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August 30, 2013 at 6:49 PM
Sketched Aug. 29, 2013
While all eyes are on the new Husky Stadium, let me draw attention to a small, but familiar, piece of the upgraded complex: the 360-pound bronze husky sculpture that has welcomed fans since 1995 and is now the centerpiece of the Dawg Pack Entrance.
Did you know “Husky Spirit” is related to Rachel, the Pike Place Market pig? Both statues are the creations of Whidbey Island sculptor Georgia Gerber, whose portfolio of local public art includes plenty of animals: bears at the Redmond Town Center, gorillas at the Woodland Park Zoo and two harbor seals on Alki Beach (to be dedicated Sept. 8). Gerber said that of the more than 60 pieces she has created, the husky is special to her because she is a University of Washington alumna. The goal was to create “a proud husky, larger than life, that would become an iconic image.”
Sitting to draw it for a couple hours gave me a new appreciation for Gerber’s work. I wonder what animal she will create next. A seahawk, perhaps?
May 2, 2012 at 2:25 PM
Remember my sketch of the big “W” sign at the UW? (“Quiet retreat on UW campus,” April 20, 2012)
A reader commented that “to install it, they tore down a beautiful 1920s gothic stone gate.”
I found that hard to believe. I know there are two gothic-style columns on each side of the entrance, but was a 1920s gate really torn down to make room for this big capital letter?
Not at all.
Kristine Kenney, director of campus design and planning, said the “W” replaced a small slab of concrete inscribed with the words “University of Washington.”
That sign was out-of-scale for the Memorial Way entrance and often obscured by plants, said Kenney, who has another location in mind for it: the campus entrance at Northeast 43th Street and 15th Avenue.
The metal “W” that I sketched was installed in the fall of 2010 when the university started rolling out its new brand.
Michael Courtney, the local designer who came up with the idea of the giant letter, sent me the sketch of his original concept after seeing my own sketch. He drew it during a meeting with UW representatives and said the actual sketch helped them sell the idea and eventually find donors to build the sign.
Courtney also said UW President Mark Emmert wanted a sign where people would stop to have their photos taken, something emblematic.
I saw some people take photos of it while I was drawing it, so I think the sign is accomplishing its intended purpose.
It also makes a good sketch subject. Have you ever thought of drawing it?
If you do, send me your sketch and I’ll share it on my Facebook page.
“W” sketch courtesy of Michael Courtney Design.
April 20, 2012 at 8:19 PM
Sketched April 10, 2012
Oh, spring at the U-Dub!
The best thing about it is that you don’t have to pay tuition to enjoy it. Anyone can wander through campus, and there’s much more to see than the striking, but fleeting cherry blossoms in the Quad.
This year, with the UW celebrating its 150th Anniversary (“HuskyFest” event wraps up Saturday), it was fitting that I discovered the Sylvan Grove Theater, home to some of the oldest-standing pieces of Seattle architecture: four, 24-foot Ionic columns that belonged to the original university building downtown.
The lush garden space, tucked between the Rainier Vista corridor and the Paul G. Allen Center for Computer Science & Engineering, is so secluded even some students miss it. Emilia Ptak, a recent graduate relaxing on a bench with a friend, didn’t find it until her third or fourth year.
Unlike the Quad, she said, it’s a quiet spot to concentrate and study.
Other sketches from my stroll through campus:
Block letters are so collegiate. A plaque by this giant “W” says the sign was donated by the class of 1960.
Denny Hall is the first university building to open on the current campus, back in 1895. As I started to sketch, I could hear a tour guide address his group. “This is where we come from,” he said, pointing to the castle-like building. “And this is where we are going,” pointing to the state-of-the-art architecture of Paccar Hall to the east. Paccar Hall is home to the Michael G. Foster School of Business.
I think Emilia Ptak had a point when she told me that the Quad is better for people watching than studying. On the sunny day I visited, the sensory overload was such that I can’t imagine anyone being able to concentrate there.
I sat on the steps of the Suzzallo Library building to sketch this view. Students crisscrossed the square in all directions on their way to class. Others stood under blue-covered tents, holding balloons and handing out fliers. When I finished my sketch, I walked over to the other side of the square to order a pulled-pork sandwich from a food truck, then sat on the benches at the center of the square to eat and remember my own college days at another beautiful campus, the University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain.
