Thursday, August 13, 2015

Pillars of Diversity Installed!

Facing northeast, with Martin Luther King Jr. Way in the background.
Photos from the 8/13 celebration, with the youth team, artists, community members and more! We heard from many partners in the project to honor Thurgood Marshall. Among them: representatives of Coyote Central (the nonprofit that supervised the project), Thurgood Marshall ES, the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, the two teaching artists and their 2 dozen youth assistant artists.

Teaching Assistant Jesse Bernstein performs during the celebration.

Student artists performed their group poem, authored with mentorship from Daemond Arrindell:
My Equality
My equality is smart and strong
It turns arguments into shaking hands
It feels like a warm blanket that protects me
Like waves hitting the soft sand
My equality sounds like voices standing up
Feels like a badge on my chest
Sounds like a promise

My equality is honest,
like a wall built by trust and pride and bravery
My equality takes risks and gives speeches and eye contact
My equality faces the hateful truth
My equality is not easy, it is dangerous

My equality is loyal and is a leader
It makes me a better person
My equality goes on even when the world is against it
My equality says
“stop – you’re no better than anyone else”
My equality feels like being respected
My equality speaks its opinion
It speaks out
It speaks up

My equality sacrifices for others
My equality is difficult to say out loud
My equality is an open window
It listens
My equality says
“I’m sorry”
My equality never gives up
My equality sounds like a bird in the wind,
Full of laughter
My equality looks like all shapes and colors
Climbing and rising

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Pillars Rising!

The excitement is building toward Thursday's celebration at 12:15! The pillars are up! Thanks to Casey Sommers for the photo from Aug. 9.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

A Strong Base

Concrete forms on which the pillars and other elements will be attached

Can't have pillars without a strong base! (Shot taken 8/3/15.)

Sunday, August 2, 2015


Please join us as we celebrate the installation of the Hit the Streets youth art project!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Breaking Ground

 Excavation for the community art project has begun!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Concept Unveiled: Pillars of Diversity

Project Concept by Lead Teaching Artists Yvette Simone & Timothy Siciliano

 Pillars of Diversity
 at Thurgood Marshall Elementary

In Summer 2015, twenty-four diverse youth will work with three professional public artists to create a permanent art installation on the Martin Luther King Jr. Way frontage of Thurgood Marshall Elementary School. The work will celebrate Thurgood Marshall’s pivotal work towards equal justice under the law for all people as the first black Supreme Court Justice during the civil-rights movement.

Lead artists Yvette Simone and Timothy Siciliano have conceived the project as a symbolic depiction of equal justice under the law for people of every race, creed or color. Its five stately 10-foot pillars evoke not only the Supreme Court but also broader associations of justice and education. The contrasting colors and overlaid circles spreading up the pillars from the steps below are an evocation both of the diversity of our nation’s people and the energetic optimism of youth.

In the first week of workshops, the 24 Hit the Streets youth will work with poet Daemond Arrindell to express their own feelings about Thurgood Marshall and his work in poetic form. The youth will learn the color theory of Josef Albers – how to use context and contrast to great effect – and will apply colored glazes to ceramic disks on which their poems have been rendered. Those disks will be inset into the cement steps and column bases. Some of the youth will work in Coyote’s metal shop to fabricate the capitals at the top of each steel column, and all youth will paint the columns – both the trompe l’oeuil of the black/white/gray upper columns and the circles of varying diameters and colors along their lower half.

The end steps of the piece will feature plaques with quotations from Thurgood Marshall himself. On one end will be a timeline of civil rights people and events from across the United States, and on the other end will be a timeline of prominent civil-rights leaders and actions in the city of Seattle. The 24 young artists will be acknowledged with a plaque as well.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Installation Celebration on August 13

Mark your calendars and join us when we celebrate the installation of the youth art project:

12:15p on Thursday, August 13

Thurgood Marshall Elementary
2401 S. Irving St.
Seattle, WA 98144

Refreshments will be generously donated by local businesses, including Field Roast Grain Meat Co.