New Artistic Realms

A commissioned artwork by Seattle artist Ben Chickadel greets everyone as they enter our 401 E Pike building. Installed in 2015, the artwork is actually two separate but related pieces, designed to connect our historic main building with the modern 401 facility, and to celebrate community.

One piece, titled “Fensterrecht” (Right to Window), is a wall-mounted relief made of blackboard slate reclaimed from the original school classrooms. The design echoes the window shapes in the school’s vintage building and also The Northwest School house logo, and is inspired by the concept of a window representing a vision, an idea, and an opening.

The other piece, “Satellites”, is a trio of 3D structures suspended from the ceiling. Each of the structures, made of wood veneer and lit from within with LED lights, is an assembled pattern of The Northwest School house logo. The design, honoring community and connection, includes the names of the donors who helped fund the building.

According to Ben, the 401 project pushed him into new artistic realms. It was the first time he worked with slate, for example, and also the first time he was able to engage LEDs to light up his sculpture.