Historic Kalakala Ferry pieces inspire public art

There was a buzz of excitement as the Kirkland community gathered in the lobby of the Kirkland Performance Center on Wednesday, January 31 to celebrate artistic expression designed to connect Kirkland’s past and present through art.

Over 130 members of the public attended the Kalakala Art Open House where four artists presented their art concepts, using salvaged pieces of the historic Kalakala ferry, to a vibrant audience.

The City now invites the public to give their feedback on the four art concepts via a short, online survey. The online survey is open through Feb 16, 2018.

These art concepts are a wonderful reflection of the talented artistic energy and flair we have in Kirkland,” said Deputy Mayor Jay Arnold. “Our City is a distinguished art and cultural destination featuring celebrated galleries, art and cultural organizations, artists and events, such as the Kirkland Cross Corridor Mural, and the Kalakala Open House. This is just one of many events I forsee the City hosting to support art that reflects the flavor of the City.”

In February 2015, the City of Kirkland purchased roughly 30 historical pieces of the Kalakala, the world’s one and only Art Deco passenger vessel. The Kalakala was built between 1933 and 1935 at the Lake Washington Shipyard, now Kirkland’s Carillon Point. The City’s vision was to repurpose the salvaged pieces for an art installation that commemorates the Kalakala ferry, Kirkland’s early history as a regional shipbuilding center, and also recalls the unique design and innovative engineering the vessel represented.

A Citizen Committee was formed, comprising of experts in maritime history and art with members of the Kirkland Cultural Arts Commission, to select four artists to develop concepts for public review.

The four artists selected by the Committee, that presented at the Open House include:


To provide your feedback on the four artist concepts, please fill out the online survey before Feb 16, 2018.

For more information on the Kalakala Art project, please visit the Cultural Arts Commission webpage, or contact Philly Marsh on (425) 587-3013.

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