Rubbing Oil on Their Holes

What? That’s what it IS…

Putting the finishing touches (tung oil) on the Wawona’s last trip.

John Grade is an internationally-shown, prolific local artist, whose work has been seen on the cover of the Seattle Times twice in the last year. His current work, titled The Wawona, will be installed permanently at the new Museum of History and Industry when it opens later this year. For the piece, John took the planks that made up the 19th-century three-masted schooner Wawona (which had been docked in Lake Union prior to her dismantling) and designed an 85-foot-tall sculptural tower that will ultimately pierce the museum’s floor, dipping its toes in the water, and pierce its ceiling, announcing the museum’s presence like a flagpole.

John’s finishing crew is currently installed in our program space at the Publix Hotel, oiling up individual panels that will make up the sculpture. You can watch them work through the giant windows most days, and see the drying panels each night.

It’s a beautiful work, made of raw material that’s carrying more than 100 years of Seattle’s history in its pores, and once finished will be a jewel in the crown of Seattle’s permanent public artworks. Check it out in progress in Chinatown, at 504 5th Avenue South, for the next month, or until they’re done!

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About storefrontsseattle

Activating neighborhoods and overlooked spaces by filling vacant urban spaces with art installations, pop-up boutiques, galleries, and community groups since 2010.
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