Art installation addresses Seattle's homeless crisis | KUOW News and Information

Art installation addresses Seattle's homeless crisis

Sep 12, 2017

Something we see throughout Seattle are unsanctioned homeless encampments: tents, tarps, and makeshift shelters. And now there's one more as you enter Seattle's Municipal Tower downtown.

The tent is translucent white, made of theater scrim, with images of homeless camps projected onto it. It's an art installation commissioned by the city's Office of Arts and Culture as part an ongoing series addressing Seattle's homelessness crisis.

Seattle artist Tatiana Garmendia created the installation, called “No Hiding Place Down Here.” Garmendia made the tent out of theater scrim because the material can be both visible and invisible.

“You’re walking along and there’s homeless people and they may be begging for money or for food or for help and you’re on your way to work and you see them and you don’t see them. Or you’re rushing home to pick up the kids or to make dinner or to go to classes at night. You see them and you don’t see them. Maybe you stop, maybe you don’t. But they’re our neighbors,” Garmendia says.

Above the tent are drawings by Garmendia.

Tatiana Garmendia's art installation, 'No Hiding Place Down Here,' is on view at Seattle's Municipal Tower at 5th Avenue and Columbia Street, downtown.
Credit Courtesy Tatiana Garmendia

She says, “they’re hanging on a clothes line. And the drawings are made of dirt that I swept from the street. So I created my own pigment, I added a little bit of acrylic polymer. And they are drawings of homeless encampments and unsheltered homeless.”

The exhibit is visible 24 hours a day at the main entrance to the Municipal Tower and will be up through October 14.

According to King County's One Night Count in January, over 11,000 people are experiencing homelessness. Almost half are without shelter.