SKID ROAD was an installation that focused on innovative individuals and organizations in Seattle’s historic Pioneer Square neighborhood working to eradicate poverty and homelessness in the Puget Sound region.
SKID ROAD unfolded through a mix of interpretive graphics, original artwork and multimedia presentations. The experience began on the sidewalk with a window installation that invited the public into the [storefront] space. Inside, displays utilized large interpretive graphics to profile nine organizations that are passionately and tirelessly working to provide direct services for, or advocate and bring justice to, the region’s homeless population. The organizations included: Bread of Life Mission, Chief Seattle Club, Committee to End Homelessness in King County, Compass Housing Alliance, DESC (formerly Downtown Emergency Service Center), Real Change, Seattle Housing and Resource Effort (SHARE), Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness (SKCCH), Women’s Housing Equality and Enhancement League (WHEEL)
The experience continued with an exhibit of work by two artists: Mary Larson, a nurse who paints portraits of her mostly homeless patients and then barters her work for in-kind donations that benefit the homeless community, and Ronald Debs Ginther, an artist who painted scenes of poverty and homelessness in Pioneer Square during the 1920s and 1930s.
Seattle historian Lorraine McConaghy and Pioneer Square gallerist Greg Kucera lent their voices to the installation—respectively providing historical context and their personal perspectives.
Visitors were encouraged to share their own thoughts on the subject of homelessness via questions that are posted within the exhibit and on the [storefront] Facebook page. During the general viewing hours, visitors had the opportunity to share/join the conversation around the large community table.