Monday, July 14, 2014

Mosaics in Seattle, Part 2

If you've ever been to Seattle, you've probably taken the Seattle Underground Tour (Yelp site), more properly known as Bill Spiedel's World Famous Underground Tour. The tour is centered in Pioneer Square and guides you up and down locked staircases, into the nearly-original streets of the city, which are one floor down.

Never been? Well, it's more than fascinating--it's funny. Lots of humor revolving around toilets that turned into geysers at high tide, plus a few set pieces from an old TV show ("Kolchak, the Night Stalker") which filmed an episode in the underground, and an explanation of why the glass in the cement-and-glass slabs has turned purple.

There are no mosaics underground, but this one is from the back hallway leading to the bathrooms of Doc Maynard's, the latest incarnation of the restaurant that surrounds the Underground Tour ticket booth.

Also in the Pioneer Square area, I saw this tabletop mosaic.

'Fraid I don't know anything about it.

Finally, who can go to Seattle without taking a picture of the Space Needle?

It's not possible. But below right is the picture that really caught my eye: the Space Needle fronted by (as the caption reads):


MEASURES 60'  BY 17' 

Horiuchi lived in Seattle, and created this mural--which is really a mosaic--for the World's Fair.

Horiuchi started out with sheets of torn, brightly colored paper and enlarged them--the intent was to evoke the rich colors of the Northwest. Fabricated in Italy, the finished mosaic is made of 54 colored panels of Venetian glass, with 160 color variations.

The Seattle Mural is now the backdrop of the stage of the Seattle Center Mural Amphitheater. It was restored in 2011, just in time for the 50th anniversary of that fair and Seattle Center.

There are tons of pictures of the Seattle Mural on the Internet, some with performers in front of it, some in the fog, some with enhanced colors--but I like the one below, from Art Beat, the best.

Seattle has so many more mosaics! We passed parks, schools, and businesses ornamented with mosaic art, but they went by so fast I didn't get pictures. Public art is a big part of Seattle's vibe, just like music is. That's one reason why it's so much fun to visit.

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