Seattle needed a contemporary art center. And the Seven Seas Building was that rare opportunity - vacant, unconventional, and 30,000 square feet in the center of the city. We need an art center in Seattle, but not some constantly struggling non-profit built from old blueprints or the DIY temporary spaces that disappeared like mushrooms – we needed an art center that was formidable, sustainable, long term and risk taking.
We called it Walden Three.
Conversations were held, questions were asked, old models analyzed and new concepts considered. A 98 page business plan was created, outlining a new model of what a regional, sustainable art center could look like. But no one likes to read 98 page business plans, and 20 million dollars doesn't grow on trees. So we decided to present Walden Three in a way that people could get excited about. We pretended W3 was operational. We curated exhibits there, threw great parties, sold tons of work, and broke down that business plan into colorful, digestible slices. And for 18 months we showed the world (and potential investors) what a big dream could look like if set into motion.
The Seven Seas Building sat vacant for 5 years. And a boutique hotel will be the next tenant. Some might call that a failure. But Walden Three didn't need brick and mortar to activate our region's art community, nor to inspire the possibilities of art in the 21st century.
Click below and stay awhile.