The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture announced Friday that social practice artist Horatio Hung-Yan Law has been selected to lead a team of artists to complete the AIDS Memorial Pathway, a Seattle AIDS memorial planned for Cal Anderson Park and the plaza at the heart of the development set to arise around Capitol Hill Station:
A five-member, community-based selection panel reviewed the submissions and interviewed three finalists in June. The committee assisted by advisers, also community based, selected social practice artist Horatio Hung-Yan Law to lead a team of artists to complete the project. Law pursued at MFA at Washington University in St. Louis, MO. The impetus for his arts degree was his first-hand experience during the early years of the AIDS crisis in the 1980’s and 1990’s.
“Much of my work stems from my identity and experience as a gay US citizen of Asian heritage,” Law said in the announcement. “Social interaction and community participation are important aspects in my installation work and public art projects. I create work for regular people that examines issues of identity, memory, history and the meaning of community. As a public artist who is interested in socially engaged work, I value collaboration and partnership with community members through collecting ideas, cultural materials, and engaging residents in planning and production of public art.”
“Horatio has created wonderful works of public art in Seattle and other communities,” Tom Rasmussen, the project’s chair, said in the announcement. “We’re thrilled to work with this talented and sensitive artist. There will be many opportunities for public involvement as he begins to develop the art plan for the AMP.”
“The memorial artworks will be integrated into the Capitol Hill Transit-Oriented Development, a series of residential and commercial buildings, open spaces, and access to Cal Anderson Park,” the call for artists on the project read.
The $40,000 budget project will be accompanied by a separate project to “construct an integral Augmented/Extended Reality (A/XR) component” for the pathway.
CHS reported on the early planning for the memorial late last year amid growing community interest in adding public art to the station development’s plaza amid four new buildings creating more than 400 affordable and market-rate apartment units and 59,000 square feet of commercial and community space.
In addition to meeting a community priority for the station development and the push for a project to mark the AIDS crisis in Seattle, the memorial will also help satisfy a longtime hope to add more recognition for Cal Anderson, Washington’s first openly gay legislator who died from AIDS in 1995 at the age of 47, to his namesake park. While Cal Anderson Park honors the late politician by name, there is no permanent marker in the area acknowledging his history. In 2012, a temporary portrait of Anderson was unveiled on the giant wall that surrounded the Capitol Hill Station construction site.
You can learn more about the AIDS Memorial Pathway and how to support the effort here.
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