for public artists including sealed engineering drawings, structural calculations, and fabrication drawings.
Centipenty is a colossal teeter-tottering spring rider that bounces, sways, pivots, and clangs. The 24 seats, in 3 sizes, derive their dimensions from the Wing Luke classroom chairs for kindergartners through 5th graders, who activate the movement and sound with their exuberant participation.
Centipenty is a participatory, interactive iconic artwork in front of the Wing Luke Elementary school (and in proximity to the school bus loading zone) that is a place for the school and the local community to gather and meet.
John Grant (Public Art Services) provided design development and fabrication services for the structure and installation. Nick Geurts (Yetiweurks) provided design and structural engineering services.
I purposefully use materials from the everyday outdoor environment—anything from benches, to swings, to canopies, to pipes—and bring them into the realm of art. I create a level of connection to the familiar while highlighting elements of awe and beguilement, often using existing artifacts from the site, and retrofitting them to make a micro public square or landmark that encourages creative patterns of use. The works are spirited, accessible, participatory, and very often unexpected. By considering behavioral design and combining impactful visuals with dynamic elements activated by people and changes in ambient light and weather, the resulting work is in constant flux. The artwork becomes part of the community's fabric and is integral in shaping how we live in public space. The idea is to surprise while fostering a sense of community around an unlikely object or site.