ArtWalk: The Olympic Sculpture Park and the Stories Behind the Works

Seattle, WA

  • "The Eagle" by Alexander Calder with the Space Needle in the distance.
  • Man, dog and "Curve XXIV."
  • Ellsworth Kelly in his studio.  Photo: Jack Shear for W Magazine.
  • The front entrance to the PACCAR Pavilion.
  • The rear of the PACCAR Pavilion.
  • "Wave" by Richard Serra.
  • A view from the grassy terraces.
  • "Perre's Ventaglio III" by Beverly Pepper.
  • Beverly Pepper at work in a metal factory during the 1960s.
  • "Bunyon's Chess" by Mark di Suvero. Photo: Mary Ann Sullivan.
  • The sculptor, Mark di Suvero in 1986. Photo: Peter Sumner Walton Bellamy.
  • "Stinger" by Tony Smith.
  • Sculptor Tony Smith standing in front of “The Snake Is Out” in Bryant Park, New York in 1967. Photo: NY Times.
  • A stroll along "Seattle Cloud Cover" by Teresita Fernandez.
  • "Wandering Rocks" by Tony Smith.  Inspired by a Japanese zen garden.
  • A couple stands at the intersection of "Love & Loss" by Roy McMakin.
  • The artist, Roy McMakin.
  • "Schubert Sonata" by Mark di Suvero.
  • "Beethoven's Quartet" at the Tippet Rise Art Center.
  • "Father and Son" by Louise Bourgeois
  • The artist, Louise Bourgeois. Photo: Photo Jeremy Pollard.

1 hour and 30 minutes
0.8 mi
Guided by Amanda
Amanda Simoni


The Olympic Sculpture Park just west of the Space Needle is one of the city's best kept secrets. An extension of the Seattle Art Museum, the free sculpture park is impressive in the prestige of works on display and it's fun showcasing of the collection. This guide will lead you from work to work and provide a narrative of the beauty, significance and story of select pieces. By the end, you will be well-entertained and have a new appreciation for the importance of this park for the city.

About Your Guide

Seattle has been home for the better part of a decade, and every year I find new things to do and see. Beyond the overcast skies and constant monsoon is a metropolis filled with with monumental art, artisanal espresso, gold rush dreams and rock 'n' roll bonafides.

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Guide Points

  1. "Curve XXIV" by Ellsworth Kelly

    Hanging on the cold cement wall outside of the PACCAR Pavilion, you will notice a giant 19-foot wide "fan" in weathered steel.

  2. PACCAR Pavilion

    Welcome to the Olympic Sculpture Park! This is a good place to get our bearings. There are 21 works on display, give or take a few extra t…

  3. "Wave" by Richard Serra

    This monumental set of five steel canyon walls both mimic and run parallel to the currents of Puget Sound just down the hill.

  4. "Perre's Ventaglio III" by Beverly Pepper

    Look for the set of mirrored square frames, frozen in time, tumbling out of each other. _Perre's Ventaglio III_ (1967) is probably my favo…

  5. "Bunyon's Chess" by Mark di Suvero

    After we cross the highway, find the 22-foot tall sculpture with stainless steel beams and wood logs dangling in the air. The 1965 work is…

  6. "The Eagle" by Alexander Calder

    Despite the 6-ton weight of the sculpture, _The Eagle_ commands a buoyant and airy quality. With curved wings and a pointed, up-stretched …

  7. "Stinger" by Tony Smith

    Proceed into and around _Stinger_. Despite the weight that the monumental 3-cornered fortress commands, the structure seems like it rests …

  8. Bridge Over the Railroad Tracks

    The same artist that created "Stinger" also created this minimalist, geometric metal rocks. They are a tribute to the large boulders that …

  9. "Love & Loss" by Roy McMakin

    _Love & Loss_ is best viewed from the west, close to the water. However, if you would prefer, feel free to actually walk up to the work an…

  10. "Schubert Sonata" by Mark di Suvero

    The second di Suvero work in the park, the _Schubert Sonata_ stands 22 feet tall with a 10-foot diameter top. The industrial metal compone…

  11. "Father and Son" by Louise Bourgeois

    The final work we'll discuss today is probably the most scandalous of the Olympic Sculpture Park collection. It features a father and son,…

Sidewalk Reviews

  1. 3 Reviews

    1. Stephenie Hoelscher

    Jan 20, 2020

    1. Magon

    Great idea! But in sunny morning I would prefer to listen audio when trying to read from smartphone.

    Feb 10, 2018

About Sidewalk

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