What has drawn your attention around Seattle lately? Send me your suggestions of interesting places and people to sketch via e-mail, Facebook or Twitter. Have a great weekend!
January 4, 2012 at 5:52 PM
Sketched Jan. 4, 9:34 a.m.
I did my first sketch of the year in the rain. Very Seattle. Since I was in a hurry, I didn’t wait for the watercolors to dry before closing the sketchbook. If you look closely, the colors on the photo are still wet. On the scan, however, you can see the marks left by dripping watercolor and areas that got messed up after slapping the book shut. Oh, well. I don’t really care. Sketching is all about the experience, isn’t it? The 15-minutes I spent sketching were a perfect way to start the day!
And speaking about the experience, can you guess where I was? This is a “must-come-back-to-sketch location” for sure.
Watercolor and Lamy Safari Fountain pen on 9 in. x 6 in., 93 lb. Super Deluxe Bee Paper sketchbook.
April 22, 2011 at 7:58 PM
Sketched April 19, 8:01 p.m.
The wake of a tugboat settled, and the spans of the bridge lowered, as I found the perfect bench to draw this quiet scene at the Montlake Cut.
On Saturday morning, however, my picturesque urban hideout will turn into a jampacked sports venue. Thousands of fans are expected to crowd bridge railings and sidewalks to watch the best college rowers in the country power their boats through the narrow canal. The occasion: the 100th dual race between Washington and California, a heated intercollegiate rivalry that goes back to the early-1900s.
For the Huskies, rowing through the Montlake Cut is as good as it gets. “You can hear the fans cheering. You feel like a football player may feel at a football stadium,” said Michael Callahan, who competed against Cal in the mid-90s and is now the UW men’s head coach.
The spectacle is free and fast for the fans, but it takes a lot of effort and teamwork from the student-athletes. Depending on the wind, the men’s varsity eight covers the 2,000-meter course in five or six minutes, Callahan explained before a practice this week.
Saturday won’t be the last chance to support the Huskies at the Montlake Cut. On May 7, UW rowers compete against Stanford, Oklahoma and Cambridge in the Windermere Cup.
Men’s and women’s races start at 9 a.m. Saturday.
Blog extra! Here are other drawings from my visit to Conibear Shellhouse at UW’s campus:
Coach Callahan talked to the eight varsity team before the afternoon practice. He said they’ve been training six days a week, three hours a day since school started in September. They all stand tall at an average of 6′ 4″. To warm up, they kicked a soccer ball around and stretched at exercise equipment where they can practice the same rowing moves they do in the boat.
I wondered what would happen if you let those eight big guys row backwards without knowing where they were going. But coxswain Michelle Darby sits at the back of the boat and steers them in the right direction. She wears a microphone and the rowers can hear her through several speakers placed throughout the 60-foot-long shell. Darby is from North Andover, Mass., and will graduate next year with an engineering degree. She said it’s become more common in collegiate rowing for women to cox the men’s crews. “The guys are like big brothers.”
During the practice, Callahan instructed the crew through a megaphone while team manager Ben Dagang took notes. The coach’s launch is nothing fancy as you can see. Even Callahan sits on a plastic patio chair like those on sale at Walmart for $5. I tried to hold on to mine as I sketched, hoping not to end up in the water!
Coming up: As part of my once-a-month neighborhood exploration (see previous posts from my visits to White Center and Beacon Hill,) I’ll be sketching around Shoreline next Tuesday. Do you know of a good story waiting to be drawn? Send me your suggestions via e-mail, Twitter or Facebook. Have a great weekend!
April 16, 2009 at 12:17 PM
Jan. 10, 2009, 11:24 a.m. The Gerberding Hall at the University of Washington campus. [View larger]
I’ve been to the UW campus just a couple of times. Walking through the red square or the quad is such a pleasant feeling. Memories of my college years in Pamplona, Spain, immediately pop into my head. The good stuff of course, not how stressed I used to be about paying the tuition and the expenses of living away from home.
Now our governor is proposing to raise tuition 30 percent in the next two years at the state’s four-year universities. Why aren’t there enough public funds for higher education?
Times reporter Nick Perry addresses that question and more in today’s Q&A about the tuition increase, which is a perfect reminder for me to put more money in my kids’ college accounts.
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