Artists Mark World's Fair 50th Anniversary with New Installations around Seattle Center

This weekend, kicking off as early as 7:30am for some (and 10am for the rest of us), Seattle Center shall spilleth over with installations, exhibits, performances, and food trucks - all assembled to celebrate the much-anticipated 50th Anniversary of Seattle's 1962 World's Fair (you may have heard of it).

More than a chance to gawk at strange 1960s kitcsh, according to Next Fifty executive director Tracy Robinson, the anniversary is an opportunity to take a break from our cranky debates over our city's mistakes and simply "celebrate what Seattle has done right."

And let it not be denied that Seattle has done some things right.

I'm not totally clear on how rides and ephemera behind plexiglass accomplishes that...however: I am a big fan of several of the site-specific art pieces that have been installed around Seattle Center, where most of them will live until October, when the 50th anniversary wraps up (the original World's Fair ran from April 21 to October 21, 1962...get it?).

Once you've gotten your fill of the nostalgic and educational exhibits (full schedule here), grab a printed map of the art installations (presumably available at Center House / The Armory), and walk yourself around to....


...find out how artist Adam Frank tracks Seattle's consumption of power, in real-time, in this beautiful light display projected in the Center House....


...see Stacy Levy's Versailles-inspired living garden, created using these funny "sausage-like" things she calls "waddles" (between EMP and Space Needle entrances)....


...figure out why on earth Christian French put this UFO here....


....learn what about these young "social entreprenuers" inspires photographer Davis Freeman to call them "The Next Heroes".....


...understand Nathaniel Hartman's complicated exhibit that will eventually hang here, from the ceiling in of Intiman's lobby...


...confront how small this thing really is...


...and how shocking it is that it once carried people across the fair like this...


See the fun souvenirs people have saved since 1962, like this charming kids' charm bracelet HistoryLink.org's Paula Becker has adapted into a necklace.


...also, learn things that are surprising....


Or just "pause" as artist Mandy Greer recommends....


..and contemplate the negative space her beautiful crocheted works force you to notice.

You can help Mandy make one by joining her community workshop on 4/21 at the Armory/Center House; 1pm-4pm.

Or just keep an eye out for the squirrels that like to climb on the crocheted webs.


Finally, hang out, enjoy the sunshine and appreciate the wacky legacy the original World's Fair left behind for us.

Several of the original structures remain, you know, including this fountain/art/sculpture work by the late local artist, Everett Dupen. It's titled "Tree of Life."

Happy Birthday, Seattle Center and Space Needle. We're glad you're here.

 

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