UW Today

February 8, 2016

Intellectual House, Odegaard Library welcome new works of public art

News and Information

 "Mirrorfold" (2015) is a sculpture of polished stainless steel by John and Patricia Patkau located on the second floor of the Odegaard Undergraduate Library .

“Mirrorfold” (2015) is a sculpture of polished stainless steel by John and Patricia Patkau located on the second floor of the Odegaard Undergraduate Library .

The University of Washington campus already is home to a lot of great public art. Now there are two additions to the campus collection — one at the Odegaard Undergraduate Library and the other at wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ – Intellectual House.

“Welcoming Figures” (2015) comprises two tall vertical cedar panels that frame the main area in the wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ – Intellectual House. The panels, 34 inches wide by 10 feet tall and representing traditional male and female welcome figures, were designed by Ruth and Andy Peterson of the by Skokomish Tribe and carved by Andrea Wilbur-Sigo of the Squaxin Island and Skokomish tribes. The red and black color scheme represents strength and the designs surrounding the figures represent the spirits of the ancestors as well as those coming in the future, they said.

"Welcoming Figures" at wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ - Intellectual House was designed by Ruth and Andy Peterson of the by Skykomish Tribe and carved by Andrea Wilbur-Sigo of the Squaxin Island and Skykomish tribes. Sigo is at center, her daughter Florence Sigo is at left, her husband Steve Sigo at right and son Robert Sigo in front.

“Welcoming Figures” at wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ – Intellectual House was designed by Ruth and Andy Peterson of the by Skokomish Tribe and carved by Andrea Wilbur-Sigo of the Squaxin Island and Skokomish tribes. Wilbur-Sigo is at center, her daughter Florence Sigo is at left, her husband Steve Sigo at right and son Robert Sigo in front.

Wilbur-Sigo was a child when her father, Andy Wilbur-Peterson — and Greg Colfax, who is with the Makah Tribe — carved Welcoming Woman figures for The Evergreen State College. “She watched the Woman come to life,” the family said in a statement about the UW artwork. “In 1975 Andrea was born at the UW hospital and feels that this project is a way of coming full circle for her in her life and artistic career. She is honored to bring these two welcome figures to life, and in turn hopes that their spirits will help all who walk through the Longhouse doors!”

“Mirrorfold” (2015) is a sculpture of polished stainless steel located on the second floor of the Odegaard Undergraduate Library spanning 25 feet across and 9.5 feet tall. The sculpture is by John and Patricia Patkau, both principals in Patkau Architects, a Vancouver, B.C.-based architectural and design research studio.

In a statement, the artists called the piece a study in stainless steel “and the visual experience of space. ‘Mirrorfold’ is an effort to reframe and extend the viewer’s sense of perspective. It is an invitation to re-engage with and attend to the subtle dynamics of context, such as changes in light and occupation, as well as the impact and transience of one’s own presence.”

Both pieces were funded by the Washington State Arts Commission in partnership with the UW. Learn more about art on campus and take a virtual tour at the Office of the University Architect’s website.

“These pieces, by significant Pacific Northwest artists and architects, are just the newest additions to a truly extraordinary and growing collection of public art on the UW Seattle campus,” said Lyndsey Cameron, UW public arts coordinator, who is also principal architectural associate with the Office of the University Architect in Planning and Management.

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For more information about these artworks or others in the campus collection, contact Cameron at 206-616-0201 or lyndsey2@uw.edu.

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