Greg Lundgren is transforming the derelict third floor of King Street Station into a huge art exhibition hall that will house Out of Sight, a 24,000-square-foot survey of contemporary art in the Pacific Northwest. Concerned that too many Seattle artists who don't have gallery representation at Seattle Art Fair would lack exposure, Lundgren secured a temporary lease for the historic location (downstairs is an Amtrak station) and gathered a curatorial team of Kirsten Anderson, Sharon Arnold and Sierra Stinson to organize an alternative. It will run at the same time as the Art Fair, July 30-Aug 2, showcasing more than 80 artists.
So far it looks incredible. On my first visit a few weeks ago, the floor was a gaping open space filled with debris. Since then, Lundgren and a small army of sweaty volunteers have been cleaning up, building walls, painting. "I've become a master of mudding dry wall!" Lundgren says, with half-mad-from-exhaustion glee. But he's quite serious.
The space will fill up over the coming weeks. Some artists are building site-specific installations and are playing with scale, going large or responding to the architecture of the space. Tivon Rice is projection-mapping onto a winding, romantically dilapidated stairwell. Jason Puccinelli is building an interactive anamorphic sculpture that transforms from different vantage points as you pass by. Mandy Greer is installing a massive gold chandelier made from textiles. Portland-based artist Damien Gilley, who installed a site-specific piece made with eye-popping, green FrogTape at Suyama Space a few years ago, is hanging thousands of strands of pink string and hand-painting each one. The result is a vertical moire pattern that shifts at varying distances.
Here's a peek at the amazing architecture in the old building. During the run of Out of Sight, visitors won't be allowed up into the 12-story-high clock tower, but I'm including images of it, along with pictures of the cavernous, empty chambers along the climb up and the storage rooms filled with all the plaster and rubber molds used in the recent restoration of the first two floors. There are whisperings that the third floor of King Street Station might continue to live on as a visual art space beyond after Out of Sight. I pray to the art gods (and the city) that it does.