"Here Today" was a temporary public art project in 2006, 2008 and 2009 that celebrated a sense of place through local artists and the arts. During the month of August eight public art projects came and went in the public spaces of downtown Olympia.
Beauty Swim Skins
LisaNa Red Bear
About: Indigenous nations of the South Puget Sound traditionally gather at the mouth of the Deschutes for the return of the salmon. In celebration of the season of the salmon's return to Puget Sound, coinciding with Here Today, the artist presents a school of glass mosaic salmon arising from the waters of Capitol Lake. In addition, Nisqually Nation youth dancers share their rich cultural legacy with the Return of the Salmon Dance.
Birds Alight: Interactive Shadow Theater in the Round
About: Celebrating Olympia’s connection to the natural world, the artist presents a shadow puppet performance on the shores of Capitol Lake, accompanied by live Brazilian jazz from Northwest Choro Collective. Glowing like a lantern in the dark, poetic movements and scenes progress as a journey from one screen into the next; the performance ends as the public is invited into the lantern to create their own stories in shadows.
About: Transforming a vacant lot of rocky soil into a magical garden filled with birds and song, the artist creates a small grove of trees in a vacant lot. Composed of deconstructed books to form the bark, the trees mimic local trees – birches, cherry and dogwood. Mixed throughout the stand of manufactured trees, birdfeeders attract a variety of songbirds, refreshing people’s spirits and giving them food for thought.
Oly Was Here
5th Avenue & Washington Street
About: Who was here? There was someone, but they passed. They were crossed out, scribbled on, mixed in, painted over, erased. For the past two years the artist has been photographing the Capitol Theater Free Wall and for three nights a chronological slide show of photographs taken from a single perspective will be shown. An illumination of individuals in the relentless tide of time.
Olympia History Poster Project
Themba Lewis & Sarah Utter
Various Downtown Locations
About: Olympia is shaped by its history. From its earliest days, the people who have inhabited this area have been energetic contributors to creating a place that is sustainable, supportive, vibrant and alive. Commemorating the extremely diverse and lesser-known historical contributors that have informed life and landscape in the downtown core, the artists present an installation series of 10 letterpressed prints on view in several downtown locations.
Readers Theater Unlimited
Sylvester Park & Percival Landing
About: Showing that seniors are capable of engaging entertainment, the group Readers Theater Unlimited presents seven performances for all audiences involving a variety of humorous plays, ranging from a few minutes to one half hour. In Readers Theater, actors are restricted to a minimum amount of props and physical acting and display emotions and actions mostly by facial expressions and the rise and fall of their voices.
Mary Nelson & RADCO
Heritage Park & Percival Landing
About: Working from the belief that dance is the base upon which all other languages and arts are built, the Collective engages the community with performances using movement inspired by the sounds and shapes of umbrellas. The dancers intend to inspire the viewers to realize their own limitless potential for spontaneous everyday creative movement and celebrate Olympia’s rain forest of “liquid sunshine.”
What's Being Sent
Yashiro Japanese Garden
About: As a time capsule into the view of a life lived in downtown Olympia, the artist presents a public reading based on anonymous postcards sent to the editor of The Olympian over the past two years. A Do-It-Yourself art project, the postcards provide a glimpse of our community from a perspective differing from the regular reported news. Playful, serious, ridiculous, sad – hand stitched, letterpress covered books are available at the reading and in multiple downtown locations.
2009 | 2008 | 2006