Social events: Enhancing Natural Connections

If you’ve peeked at the conference program emerging in Sched, on the conference website, you may have noticed that the social activities feature the mingling of the ARLIS/NA + VRA memberships.

The Joint Conference Committee has planned four social events to provide opportunities for conference attendees to enjoy food, drink, a few of Seattle’s architectural features and  the opportunity to mix business with pleasure.

Wednesday, March 9
First-Time Attendees and New Members Reception
Westin Hotel

Seattle Art Museum
Yuri Levchenko “Seattle Art Museum” <> (CC BY 2.0)

Wednesday, March 9
Joint Conference Welcome Party

Seattle Art Museum

Thursday, March 10
Donor Recognition Event + International Attendees’ Reception
(by invitation only)
Rainier Club


Friday, March 11
Convocation Reception
Seattle Public Library

Sylvia Roberts,  Publicity team

Day trips from Seattle: Tacoma

Heading to Portland or Pacific Coast beaches after the conference? Don’t pass by Tacoma, Washington without a visit for an afternoon of museums, sights, and food. Seattle’s neighbor 33 miles to the south is waiting for you at exit 133 off Interstate 5. Your destination is Pacific Avenue, Tacoma’s main downtown thoroughfare that has been re-energized by Sound Transit light rail and the University of Washington – Tacoma‘s adaptive reuse of industrial buildings.

Dale Chihuly Bridge of Glass, Tacoma WA
Joe Wolf “Detail: Dale Chihuly Bridge of Glass, Tacoma WA” <> (CC BY-ND 2.0)

As you stroll through this urban campus, don’t miss the recently-expanded library, which is housed in a former hydroelectric power plant from 1899 and features a chandelier by Tacoma native Dale Chihuly. The work of Chihuly and many other glass artists may be viewed across the street at the Museum of Glass.

If you enjoy art of the American West, you must visit the Tacoma Art Museum.   TAM recently completed the addition of a new wing to display an  extraordinary gift, the paintings and sculpture that make up the Haub  Family Collection of Western American Art.

Hungry after all of that culture? Beer and pub grub await at The Swiss, just a few steps from UW Tacoma campus.

And the car buffs in your car will not let you leave town without a stop 
at The LeMay – the striking building just south of the Tacoma Dome that 
bills itself as America’s Car Museum.  It showcases a collection of 350 classic automobiles. Let’s hit the road!

Josh Polansky, Joint Conference Co-Chair Seattle 2016

Beyond day trips: The Canadian Pacific Northwest

Looking for reasons to extend your stay?  Dust off your passport and head north to Canada, where the current US/Canadian exchange rate adds 30% to your spending power (if you’re using the “buck” rather than the “loonie”).


Harshil Shah
Harshil Shah “Vancouver – False Creek, Burrard Bridge” <> (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Only a few hours away from Seattle by train, plane or automobile, Vancouver ranks as one of the most liveable cities in the world:  ocean, mountains, food trucks, fine dining, craft breweries (yes, we have them too!), museums, galleries, music, theatre and much, much more!


Whistler skiing mountain
Benjamin Chun “Whistler” <> (CC BY-SA 2.0)

“Located in the spectacular Coast Mountains of British Columbia, just 2 hours north of Vancouver,  Whistler is Canada’s favourite year-round destination. There are 2 majestic mountains with a vibrant base village, epic skiing and snowboarding, four championship golf courses, unbeatable shopping, restaurants and bars, accommodation to suit every budget, hiking trails, spas and arguably the best mountain bike park in the world.”  —


Gord McKenna
Gord McKenna “Victoria Inner Harbour Panorama ” <> (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The capital city of British Columbia, Victoria is also just a few hours away from Seattle by boat or plane.
“Established in 1843 as a fort for the Hudson’s Bay Company, Victoria’s British ancestry is apparent in the double-decker buses, horse-drawn carriages, formal gardens and tearooms. The city is now a cosmopolitan centre with a lively entertainment scene and a wonderful array of attractions.” – Hello BC


 Image of Long Beach at Tofino on Vancouver Island, BC
Duncan Rawlinson “Wickaninnish Inn Tofino BC” <> (CC BY-NC 2.0)

“Tofino will captivate your every sense. It’s the excitement you feel watching waves crash on rocky outcroppings. It’s the bobbing heads of surfers braving legendary swells on endless beaches. It is food so fresh that you often pass it on your morning stroll. It’s a warm and welcome break in the clouds on the heels of a misty morning beach walk. It’s salt bathed streets scattered with restaurants, galleries, and cabins constructed in true West Coast fashion. It’s living history nestled into surreal landscapes: this is Tofino, and you have to see it to believe it.” – Tourism Tofino

Paula Farrar, Joint conference publicity team

Tempted by tours

The Tour Committee of the ARLIS/NA + VRA Joint Conference (Seattle,  March 8-12, 2016)  is pleased to announce general information about tours, to help you prepare for conference registration opening on December 1, 2015. This year, we will have three tour types to offer conference attendees.

B. Mully " Walking man, Olympic Sculpture Park" (CC BY-ND 2.0)
B. Mully “Walking man, Olympic Sculpture Park” <> (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Walking tours, usually 1 hour in length, will be held periodically throughout the conference. Many will be held in the morning (with one at lunch time and two in the afternoon) that will explore some nearby districts and sites close to the Westin in Downtown Seattle. These sites will include the Pioneer Square neighborhood (a 2-hour excursion into the historic heart of the city), Freeway Park (a remarkable design by landscape architect Lawrence Halprin), South Lake Union (a booming area very close to the Westin, energized by the expansion of, Pike Place Market (a leading, fish-lobbing, visitor destination), and the Seattle Art Museum’s Olympic Sculpture Park.

