Come celebrate “Aurora Bright Dawn” this weekend!

Aurora “Bright Dawn” | N 102nd St and Aurora Ave N | Photo by Vicki Scuri
Photo of the Bright Dawn public art installation on the Oak Tree Village Pedestrian Bridge

Aurora “Bright Dawn” at N 102nd St and Aurora Ave N (Photo by Kevin Stoll)

 

Neighborhood Street Fund Project “Aurora Bright Dawn” Dedication this Weekend

 

Come celebrate the public art dedication for this spectacular new pedestrian bridge artwork in the Aurora-Licton Springs neighborhood! This event is on International Sculpture Day, and is being promoted by Americans for the Arts.

Event Details:

When: Saturday, April 27th, noon.
Where: Oak Tree Village Pedestrian Bridge, N 102nd St and Aurora Ave N.

This weekend, SDOT joins artist Vicki Scuri, local business owners, and community members including the Aurora-Licton Urban Village (ALUV) alliance, for the dedication of a new public artwork, “Aurora Bright Dawn.”

 

Origins of this innovative project

 

This project began as a Neighborhood Street Fund (NSF) application in 2016. The NSF program funds projects requested by the community.

Aurora-Licton Village, an alliance of residents, businesses, and organizations in north Seattle, submitted this NSF project proposal. The City of Seattle designated Aurora-Licton Springs as a Residential Urban Village. Its boundaries are:

• North 84th Street (southern)
• North 110th Street (northern)
• Fremont Avenue N (western)
• Wallingford Avenue N (eastern)

 

Graphic for the Neighborhood Street Fund campaign

Goals of the project

 

The Aurora Ave N Corridor Improvements project submitted by ALUV was one of 12 selected by the Levy to Move Seattle Oversight Committee to be funded through SDOT’s NSF program. The elements of this larger project included:

 

• A new signal on Aurora Ave N at N 92nd St for people walking and biking
• Modified curb ramps on Aurora Ave N at N 92nd St
• Median island on Aurora Ave N at N 92nd St
• Public art on Aurora Ave N

 

In addition to safety improvements, ALUV wished to create a sense of stronger community, visual identity, and connection through art. They hoped to physically and conceptually link both sides of the Aurora-Licton Springs neighborhood, which is divided by Aurora Ave N. In order to do this, alliance members wanted the project to be seen, and have identity, on Aurora Ave N.

 

Selecting an artist and developing a design

The Oak Tree Pedestrian Bridge prior to installation of art

The Oak Tree Pedestrian Bridge prior to installation of art

 

After receiving the NSF award, ALUV chose interdisciplinary artist and designer Vicki Scuri to select a location and develop a project. She specializes in creating public art for infrastructure. The Oak Tree Pedestrian Bridge, built in the 1960s, runs through the center of the Aurora-Licton Springs neighborhood and connects the east and west regions. Through meetings with a diverse group of stakeholders, Vicki and the community decided to enhance the bridge, thereby improving the pedestrian environment and visibly connecting the community.

 

Color scheme and materials

 

Vicki developed a design concept, which the community approved. She proposed both a warm and a cool color scheme, eventually combining them. The cool colors reflect water imagery and the warm colors came from the inspiration of the name, “Aurora Bright Dawn.”

The vivid perception of color enhances the experience of crossing the bridge. These colorful fins are made of Koda XT, a product that interacts with light and changes in appearance with the east to west tracking of the sun. Vicki has worked with Koda XT before, and likes it because it’s a lightweight, durable, shatterproof material that holds up and doesn’t fade.

 

SDOT’s contributions to the project

 

In addition to providing NSF funding, SDOT supplied funds from the 1% for Arts program. SDOT, along with a subcontractor, CA Carey Incorporated, assisted with engineering and implementing the project. Since Aurora Ave N is an asset managed by WSDOT, collaboration between the transportation agencies was necessary to install the art.

 

The finishing touches: community collaboration

Photo of people walking on the bridge with daffodils in bloom below

Enjoying the bridge on the first day of spring

 

Last fall, before the project was complete, community members came together to remove debris under the bridge and plant daffodil bulbs. This collective work deepened the community’s commitment to the project and involvement with the new art. In a fortuitous turn of events that further enhanced the beauty of the space, the daffodils bloomed on the first day of spring!

Come to Aurora Ave N this weekend and join us for this fun and festive event!

In addition to experiencing “Aurora Bright Dawn” on Saturday, you’ll have the opportunity to hear project stakeholders and the artist, Vicki Scuri, offer perspectives and insights on this fabulous new public art. Light refreshments will be provided.

 

Final note about NSF

Voting for 2019 NSF projects in your neighborhood is in progress until May 5th, so weigh in now on what you like! Your vote will determine which projects in your district move forward for final selection.

For more information, see our recent blog.