Extraordinary works of art can be viewed throughout McCaw Hall's lobbies and in the Kreielsheimer Promenade.


Artist: SARAH SZESze_Sculpture.jpg

Location: North end of the Kreielsheimer Promenade


New York artist Sarah Sze created An Equal and Opposite Reaction, suspended in the north end of the McCaw Hall. Each section of the suspended sculpture is constructed of hollow aluminum bars, filled with highly articulated fabricated parts and found objects, such as pushpins, rulers, zip ties, ladders, extension cords, industrial clamps, faux flowers, and tape measures. The vortex structure of the work sweeps the viewer’s gaze up into the space above.

The artwork was built by Seattle Opera Scenic Studios. Seattle Opera has one of the most innovative scene shops in the country, and Sze realized the importance of having her sculpture in the hands of a team with technological expertise and artistic acumen.

The artist writes, “As an entrance piece to the opera and ballet, the piece is built as a welcoming monument filled with the fantasy, imagination, and excitement of attending a performance. It is also a piece that is meant to be revisited and rediscovered over time, whether it be upon entering the performance in the early evening light and seeing it anew upon leaving the performance in the late evening light, or seeing it over the course of several visits to the stage over the years.”

Purchased for Marion Oliver McCaw Hall with Seattle Center % for Art funds.

Photos courtesy Seattle Center


Artist: GUY ANDERSONLH_Lobby.jpg

Location: Nesholm Family Lecture Hall Lobby


“Guy Anderson is one of the major names in the “Northwest School” of painting. The shapes and earth tones of this painting are typical of his work and refer to the unity of life-forms. Symbolic, swirling forms and floating figures are blended together in a cosmos-not seperated but interrelated. The cellular shapes enclosing his figures are derived from Pacific Northwest Indian art. Anderson’s work has also been influenced by Asian philosophies.” — Excerpt from Art in Seattle’s Public Places, An Illustrated Guide.

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. William S. Street, to be located in the Opera House.

Photo courtesy Matt Lamb Photography


Artist: MARK TOBEYMark_Tobey_Art.jpg

Location: 1st Tier Lobby, North end by the Allen Foundation for the Arts Room


Mark Tobey, generally regarded as the foremost painter of the Northwest School, lived in Seattle from 1923 to 1960. His work is strongly influenced by Asian art and philosophy. He, in turn, became an important influence on other artists of the region.

In Journey of the Opera Star, reputedly his first collage, Tobey combines images and text from a number of sources to create an abstract map to an antic world of performers and performances. In the lower right hand corner, Tobey placed a photograph of himself casually smoking a cigarette, both watching and participating in the spectacle he has created.

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John H. Hauberg in 1964. The mural was commissioned by the Haubergs for the Fair, but it was delivered two years later. Tobey’s only full scale public work in Seattle.

Photo courtesy Matt Lamb Photography



Location: Kreielsheimer Lobby, between entrances to Aisles A and B


This work, based upon the poem of the same name by Wallace Stevens, was a major commission in 1984 for the artist. With this work, Spafford “wanted to give a sense of what visual art can do that the performing arts can’t do.” He is referencing the sequential nature of music and theater by splitting the work into 13 separate panels (one per stanza), echoing the “act” or “movement” of theater and music.

“Spafford’s mural is a fine example of his unique style, which is often reminiscent of black paper cutouts applied to white paper. At first glance they appear rather simple, but further study reveals a combination of energetic and sometime sensual forms.” — Art in Seattle’s Public Places: An Illustrated Guide

Commissioned by SAC/Northwest Special Collection Purchase.

Photo courtesy Matt Lamb Photography


Artist: ROGER SHIMOMURARoger_Shimomura_Art.jpg

Location: South end of the 2nd Tier Lobby


Roger Shimomura, a third-generation Japanese American, creates paintings and performance pieces blending an ironic mixture of Japanese imagery and American popular culture. A native of Seattle, he and his family were sent to an internment camp for Japanese Americans during World War II. Over the past decade, Shimomura has devoted much of his work to exploring the emotional and psychological hardships of the internment experience based on the diaries of his grandmother. More recently, however, he has taken a more lighthearted approach to the serious themes of xenophobia, racism, and cross-cultural interface, consistently drawing our attention to the sometimes hilarious ways in which different cultures overlap.

Gift of Mrs. John A. McCone, for placement in the Seattle Opera House.

Photo courtesy Matt Lamb Photography


Artist: HILDA MORRISHilda_Morris_Art.jpg

Location: Dress Circle Lobby, to the right of the top of the stairs in aisle H


“Recently someone asked what led me to abstraction in sculpture. In retrospect, I realize that is was abstraction that led me to sculpture. Neither a painting nor a sculptor, it was my high school math teacher who talked about mathematics as a means of learning about the universe. Almost pleading with us to understand that it was not just the finding of a square root of something, or as the makers of graphs would have it, but that mathematics was a form of imagery, symbols, steps, and layers in thinking, through which one could discover that which is there but not yet discovered”. –- Artist Statement, 50 Northwest Artists by Bruce Guenther. Publisher: Chronicle Books, San Francisco, USA, Copyright 1983

Gift of Mr. Kenneth B. Colman.

Photo courtesy Matt Lamb Photography


Artist: RAY JENSENRay_Jensen_Art.jpg

Location: Kreielsheimer Lobby, North end, by Aisle A entrance


Ray Jensen began his career working in wood, as well as watercolor and ceramics. He received his B.A. at the University of Washington in 1953; his M.F.A. from Cornell University in 1956. He taught drawing, 3-dimensional design and sculpture, including lost wax foundry, at Bellevue Community College from 1967-1994 and in 1988, he received their Outstanding Achievement in the Arts Award. This is his second major public art installed in Seattle. His first, The Pursuit of Knowledge, is installed at the Rainier Beach Public Library.

Gift of Mrs. Charles E. Stuart.

Photo courtesy Matt Lamb Photography


Artist: Fay Jones

Location: North end of the Grand Lobby


Fay Jones is a figurative painter who acknowledges underlying narrative with confident originality. Her work is layered and theatrical, boldly colored, smoothly rendered and often highly patterned. The artist describes this painting as a “heavily constructed and very deliberate painting of an aloof, displaced woman with other disconnected figures in an appropriated Chinese landscape. I was living in the South of France where I was acutely aware of being a foreigner. I was able to use that awareness to my advantage in the studio.”

Purchased for the Opera House with Seattle Center % for Art funds. 

Photo courtesy Matt Lamb Photography