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Seattle seeks artist to make music in the Fremont Bridge

The artist-in-residence program is taking a musical turn this time around

Alexandra Ostenberg

The Fremont Bridge artist-in-residence program is back—and this time, the Seattle Department of Transportation is looking for a musician or composer to set up shop in the drawbridge’s 13-by-8 tower office.

The chosen artist can’t live in the tower, “may use the space as a studio, a platform for observing the bridge and its surroundings, or as a base from which to interact with the community.” The office doesn’t have a bathroom, but it does have 360-degree views of the Fremont Cut.

The project should have some kind of public element, and finished work should explore the bridge’s relationship to Seattle.

A 2016 writer-in-residence program went to then-local-writer (now Ohio State University professor) Elissa Washuta, who spent three months over a summer creating work from the tower office. Washuta ultimately created two long-form creative nonfiction essays exploring Puget Sound history, inspired by Seattle’s “waterways, bridges, and spirits.”

Before that, a 2009 residency went to multimedia visual artist Kristen Ramirez. This is the first time the residency has been extended to musicians.

The bridge’s relationship with art extends beyond the residency—neon light installations, which are still displayed today, were added to the bridge in the 1990s. Earlier this week, a light display along the bridge’s underbelly was installed to celebrate the centennial of Seattle’s bastille bridges.