Get Out! Free Summer Events at SAM Sculpture Park
Listen to music. Make open-ended art. Sketch. Enjoy the sunset. Eat.
The Seattle Art Museum’s Olympic Sculpture Park is a great place for casual family evenings on summer Thursday nights. We went down for the opening “Get Out!” celebration on July 12.
Each week a different local artist sets out materials and offers guidance for a free art project for children – and some adults – in the covered pavilion. The first Thursday was bicycle reflectors made from old CDs that could be decorated with dots, strips of colorful reflective tape, markers and other objects. Pictures of works from the current downtown Seattle Art Museum on aboriginal art served as inspiration. This week, it’s “seed bombs” made of clay that you can later launch and watch grow into native wildflower patches.
Even if you don’t do the art, step in and look at the new installation in the pavilion, a beautiful waterscape mural by Brazilian artist Sandra Cinto. There are also sketching stations with materials set up outside.
Brazilian music wafted over the sloping lawn outside the pavilion on the opening Thursday, and families were packed onto blankets enjoying the sounds. Some danced on the space in front of Richard Serra’s wavy, rust-colored “Wake” sculpture. Throughout the summer you can hear indie surf pop, Ghanaian drumming, soul/funk/jazz, Cuban jazz and West African/jazz fusion. Check the website for each week’s performers.
You don’t have to stay in the main space, which doesn’t feature any shade and got too hot for us that night. You can hear the music as you wander the paths and look at the art all through the terraced park. You can stay and watch the sunset, either from the higher park terraces or from the waterfront or pocket beach on the lower levels.
SAM promotes the food trucks, which vary each week, but I’d advise families with children to pack your own food and drinks. There were only two food trucks, plus an ice cream truck, so the lines were about 40 minutes long and the food in the one we tried wasn’t very good and a bit pricey. There are some offerings, including alcoholic drinks, from the TASTE café window inside the pavilion, but the lines are even longer, trying the patience of children. The lines are generally shorter on cloudy evenings.
Wenda Reed is a Seattle-area writer.
If You Go...
Where: Olympic Sculpture Park, 2901 Western Ave., downtown Seattle.
When: Get Out! Thursdays, July 12 through Aug. 30, 5:30 to 8 p.m. Park open daily, dawn to 30 minutes after sunset.
OTHER SUMMER ACTIVITIES
Saturdays mornings in the park: July 14 through Aug. 25 with sketching stations, park tours, drop-in yoga, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., drop-in zumba, 2 to 3 p.m.; all free.
SAM Remix: Friday, Aug. 24 with performances, talks and dancing, 8 p.m. to midnight; $12-$25.
Salmon Return Family Festival: Saturday, Sept. 5, to celebrate the close of summer with art activities, music, contests and more, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; free.
Contact: 206-654-3100; www.seattleartmuseum.org/getout.