The Rainier Valley Post, Saturday, November 29, 2008

POPULAR NW ARTIST DIES ONE YEAR AFTER INSTALLATION OF MLK REFLECTOR PIECE


Although it was just recently that we started a weekly series introducing readers to public art throughout the Rainier Valley, we've been photographing assorted pieces all year and have been particularly intrigued with “The Sound of Light” by Richard "Dick" Elliott since it was installed in October 2007.

So we were especially saddened to learn that that Dick died a little more than a week ago after a year-long bout with pancreatic cancer.

"Although he outlasted his doctor’s prognosis by over a year, we at Sound Transit still feel shocked by his passing," said Jennifer Babuca with STart. "It is a great loss for the arts community."

The popular artist is widely recognized in the Northwest for his large-scale installations created by means of a unique patented process using thousands of industrial reflectors, including "Eyes On The World" at SeaTac, "River" at the Renton Arts Commission Municipal Parking Garage, "Cycle of the Sun" at the UW and many more.

Dick was an expert pattern maker who gave each of the panels a unique design and worked with the area's landscape team to develop the shape of the retaining wall and the planting scheme. The artwork consists of thousands of small industrial-grade reflectors in red, amber, white, blue and green.

In his original project proposal, Dick said that he was “very excited about being part of Sound Transit’s art program and Rainier Valley. I cannot imagine a better project," he commented. "The rhythm of the tall sequential panels of primary colors, geometric patterns and reflective light will become for me a visual composition similar to a symphony. How thrilling.”

The Sound of Light was recognized by the American’s for the Arts Public Art Network as one of the leading art projects of 2007-2008.

 

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