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Your tax dollars at work: Art for a garbage dump


Brandi Kruse investigated a listener’s tip to the Dori Monson Show that the new state-of-the-art Seattle Public Utilities transfer station that was scheduled to open last year was still under construction.

Brandi shared her exclusive story update with Dori, and she also shared this photo of art paid for by the city that was built and installed at the new transfer station.

The artwork, titled “Cool Bear”, was made from refrigerator doors collected at the transfer station by local artist Steve Appleton. The bear stands over 15 feet high and 25 feet long. The City of Seattle art project description says Cool Bear is a temporary display.

Calandra Childers, a spokesperson from the Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs stated that it cost $30,000. She also said that the Cool Bear may or may not be temporary.

“To clarify, this has been sited at the North Transfer Station and will remain there until construction begins,” said Childers in an email. “It’s possible that it may become a permanent work at the new transfer station but we just can’t guarantee that until construction is farther along. Because we can’t guarantee that it is permanent, we’re calling it temporary for now.”

The City of Seattle describes the project:

As part of his Phase I – Residency and Temporary Artwork Project, Appleton will construct a free-standing Cool Bear polar bear sculpture created from waste brought to the transfer station. Made from recycled refrigerator doors, the Cool Bear sculpture points out ironically through its use of materials the relationship between consumption, manufacturing, waste and recycling, and its impact on nature. The dimensions of the water-jet cut and stack constructed bear will measure 14-19′ in height and 25′ in length. The Cool Bear will be sited in the grassy knoll in the NE corner of the transfer station, and will be clearly visible to visitors when they enter and exit the facility. The location and size of the sculpture will also allow the surrounding neighborhood to get a partial view the double-sided refrigerator door bear.

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