Since it opened a few years ago, the Olympic Sculpture Park in Seattle, run by the Seattle Art Museum, has offered a year-round, everyday place to enjoy large-scale art for free. But in summer it really perks up the offerings – many of them free – that radiate from art into physical fun and family festivals.
YOGA, DRAWING, ZUMBA
Every Saturday through August, you can do free yoga, drawing and Zumba classes at the park. At 10:30 a.m. is the yoga: bring your own mat and water to this drop-in class with instructors from 8 Limbs Yoga and views to inspire your Warrior poses. From 11 a.m.-1 p.m., drawing materials are provided for you to wander the park and create your own art inspired by sculptures like Alexander Calder’s bright red “Eagle,” Louise Bourgeois’ subversive “Eye Benches,” Mark Dion’s enclosed nurse log, and Teresita Fernndez’s glass bridge “Seattle Cloud Cover.” You can also join a free guided tour at noon and 1 p.m. Then from 2-3 p.m., channel your inner J.Lo with a free Zumba class: bring water and tennis shoes.
There are art activities, live music and free yoga from 6-8 p.m. Thursdays too. All activities happen rain or shine.
CLIMB THE HOUSE
The newest sculpture at the OSP needs you to climb it. “Western Oracle: We Will Tear the Roof off the Mother” by Seattle-born, Brooklyn-based Heather Hart is exactly what it looks like – a house rooftop, set just a few feet off the ground. Visitors ages 10 and older are encouraged to climb up the shingled sides (you get a great view over the park and Puget Sound from the top), duck through the 3-foot-high doorway into the hay-smelling interior, rest among the rafters, stare up through the chimney and beat on the window wall – it’s made of stiff fabric squares to resonate like a drum.
The artistic point? “To help a visitor reclaim their belief in their own power,” says Hart. “(It’s) an amalgam of distorted traditions and symbols, bequeathed and mashed up to fit a cultural need. An oracle gives guidance and truth. It is in a contemporary human’s nature to want to have an influence on their future, and to want to believe in something outside of themselves.”
“Western Oracle” is up through Oct. 13.
Celebrate the return of salmon to Puget Sound watersheds with the Salmon Return Festival, a free family event from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sept. 7 that includes music, contests, art making and more.
The Olympic Sculpture Park is at 2901 Western Ave., Seattle. Open dawn-dusk daily. Call 206-654-310 or go to seattleartmuseum.org.Rosemary Ponnekanti: 253-597-8568 rosemary.ponnekanti@ thenewstribune.com