Turning vacant lots into art spaces

Posted on June 24th, 2010 by Sara Willy

A lot of those big holes and vacant project sites around Seattle are about to get a facelift.  The Seattle Design Commission has just announced the finalists for Holding Patterns, an initiative to temporarily improve the look of stalled construction projects until work is ready to start again.  One proposal for Queen Anne made the final cut.

A group called ViDea, a collective of live visual performers using real-time animation and live video mixing techniques, is proposing to turn the old Mountaineers site (above) at West Thomas and 3rd Ave W into a live video performance space.  Buildings would be used as digital projection surfaces.  As we reported a few days ago, that site is about to become a new apartment complex which could complicate any proposal at this location.  You can read the full proposal here.

There’s another proposal that suggests turning graffiti into art including a site at 15th and West Blaine (below) in Interbay.

The idea is to use the vacant lot to experiment with public art by mounting large metal panels as canvases, providing paint, and letting people go at it. The panels would eventually be taken down, cut up and turned into new art for parks, civic buildings, art galleries or private collections.

The next step is to bring the finalists together with vacant property owners, developers, and City officials.