Artists share their visions for pieces at Climate Pledge Arena

SEATTLE — Seattle-based artist Gerry Tsutakawa remembers going to the old KeyArena and watching the Sonics. The well-known artist has several pieces around Seattle you may recognize, from the new Tonbi Fountain near the Amazon Spheres, to the iconic Mitt at T-Mobile Park, commissioned in 1999.

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Now, Tsutakawa is working on what will be a bronze piece inspired by Seattle and water called SeaWave. It will stand 7 feet tall and 9 feet wide on the east side of Climate Pledge Arena.

I met Tsutakawa this month and got the chance to see his work and his father’s before him; so many pieces were created in his basement over the last 75 years.

Like with The Mitt, Tsutakawa hopes you “experience” the art.

“Being able to reach out and feel the softness of the bronze or the warmth of the material, or you’re putting your face in the circle and taking a picture, is all kind of part of the experience,” said Tsutakawa.

Artist David Franklin says the same about his wish for the Art at the Arena.

“For everybody to enjoy it,” Franklin told KIRO 7 when asked what he hopes will become of the piece he is creating with artist Preston Singletary.

Franklin and Singletary were also commissioned to create a piece for the Art at the Arena project.

One look at Franklin’s Indianola home and it’s easy see he loves octopi, tentacles and squid, so creating a Kraken sculpture made sense to him.

Inspired by the Pacific Giant Octopus and Singletary’s Tlingit culture, the two collaborated on the piece Singletary hopes will become an opportunity to share his ancestry.

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“I hope that they enjoy the piece and that it becomes something that we call a sharable moment, becomes a meeting place,” said Singletary.

Franklin agrees that hearing, “let’s meet at the Kraken sculpture,” -- which will be 8 feet tall and 9 feet wide -- will be pretty cool.

Although the artists all have work to do before installation this fall, and they are excited to be a part of the Art at the Arena project, they all remain humble.

Tsutakawa summed up that sentiment.

“I enjoy doing the work, to me that’s the most important. That’s the fun,” he said.

The three artists are among nine chosen to create pieces that will be installed outside Climate Pledge Arena.