ARTS at King Street Station

Close to Home

portrait of a woman and prosthetic legs with photo

July 22 - August 14, 2021

Close to Home challenges audiences to think intentionally about the idea of “home” through the use of paint, sculpture, quilting, and textural arts. The representations of “home” also span depictions of historical artifacts, abstract illustrations, to what home might look like in the future.

While being some of the most vulnerable to forced migration and displacement, the 14 artists in Close to Home actively celebrate the resilience of people of color using nuanced understandings of place.

Close to Home asks viewers to actively engage with questions of what makes our homes distinct. Who gets to define what makes places important or meaningful? Where do we individually fit in to community definitions of belonging? What does it look like to keep records and pay respect to our community members who have stewarded the land for generations? The 14 exhibiting artists’ practices grapple with these questions using ideas and physical objects that represent meaningful parts of their own homes and communities.

The exhibition also displays the range and growth of the City of Seattle's Civic Art Collection, which includes pieces by instrumental Pacific Northwest artists.

Close to Home features artworks from the following artists:

  • Romson Regrade Bustillo
  • Ka'ila Farrell-Smith
  • Jonathan Wakuda Fischer
  • Hongzhe Liang /名媛
  • Micah Mccarty
  • missTANGQ
  • Miya Sukune
  • Earnest Swanson
  • Robert Running Fisher Upham
  • Markel Uriu
  • Gwen Maxwell Williams
  • Jennifer Angaiak Wood
  • Crystal Worl
  • Junko Yamamoto

This exhibition consists of portable artworks in the City of Seattle’s Civic Art Collection, purchased between 2020 and 2021 in partnership with Seattle Together and Seattle City Light. Close to Home is organized and presented by the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture and is curated by Ricky Reyes in partnership with ARTS at King Street Station Advisors. Support for the installation is provided by Benjamin Gale-Schreck and Blake Haygood.

Image: Metaphor of my mother, missTANGQ, Mixed media, 2018.

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About ARTS at King Street Station

ARTS at King Street Station, which incorporates a new 7,500-square-foot cultural space available to the general public, a studio for artists-in-residence and offices for staff of the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, was conceived to increase opportunities for people of color to generate and present their work and to reflect and foster the creativity and talents of people that continue to create the fabric of Seattle.

Over the past several years, we've listened to community feedback and continue to gather research on best practices in how to make this space welcoming.

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ARTS at King Street Station Advisors

Resources

ARTS engaged in an inclusive, city-wide outreach effort in order to hear from the community about their needs (check the #ARTSaboard hashtag on Twitter). Below are reports that capture the feedback and the plans created to address community needs.

ARTS' intention with the new space is to increase opportunities for communities of color to present their work. The dedicated cultural space will provide public access to presentation and creative spaces, ARTS staff and resources, space for city convenings, and professional development and other services that were requested through the outreach process. This is an innovative plan that utilizes an underused city resource to address issues of affordability and livability while preserving the unique creative economy that drives Seattle.

AFrican performers at King Street Station during Create City 2016. Photo by Sunita Martini.

King Street Station Programming Plan (pdf)

ARTS staff worked with the University of Washington Evans School Consulting Lab to produce a research report, "Reimagining King Street Station through a Racial Equity Lens" (May 2018), which is an aspirational document about best practices in cultural space programming.  

Watercolor of King Street Station by Tina Kayoma.

Reimagining King Street Station through a Racial Equity and Social Justice Lens, UW Evans School of Public Policy & Governance
PDF

 2018 King Street Station Community Feedback Report 

King Street Station Community Feedback Report 
PDF (5 MB)

About King Street Station

Historic image of King Street Station

King Street Station is a public asset that is an important part of Seattle's history. For over one hundred years it has improved connections, serving as a gateway for millions of travelers coming into Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. The station has spurred economic growth and helped establish Seattle as a major metropolitan city.

King Street Station first opened to the public in May 1906. Reed and Stem, the architectural firm responsible for New York City's historic Grand Central Terminal, designed the station. The San Marco bell tower of Venice, Italy, served as the model for the building's familiar clock tower. The structure was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

Interior King Street StationKing Street Station, located on Jackson Street between Third and Fourth Avenue S., is a brick and granite three-story building with a twelve-story clock tower. The ground floor, accessed from King Street, is clad in granite. The walls of the second and third floors, as well as the clock tower, are faced in pressed brick with decorative terra cotta elements such as cornices and window lintels.

While much of the exterior of King Street Station has remained intact since the building was constructed in 1906, parts of the interior have been substantially altered and others have suffered neglect. Similarly, while nearly half of the facility's original finishes remain intact, most of the significant finishes in the lower portion of the station have been removed. In March 2008 the City of Seattle purchased the landmark building from the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway Company.

Under city ownership, King Street Station underwent a $50 million renovation that achieved the following goals:

Exterior King Steet Station

  • Restore the building's historic character and grandeur
  • Upgrade facilities to meet present and future needs of rail and transit users
  • Enhance passenger safety and security
  • Promote sustainable design with a LEED building certification
  • Support efforts to transform the station into a modern transit hub
  • The station is served by Amtrak Cascades, Coast Starlight and Empire Builder long distance rail lines and Amtrak intercity buses. It includes convenient connections to Sound Transit commuter rail, local and regional buses, Sound Transit Link light rail, and the First Hill Seattle Streetcar.
  • The restoration of King Street Station ensures it remains a critical transportation hub and gateway into Seattle for the next hundred years.