Monday, November 2, 2015

Aparkolypse 2015: Olympic Sculpture Park

Don't mind the children, they're just drunk
When you're done enjoying the pure delights of driving on Seattle roads, make sure you stop by the Seattle Art Museum's Olympic Sculpture Park, an art shrine apparently dedicated to honoring marine industrial decay. Seriously, Wikipedia suggests, "The idea of creating a park for large, contemporary sculpture in Seattle grew from a discussion in 1996 between Seattle Art Museum director (and wife of William Gates Sr.) Mimi Gardner Gates and Martha Wyckoff while stranded on a fly fishing trip in Mongolia due to a helicopter crash." Bored super-rich people have the best taste!


OSP isn't just a place to wonder why rich people and government employees love buying expensive eyesores, it is also a place you can meet your friend to kill time when she has a narrow window to hang out in her brief visit to Seattle. There's also an air-conditioned building where you can cool off and use the nice bathrooms. Navigate the park with this map and guide. But if you find your party or other gathering isn't sufficiently expensive, you can host your events here.

The indoor multipurpose room/art lab and outdoor amphitheater/terraces are available for between $1000 and $3000, depending on your timing. The pavilion and covered terraces are available for $4000 and $5500, based on peak season. We poke fun, but there are some surprisingly affordable wedding packages.

Stuff I Didn't Pay Attention to When I Was There

In weekends during the summer, the restaurant TASTE offers "seasonal-inspired pastries, espresso, assorted sips, and organic snacks." Every single square foot of the park has a corporate or foundation sponsor, so make sure you think of Boeing first next time you're buying a jumbo jet or satellite.

Other Considerations

For parking, it's in downtown Seattle, so we recommend teleporting there. The building has a water fountain and bathrooms and is attached to a parking garage where you'll spend at least $6 to visit the free park.

The Art!

As a fan of rusting metal and perilously hanging logs, this place is right up our alley. Seattle Times ran an amusing article on which pieces you should touch or not (summary: don't, unless you can sit on it). Rather than make cracks about pteranodons, asterisks, adult products, the futility of wind power, and disintegrating pizza cutters, we'll mostly just let you behold the work for yourself.

We were excited to the head part of the foot statue from Lost.

This piece summarized our thoughts on the visit
The Park Next Door

Right alongside Olympic Sculpture Park is Myrtle Edwards Park, which was originally going to be the name of Gasworks Park. We found a nice little rocky beach where the two parks converge.


The grounds and building are really nice. If you are an admirer of large-scale sculptures, you'll likely enjoy the visit. If you are an unsophisticated dork from Universal City, TX who plays fantasy sports and thinks Steven Seagal is one of the great comedians of our time, this may not be for you. The walking space is very stroller and wheelchair friendly, but it is highly unlikely your little kids will appreciate the works and they will definitely not like not touching anything (our children immediately sprinted to play with the wavy metal things).

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