A news blog for Seattle's Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods

 

Local artist designs stone and glass sculpture for new Fire Station 21

August 25th, 2011 · Comments

Artist Perri Lynch is in the midst of creating a free-standing stone and glass sculpture for the new Fire Station 21 that will incorporate LED lights that will change color when the firefighters are called out on an emergency.

Lynch says the stones and glass sections are layered to show the relationship between stability and fragility when a crisis occurs. The glass will be illuminated with blue/green LEDs, which will change to red/orange when the station alarm system is triggered.

Photo courtesy of Perri Lynch.

The sculpture is held through the middle by a six-inch galvanized steel pipe that’s about 14 feet tall. It’s located on the southwest corner of the site at 7304 Greenwood Ave. N.

Lynch, who used to live in the neighborhood, will begin installing the piece on that pipe next Monday, weather permitting, and hopes to finish by the end of the week. This is her second piece of art for a local fire station; the first is currently being installed in Issaquah. (Note 8-29-11: Installation is delayed about two weeks due to additional site prep work.)

Photo courtesy of Perri Lynch.

She spent a full daytime shift with firefighters at Station 21, going out on emergency calls, to help her create art that represented what firefighters go through every day.

“It was such an eye-opener to me. The strongest impression I had was how many hours of preparation it takes to roll out so fast,” she said. “To respond in a split second.”

She also was amazed at the almost rock star status that the Defenders of Greenwood enjoy.

“It’s very unusual for a neighborhood to have such a close relationship to their firefighters,” she said. “I hope that the piece…kind of reinforces the connection that the community already has with the station. I hope it also provides a beacon of safety.”

Artist Perri Lynch with a drawing of her stone and glass sculpture for Fire Station 21. Photo by Gary Burkhardt.

Some of the stones lower down will be perfect for children to sit on, and she hopes that people walking by will take the time to see a different perspective of the artwork every time. For her, Lynch said the work represents the interruption of the daily flow of life.

“For responders it’s the flow of their work, but for people in crisis it’s a total interruption of their lives,” she explained. “Fire in itself is a provocative medium, in terms of being one of the essential elements, but also one of these things that warms us, but also brings crisis to our lives. I love the multi-faceted aspect of fire.”

She’s also honored to have been chosen to create the art for Fire Station 21.

“It’s a humbling thing,” she said. “I’m really honored by the opportunity to have the artwork in your community.”

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