By Amy Daybert Herald Writer
EVERETT — Faces stare up from the sidewalk on Hoyt Avenue.
The nine bronze plaques embedded in the concrete of the city’s Arts and Festivals Street were made by Sultan artist Kevin Pettelle. The square pieces are re-creations of self-portraits of artists Mary Cassatt, Gustave Courbet, Paul Gauguin, Henri Matisse, Michelangelo, Paula Modersohn-Becker, Rembrandt, Egon Schiele and Vincent van Gogh.
“He found artists who had painted their self-portraits and used that as a theme to show the work of various well-known artists,” said Carol Thomas, the city’s cultural arts manager.
And it’s not the only artwork that’s part of the sidewalk. A series of pieces featuring open books and paint swooshes designed by Gale McCall, an artist from Inglewood, Calif., became part of the streetscape last summer.
More art is scheduled to become part of the Hoyt Avenue streetscape this fall. Eleven lighted metal sculptures by Seattle artist Susan Zoccola are planned by early October to be installed from light blue street lamps. Each 14-foot steel sculpture will include a cluster of eight to 14 lights that arc over the sidewalk, Zoccola said. Projectors located on each pole will beam pictures onto the sidewalk at night, she added.
“They’re going to be kind of organic looking,” said Zoccola, 51. “You’ll be able to see them on every block. There will be a couple on either side. It will hopefully help to identify the arts street.”
Everett officials in 2008 started to evaluate Hoyt and Rucker Avenue streetscapes and in 2009 the City Council adopted a Downtown Streetscape Plan, said Kate Reardon, the city’s spokeswoman. Hoyt Avenue, a street anchored to the south by the Imagine Children’s Museum and Schack Art Center and to the north by the Everett Public Library, had by that point already started to become a unique street, Reardon added.
Artists now live and work in the Artspace Everett Lofts on Hoyt. The Schack Art Center used the street in June for its Artists’ Garage Sale and in August, the Washington State Beer Commission hosted the first annual Everett Craft Beer Festival on the street.
“We already are seeing the results of what we had hoped would truly become our arts district,” Reardon said.
In addition to the sculptures, four functional yet artistic bike racks are also set to be installed on the street this fall. The city also plans to eventually install rotating sculptures on the street. Those pieces will be leased from artists on two-year cycles.
Amy Daybert: 425-339-3491; firstname.lastname@example.org.