Ponies on Parade part of fund-raiser for Northwest Center
Seattle Times staff reporter
Well, you finally got — pardon the expression — a Seattle slew of them.
This holiday season, 50 carousel pony sculptures will gussy up downtown sidewalks as part of Ponies on Parade, a public-art event and fund-raiser for Northwest Center, a private organization that provides services for people with disabilities in the Pacific Northwest.
Downtown Seattle Association (DSA) officials, who hatched the horseplay, hope the event can piggyback on the success of The Market Foundation's 2001 "Pigs on Parade" fund-raiser. That summer, 150 swank swine sculptures were scattered around the city and later auctioned off, earning $500,000 for the Pike Place Market.
The event's major sponsor is Wells Fargo Bank.
"We really want to create a great experience for people coming to downtown Seattle for the holidays," said DSA spokeswoman Anita Woo. "We want them to come downtown for the shopping and entertainment, but Ponies on Parade brings everything together."
In part, said Woo, DSA wanted artists to create ponies because many parents and kids associate them with those at the annual holiday carousel at Westlake Park.
The 300-pound fiberglass ponies, about 5 feet tall and 5½ feet long, will be located outside sponsors' businesses — or in their plazas and entryways — stretching from the Denny Triangle neighborhood to Pioneer Square. Most of the horses will be in place by Nov. 17 and will remain through January.
One pony, Randy Bolander's mystic "The Horse's Dream of Peace," already is on display on the south end of the second floor of Westlake Center. Like Pigs on Parade, artists will use various mediums. For example, "Horse Cents" will be covered with pennies; "Record-breaking Pony" will be made from broken record pieces.
Artists, selected by the Mayor's Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, each will receive a $1,000 honorarium. "The artists are able to communicate something to the community and have a venue they normally wouldn't," said Tacoma artist Michaela Eaves, who's creating "Guardians of the Emerald City," covered in blue waves.
"For people downtown and the shoppers, there's something really subtle that happens with art. It makes them think a little and brightens their day. And, of course, this helps the Northwest Center."
A "Stable Soiree," an unveiling of ponies, will begin at 4:30 p.m. Nov. 10 at Northwest Center, 7272 W. Marginal Way S. An auction of the ponies, to benefit Northwest Center programs, such as therapies and job training for people with disabilities, will be in the spring.
Some of the Pigs on Parade sculptures went for about $10,000.
J.J. Jensen: 206-464-2761 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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