About this project:
Places hold histories we sometimes cannot see, the Lake City neighborhood of Seattle is no exception.
Lake City is an approx. 4.5 square-mile area of NE Seattle bounded by Lake Washington on the east and 15th ave on the west. What is now Lake City was home to the hah-chu-ahbsh (Lake People), now of the Duwamish tribe, Lushootseed (Skagit-Nisqually) Coast Salish for an estimated 10,000 years or more. Annexed into Seattle in the 50’s, Lake City is famous for it’s ethnic and cultural diversity, history of bootlegging during prohibition, colorful murals, Salmon Bake & parade, restaurants featuring cuisine from all over the world, and it’s community ethos and organizing.
A neighborhood walking tour with Mark Mendez from the Lake City Community Center, sparked an interest in learning more about Lake City- What makes it magic? Can it be visualized? This project is an investigation into inspiring stories, people and places of Lake City. These six sites speak to only a handful of stories that I was blessed to learn about through interviews during the winter of 2020, they do not even scrape the surface of the multifaceted histories to be found in Lake City.
As an artist I am interested in community memory, overlapping stories and stakeholdership that can yield a sense of togetherness or caring. Stories of my own family history in Portland, OR have no physical markers, they exist through retellings and mythos but often echo with other community histories of resistance and oppression, togetherness or change. What role does spatialization play in the formation or dissolve of community? Could making these sites of overlap visible help to catalyze discourse around stakeholdership and connection?
This project would not have been possible without the wisdom, stories and inspiration from many people. A special thanks to all who contributed their time and energy, I feel blessed to get the opportunity to work with such inspiring people.
Thank you Mark Mendez for your infectious excitement for Lake City, your stories, actions and love of LC sparked the idea for this project,
Ming-Ming Tung Edelman, Leela, the staff + artisans of RAI, your work and ethos have shown me skillful creativity and possibility in this world,
Jac Trautman, one of my new favorite artists, your words and art have been of great insight and inspiration as I think on landscape, place and complications of representation,
Hayden Bixby, for sharing your drive and energy, and for showing me that the change you ignite locally grows and grows,
Hayashi Family, for use of your invaluable family photos, I too know how difficult these can be to find,
Chan from Real Rent Duwamish, for your insightful words and actions have given me action items for the future,
Hemani Kalia, whose inspiring words gave me light during a tumultuous year of continued racial injustice, thank for making the future look so bright,
David Buerge and the Shoreline Museum, for sharing your research about local Indigenous histories,
Will and Anna of Gifted Cutz/Gifted Nailz, beautiful artists who give their art and light to so many individuals all day everyday,
Chris Leverson, for being an amazing example of creative community organizing,
Maija McKnight and the staff of Seattle Office of Arts and Culture, Sabina Haque and the Public Arts Bootcamp cohort, for all your wisdom and troubleshooting, being part of a team has been a blessing,
Luis Liwag and the Yarne Family, thank you everyday, forwards and backwards in time.
This project was made possible by the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture Public Arts Bootcamp.