Artists Draw Inspiration from City Light’s Historic Georgetown Steam Plant

Eleven artists visited Seattle City Light’s historic Georgetown Steam Plant in August to sketch, paint photograph and draw inspiration for collages, screen presses and other works as part of the 2013 Duwamish Residency.
Photo of Gene Gentry McMahon outside Georgetown Steam Plant.

Artist Gene Gentry McMahon works outside the Georgetown Steam Plant during the 2013 Duwamish Residency.

Eleven artists visited Seattle City Light’s historic Georgetown Steam Plant in August to sketch, paint photograph and draw inspiration for collages, screen presses and other works as part of the 2013 Duwamish Residency.

“The interior of the plant is an amazing space. A complex mechanical infrastructure was built to support the steam turbines of gigantic proportion, giving us a visual smorgasbord,” Duwamish Residency Co-Organizer Sue Danielson wrote of the visit. “The natural lighting was diffuse and magical. The creamy paint and soft lighting gave the entire place the Vermeerish quality.”

“A huge thank you to Seattle City Light for this amazing experience,” Danielson said.  “Our visit was unforgettable.”

Photo of Sue Danielson and Victoria Haven.

Duwamish Residency Co-organizer Sue Danielson and Victoria Haven work on their art inside the Georgetown Steam Plant.

As primarily studio artists, they will now return to their studios and further build on the work they began at the steam plant.

An exhibit of their work is planned at NorthSeattleCommunity College in October.

City Light Historic Resource Specialist Rebecca Ossa provided an architectural and historical tour of the steam plant for the artists, who spent two days working in the building. Sr. Environmental Analyst Michael Aronowitz hosted the artists and provided them with environmental context for the plant’s past operations.

Photo of Emily Gherard and Fiona McGuigan.

Emily Gherard and Duwamish Residency Co-organizer Fiona McGuigan work on their art inside the Georgetown Steam Plant.

“The group was very easy to work with and appreciative of the opportunity to work inside the steam plant,” Aronowitz said. “They were very respectful of the site and cleaned up well after themselves. They found the building to be fascinating, and would have spent an entire week in there had it been possible. “

Participating artists were:

  • Fiona McGuigan (co-organizer)
  • Sue Danielson (co-organizer)
  • Ethan Bickel
  • David Kane
  • Chris Crites
  • Emily Gherard
  • Robert Hardgrave
  • Steve MacFarlane
  • Gene Gentry McMahon
  • Juliet Shen
  • Victoria Haven