Bench Mark

June 16 – December 9, 2018

Bench Mark, a Partnership for Youth exhibition, is an exploration of architecture through space, function, and purpose. Created during sixteen after-school sessions March–May 2018, this collection of works traces the design thinking process students applied while considering Seattle’s urban environment and humans’ interaction with it.

Identifying the bench as a focal point and unifying element of the urban environment, the ten contributing artists reveal their understanding of the many ways people use benches to interact with their surroundings. Benches offer spaces for conversation, rest, and reflection. The exhibition chronicles an experiential investigation into placemaking that unites us with our fellow humans who utilize benches as the site of some of life’s most mundane as well as precious moments.

Bench Mark is co-curated by Lynn Chou, manager of youth and school programs, and Negarra A. Kudumu, manager of public programs, featuring the work of Abdisemed Ali, Gebre Engeda, Eva Gugsa, Tegarius Kea, John Le, Kiet Nguyen, Ngoc Nguyen, Tam Nguyen, Nurham Nuru, and Nhu-Phuong Tran. Teaching artists Laura Bartunek, John Hallock, and Jim Nicholls provided instruction in design, architecture, and 3-D modeling.

This youth program is organized by the Frye Art Museum with support from the Associated Recreation Council’s RecTech program at Yesler Community Center, Olson Kundig, and the Architecture Department at the University of Washington. Generous funding is provided by US Bank, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, Windermere Capitol Hill, and Frye Art Museum members. In-kind support is provided by Gauge Design Group.

Eva Gugsa and Nhu-Phuong Tran. Untitled 3D Process Model, 2018. Wood. Courtesy of the artists.