“Art in Olympia Storefronts” is a new project of the Olympia Artspace Alliance (OAA) to create a series of temporary art installations in vacant storefront windows in downtown Olympia. Randi Parkhurst and I were selected to for the first round of installations in the former Capital Savings & Loan Building located at 425 Franklin ST NE.
Our installation is devoted to appreciating the diversity of plant life in and around our community and raising awareness for the important roles that this ecosystem plays in our lives. Subconsciously, we develop relationships with local perennial plants. Intuitively they help us to understand the cycles of life, the seasons, and their beauty.
The project was inspired by Frederica Bowcutt and Sarah Hamman’s recently published book, Vascular Plants of the South Sound Prairies. Quoting the authors; “Through a collaborative, community based effort we have produced an illustrated guide to nearly 150 vascular plants coupled with text on the natural and cultural history of the glacial outwash prairies and their associated oak woodlands from Tacoma to Rochester, WA.”
Randi’s inventive handmade papers combined with Kathy’s beautiful flora imagery were inspired by the illustrations of dozens of students who contributed to this book. Welcoming the Prairies into the downtown core is a reminder of the significance of diversity, restoration and community involvement.