This winter, a new art installation in the storefront windows of downtown Tacoma’s famed Woolworth building is lighting up the corner of 11th Street and Broadway.
Debuting at First Night Tacoma-Pierce County on New Year’s Eve, the latest installment of Spaceworks Tacoma’s Artscapes initiative is called 2139:47 — signifying the duration of winter in hours and minutes.
Two Woolworth Building window bays house a suspended, stacked array of sheer fabric-wrapped wood frames and a colored nylon fabric-wrapped acrylic “lens” box. Each window bay is lit by a 35,000 lumen LED HXB High Bay light fixture provided by Cree lighting.
The window art is the brainchild of Scott Blakemore and Jeff McCord, colleagues at Seattle’s ZGF Architects by day and artists in their spare time. They say architecture inspires their art, and vice versa. After meeting in graduate school at University of Texas at Austin’s School of Architecture, the two formed a Seattle-based partnership called Split Shot Collaborative.
“Winter weighs heavy on the collective consciousness of the Pacific Northwest,” their artist statement reads. “Its approach brings a leaden darkness — sudden, insistent, brutish. 2139:47 — or the duration of Winter in hours:minutes — represents an embrace of the artificial, an anemic attempt to replace what is lost for a season, via a communion of the mundane: frames, fabric, industrial lighting.”
The installation will remain in the Woolworth Windows through March. Additional support for the installation was provided by ZGF Architects and Lighting Design Lab.
An initiative of Spaceworks, Artscapes installations can be found in storefront windows, outdoor spaces and indoor video galleries in the city of Tacoma.
Spaceworks Tacoma, founded in 2010, is a joint initiative of the city of Tacoma and the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber designed to activate empty storefront and vacant spaces.