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INScape Highlights

I don’t know where to begin… Last weekend’s opening event at the INScape Arts Building was an overwhelming success. Nearly 3000 visitors walked through the art studios, installations and corridors of the historic INS building. The Seattle Times featured a front page article highlighting the event and public radio station KPLU interviewed many of the participants (including me). This project has attracted some amazing and talented artists and performers who are making their own history and breathing new life into this 80 year old landmark. Too many to list them all but here are just a few worth mentioning:

The image above features dancers from Manifold Motion. The dancers are moving in a room filled with fresh soil. They occupy three spaces on the main floor where they will be performing until the end of November. For performance times and ticket information check out Scroll down to see more of the art and installations on display.

Artist Jen Mills filled an empty office space with beautiful crystalline vessels made from salt.

Mills' elegant bowl forms occupy the space where my Canadian friend once interviewed for his Green Card application when this was still a functioning INS office.

Up on the second floor artist, Helen Gamble, created an echo of the triple bunk beds that once stood here and accommodated immigrants in the former Chinese Men’s Dormitory.

Gamble installed rows of gauzy fabric that appear to float in the footprints of the old beds and transform the space into beautiful but ghostly barracks.

Across the hall Gail Howard created this powerful piece that spills out of the former infirmary. The overflowing sheets have been carefully knotted and represent the agonizing passage of time and the overwhelming desire to escape into a new life waiting just outside.

The ominous sound of water slowly dripping plays loudly in the background of Howard's installation aptly titled, Patience. The plunking sounds punctuate the idea of the long and tedious wait experienced by many immigrants.

What was once a caged courtyard has been turned into a temporary installation in a sort of "Urban Andy Goldsworthy" piece created by Sam Farrazaino. The bars and cage panels once surrounded the courtyard area to keep the inmates locked in. Farrazaino also happens to be the project manager for INScape.

Here's a  peek into my new studio where I have already begun to work.
Many artists who came through over the weekend have lined up to apply for studio spaces that are still available. I am confident that this will soon be a destination for arts and culture in Seattle. If you missed the Open House I urge you to come by at the next opportunity. Something really special is emerging here. Thank you to everyone who stopped by to say hello - it was wonderful to see so many longtime friends.

Click here for more images from the Seattle Times

South view from my new INSCape studio.

I will do a more in depth Studio Tour posting once I am firmly settled into my space. For more information about the building, available studio space and upcoming events email Sam Farrazaino at or call 206-890-3283.


Joyce Gehl said…
Congratulations! What a great addition to Seattle this is. Makes me want to move! I am so sorry I missed the event. I hope you'll let me stop by to visit another time.
Alicia Tormey said…
Thank You Joyce - Please come by the studio for a cup of tea anytime. I'll give you a private tour of the building. The studio next to mine is available and gets great north light - would be lovely to have you as a neighbor!
timotheous said…
This is such a treasure for the city. I was awe struck by the positive energy that permeated the structure and the creative energy being released was almost tangible. This is an amazing idea, space and am so excited that your studio space is among the finest in the building.
bridgette said…
wow, sounds amazing! I really responded to Helen Gamble's installation. Would have loved to see it in person.
Have fun settling in your new space!
Alicia Tormey said…
Well said timotheous! It’s very exciting to be part of INScape. Bridgette: you’ll have to make this a stop if you come to Seattle. Thanks for the comments!