Created and Sold by Ellen Sollod

Ellen Sollod
Public Art by Ellen Sollod seen at Seattle, Seattle - Origami Tessellation

Origami Tessellation

Item details

Commissioned by the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture, 2012, LMN, HBB Landscape Architects, Fabrication Specialties. A 28’ tall illuminated tessellated column referencing science, art and nature, in a landscaped median, marking the entry to Seattle from Interstate 5. Stainless steel, lighting, plant material. The sculpture was inspired by the scientific research being conducted in South Lake Union that is grounded in analysis of cells and sub-cellular behavior. Drawing an analogy to the replication of DNA, it alludes to molecular biology and biotechnology. At the same time, it references fractal forms found in nature and connects the ancient art of paper folding, tile patterns and engineering. It is most dramatic at night as light spills through penetrations that line the edges of each plane and the exterior lighting illuminates the form. Ellen collaborated with Mark Hinshaw of LMN on other streetscape elements including custom LED lighted finials on the street lamps and with Dean Koontz of HBB on in-ground programmable LED glass pavers. South Lake Union, steeped in history, has experienced a rebirth as a biotechnology and high tech center in the Pacific Northwest. The neighborhood is being transformed from light industrial to a burgeoning hub of activity. The redeveloped Mercer Corridor traverses the area and connects it with the Seattle Center, the location of the 1962 World’s Fair and the City’s contemporary cultural heart. The sculpture has become known as the landmark of the area anchoring its entry.

Context & Credits

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Ellen Sollod

Meet the Creator

Ellen Sollod is an interdisciplinary artist based in the Pacific Northwest. Her practice includes large scale, site-specific public art, multimedia temporary installations, artist books, photography and photo-based works. Born in NY and raised in South Carolina, she moved successively north and west, finally alighting in Seattle, where she has made her home for the last 25 years. Ellen has a BA in art history from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a MA from the Institute for Urban Studies, University of Maryland. She served as Assistant Director of the Dance Program of the National Endowment for the Arts, Executive Director of the Colorado Council on the Arts and Humanities and the Seattle Arts Commission. Since 1993, she has devoted herself to her public and studio practice, maintaining an activist role on behalf of the arts in civic life. She recently served as Vice Chair of the Seattle Design Commission and as a member of the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture Public Art Advisory Committee. Ellen has traveled extensively to Europe, SE Asia, Africa and Latin America. All of this has influenced her work.
Major public commissions include Seattle’s Mercer Corridor, Brightwater Wastewater Treatment Plant, San Jose Light Rail, Olympia, WA Gateway Corridor, Bellingham, WA Arts District, Pier Park (Portland, OR), Morrill Meadows Park (Kent, WA), Harborview Medical Center (Seattle, WA). Her bookworks are included in such collections as Yale University Center for the Book, NYPL Spencer Collection, University of Washington Special Collections and the National Museum of Women in the Arts.