Olympic Sculpture Park

Visiting the Park
Admission: Free
Park Hours: Oct-Apr: 7 am - 6 pm
May-Sep: 7 am - 9 pm

Combining the artistic skills of critically acclaimed sculptors with the natural beauty that Seattle has always been known for, Olympic Sculpture Park is nine acres of some of the most notable artwork in the city. From Alexander Calder’s award-winning Eagle to Louise Bourgeois’ semi-controversial Father and Son, the Seattle Art Museum Sculpture Park has spared no expense in rewarding visitors with preeminent examples of modern art. Though Seattle has long been on the forefront of the music and (occasionally) literary scenes, it’s largely been ignored as a notable art town. But that may no longer be the case now, as the park is now one of the largest urban art spaces in all of America.

The grounds on which the Olympic Sculpture Park Seattle were not always so sought after – used as an oil depot for much of the past, this waterfront plot in Elliott Bay was long considered an eyesore. The railroad tracks, now such an integral part of Teresita Fernandez’s “Seattle Cloud Cover,” did little to help the area’s reputation. Years of clean up, however, have culminated into the opening of the Seattle Art Museum Sculpture Park, capitalizing on the advantages of the region – the waters of Puget Sound and the distant Olympic Mountains make a perfect backdrop for the sculptures on display. The layout of the Sculpture Park Seattle accentuates this by placing small groves of trees and plants, along with a handful of trails throughout, even a beach that will, considering the city’s temperamental weather through most seasons, rarely get much use.

But it’s really the art that will keep visitors coming. The free admission will also help. Many of the works in the Olympic Sculpture Park have been displayed from New York to Paris. And the Seattle Art Museum plans to keep the park in a permanent state of flux – few of the pieces are permanent, and new works are already being commissioned to be added to the Sculpture Park Seattle. The current lineup is pretty outstanding as it is, featuring some of the most recognized contemporary sculptors in the country, like Richard Serra (his piece, “Wake” is alarming in its immensity) and Alexander Calder, to smaller, local artists like Roy McMakin (who’s “Love and Loss” will convert more than a few fans), the Seattle Art Museum Sculpture Park seeks to show how a sculpture’s setting can bring new meaning to the work. And the park itself is a giant step forward for the city of Seattle, adding yet another sparkling attraction to its bustling downtown district.

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