Saturday, September 24 was a glorious fall day, and 2400 people spent at least part of it at Brightwater Treatment Plant. King County and 4Culture staff were on hand to give tours and welcome visitors to the grand opening of the facility.
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Welcoming speeches, music, food, interactive exhibits, integrated artwork and family activities offered a full day of engagement and fun. The artists were on hand to greet visitors and answer questions, and many of the workers who built Brightwater brought their families to see the completed facility. With a Platinum LEEDS rating and stringent odor control, Brightwater is technically innovative; its acres of open space and native landscaping, along with restored salmon streams and riparian habitat may be freely accessed by the visitor.
4Culture worked with County partners in Wastewater Treatment Division to include artists on the design team early on, and that planning process resulted in a remarkable collection of public artworks integrated into the treatment plant, community and educational facilities and the landscape at Brightwater. Telling the story of the treatment process and water cycle and of the site itself, the artwork at Brightwater engages interaction and reflection, and celebrates science and the importance of water in the region and in all of our lives. aLIVe artist Dominic Muren brought his Humblefacture project to the opening, sewing shopping bags from recycled, local material, and fellow aLIVe artist Johnnie Olivan gave rides on his Bike Bus and water recycling bike vehicle, H2O Flow. The aLIVe project makes reference to transportation infrastructure and stormwater runoff, a major source of pollution to the Puget Sound.
Temporary artwork by Sarah Kavage and Susan Robb was a part of opening day. In 2012 4Culture will commission temporary artworks for the Conveyance route, the 13 miles of underground pipe that carries highly treated water from Brightwater to outfall in Puget Sound. Verdi, Christian Moeller’s artwork for the Brightwater pump station in Bothell, is expected to be installed before the end of the year.
4Culture is very proud of the artwork commissioned for Brightwater and of the artists who created that work. Explore the project profile to learn about the collection at Brightwater. All of the artworks are included in Listen 4Culture, our audio cell phone program. Listen 4Culture information may be accessed on the Brightwater Art & Utility brochure. The audio interviews may also be found in Public Art’s audio library. Listen to the artists talk about their artwork and the Brightwater site.
Watch a short video of opening day created by Johnnie Olivan.
Sign up for Brightwater Tours, managed by King County.
Photos: © 2011, Nora Daley-Peng, Cheryl dos Remedios and Elizabeth Stewart