Mercer Island's robust public art collection is an important avenue for engaging the community with arts, culture, and creativity. The collection features more than 60 two-dimensional and three-dimensional works. Venture outdoors to be inspired by one of the many outdoor sculptures in the collection, or stop by a public building to take in a painting or small sculpture.
The Mercer Island Arts Council collaborates with artists, City staff, and the public to acquire high quality works that will enrich the lives of Islanders and preserve notable creative expression. Much of the collection has been acquired through the Mercer Island's "1% for Art in Public Places" fund, which is funding set aside from public construction projects, as well as through public donations.
Public Art Story Map - FREE Digital Access to more than 60 works of art!
Get to know Mercer Islandís public art collection with our new Public Art Story Map! We collaborated with the Cityís Geographic Information Systems (GIS) team to bring you free digital access to more than 60 works of art seen around the Island. Find an artwork pinned on the map and learn details such as the materials itís made from and how the City acquired it. Many pins also include links to STQRY, a free mobile platform that connects you to arts and culture in your area. This project expands access to the Cityís robust public art collection and provides another avenue to engage community members with arts, culture, and creativity.
Recently Completed Public Art Projects
In 2018, the City of Mercer Island recently added two new public art projects funded via the 1% for Art in Public Places program. Learn more about these works below...
2018 Town Center Banners
In early 2018, the Arts Council and City staff proposed to update the banners that had lined the streets of Town Center since 2010. A dozen artists/artist teams from around the world responded to the City's call for designs to reflect five "Island Icons" of architecture, public art, nature, parks & beaches, and the I-90 connection. The selection panel, composed of representatives from the City and local business, arts, and residential communities, ultimately chose works by multidisciplinary artist Pamela Edwards. Arscentia, a design firm based in Bellevue, WA, fabricated and installed the banners, which can be found on 78th and 77th Avenues SE and SE 27th and 28th Streets in Town Center year-round.
Mural on West Mercer Way
In the summer of 2018, local artist Rachel Holloway brought new life to West Mercer Way with Darwin's Dream, a mural on the retaining wall that faces the I-90 on/off ramps at Exit 6. Holloway, a muralist, scenic artist, and production designer, has lived on the Island for several years, and her mural design, based on her own original painting, aims to reflect "the little magical pockets of nature here on the Island."
Holloway worked with fellow artists Eliza Brown and Sophie Stilon for more than six weeks to paint the mural, which stretches nearly 300 feet across the wall. Learn more about the artist and her process in this narrative she wrote.
FAQs about the Mural
Have questions about how the artist was selected or how the mural was funded? Check out this fact sheet to learn more about the process, funding mechanism, and other useful information.
To engage with art on the Island, find Mercer Island Arts Council via the app and click on the "Stories" tab. View the more than 30 art stories any time, or use your app to scan an artwork's QR code when exploring the collection. We add new entries periodically, so check back soon for more information about your favorite works of art!
Public Art Committee
The Arts Council's Public Art Committee works with City staff, other boards and commissions, and the Arts Council at large to manage, showcase, and expand the City's Public Art Collection on behalf of the Mercer Island community. This process for site and artist selections aims to enhance the overall beauty, artistry, and creativity of the community's landscape.
Curious about how the new mural on West Mercer Way was funded or how the artist was selected? Check out this fact sheet for useful information about the selection process, funding mechanism, and more.
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