summer at 4culture

Jackie Swett, student  at Whitman College in eastern Washington, has been providing support for Public Art programming over the summer months. She is preparing to depart her internship and wrote this reflection on her time with us. We will miss her. 


When people ask me what I’ve been doing this summer, I always have to take a deep breath before answering, because I tend to get excited. Trying to fully explain my internship with Public Art 4Culture has been a somewhat daunting task, because the experiences I’ve had have crossed fields of study and allowed me to explore many aspects of King County’s diverse arts and heritage. I can’t thank everyone at 4Culture enough, especially the Public Art department, for the opportunity to be involved with such a prolific and vital organization.

During these past two months, my experience with King County’s public art has evolved dramatically. I’ve participated in an onsite project at Brightwater Treatment Plant, helping fabricate ceramic tile magnets for a public artwork by Janet Zweig. It was great seeing the Brightwater facility so close to completion and sensing the excitement for the opening this fall. I’ve also assisted Susan Robb with her art event, The Long Walk, 2011, as a production intern. I’ve even had the chance to explore the local artist community in Pioneer Square, while putting up flyers for the 2011 Conductive Garboil Grant. In all cases I was able to work outside the office, and I learned that providing cultural services often means getting involved and engaged, working onsite, and interacting with members of the local community.

In the office, I quickly found that 4Culture’s services require constant effort from the staff. I was proud to be able to help by adding new public art calls for artists to 4Culture’s Opportunity Listings, which compiles calls from around the world that are open to King County artists. I attended a staff meeting at the beginning of July, just after the key funding legislation for 4Culture was renewed. Every department had a project underway that provided a service to the King County community. It was an exciting time, but I soon learned that there’s always something exciting underway at 4Culture.

After my brief exposure to 4Culture’s office, I’ve gained a great deal of respect for the amount of patience, effort and creativity that goes into creating a cultural service for a county so rich in culture. I look forward to seeing what 4Culture will come up with next to keep King County’s arts and culture thriving.

Photo courtesy of Jackie Swett