Longer tours, between 1.5 and 4 hours, will feature neighborhoods and sites farther from the Westin. These include a walking tour of the Capitol Hill neighborhood, featuring the Bullitt Center, the world’s greenest office building, and the renowned Chapel of Saint Ignatius by WA-born architect Steven Holl; two tours at the main Seattle Public Library examining either its flamboyant architecture or notable special collections; a half-day excursion viewing earthworks produced by Herbert Bayer and Robert Morris in Kent, WA, and the remarkable Gas Works Park by landscape architect Richard Haag; a Thursday evening tour of the UW Libraries’ Book Arts Collection facilitated by Rare Books Curator, Sandra Kroupa; Saturday morning tours either surveying  the architecture of the University of Washington Campus or attending a current exhibit at the Henry Art Gallery; a Saturday afternoon tour experiencing the Seattle Asian Art Museum and sites close to it in Volunteer Park; and another Saturday afternoon trip to Seattle’s International District focusing on the Asian-American experience in Pacific Northwest history.

One tour will be a day-long excursion planned by University of Puget Sound Library Director, Jane Carlin, focused on book arts collections on Bainbridge Island. This tour will take a 30-minute ferry ride to Bainbridge, view the book arts collection at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art and a nearby private collection and will feature a catered lunch.

Consistent with our Natural Connections theme,  many of these tours are planned to take advantage of public transportation. So, when considering which tour to take, remember that most will require some walking and riding on streetcars or buses. Also, remember to bring raingear, umbrellas and waterproof jackets for these events.

We’re excited to show off our fantastic home city to VRA and ARLIS/NA members!

Alan Michelson
Joint Conference Co-Chair Seattle 2016

Day trip from Seattle: Whidbey Island

If you have a rental car and want a variety of Puget Sound experiences in a day trip, consider visiting Whidbey Island.

By taking a ferry and then driving the length of the island, you can make it a full tour with breathtaking scenery, and do very little backtracking.

Your trip begins with a 35-minute drive north of Seattle to Mukilteo, where you’ll catch a car ferry that takes you to the southern end of the island, at the Clinton terminal.

The charming town of Langley is just a short drive away and is a fine place to have coffee or a meal and browse the shops.

Further along Highway 525, you’ll reach the town of Coupeville and Penn Cove, home of the oysters that will grace your table at many of Washington’s seafood restaurants. You’ll also pass through a unique feature of the National Park Service, the farmland and landscapes of Ebey’s Landing National Historic Reserve.

The Navy town of Oak Harbor is further north along the road, but your next destination will be Deception Pass State Park, a perfect place to stretch your legs and visit the forest and shoreline.

Deception Pass Bridget
Jasperdo “Deception Pass Bridge” <> (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Deception Pass Bridge is a breathtaking way to leave the island as you pass over the rushing waters of Puget Sound. From here, it’s either off to the San Juan Islands ferry via Anacortes, or back to Interstate 5 for a trip through the Skagit Valley and then back to Seattle.

Google map round trip Whidbey Island from Seattle WA

Josh Polansky
Joint Conference Co-Chair Seattle 2016

Getting to Seattle: Transportation options

Seattle is served by Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, or SeaTac, the largest airport in the Pacific Northwest, located just south of the city in Seatac, Washington.

While you’re in the airport, take a look at the amazing public art on display, it’s well worth it. You can download the STQRY mobile app from the App Store, Google Play, or the Windows Store to explore all of the art in the airport or download a map.

Upon arrival at SeaTac Airport, conference attendees have a choice of ground transportation into downtown Seattle.

SeaTac Airport Station
SeaTac/Airport Station, Port of Seattle, 2015.

The easiest option is to take the Sound Transit Link Light Rail from the SeaTac/Airport Station to the Westlake Station, across from the Westin.  This trip takes about 35 minutes  and costs $3 each way.

Trains run from 5 am to 1 am Monday through Saturday and 6 am to midnight on Sundays, every 7.5 to 15 minutes, depending on the time of day.

SeaTac airport map
SeaTac airport map


This map shows the path from the terminal to the SeaTac/Airport Station and other ground transportation options.  You can also watch a short video detailing the route. Wheelchair service is available.



Light rail ticket vending maching
Orca Card Fare Vending Machine, Azure Dragon of the East, 2011.


Purchase a single-trip or roundtrip train ticket prior to boarding the train in the Airport Station using the ORCA Card fare vending machines.

Upon arrival at Westlake Station, follow the signs to 5th Ave towards Olive Way and Stewart.  The Westin Hotel is across the street from Westlake Center at the corner of 5th Ave and Stewart.



Downtowner airport bus
Downtowner, Port of Seattle, 2015.


There is a Downtown Airporter bus that picks up passengers from the 3rd floor of the Airport Parking Garage and makes stops at major downtown hotels, including the Westin Hotel. Tickets are $18 one way or $31 roundtrip.

The Downtowner departs twice each hour between 6:30am and 9pm from SeaTac. Reservations are required from hotels and can be made online.

Shuttle Express is a ride share car service that operates between the airport and destinations throughout King and Pierce County. Passengers can pick up the service from the 3rd floor of the Parking Garage to get to their hotel.

There are also taxis and limo and car services available to and from SeaTac. Seattle Yellow Cab, limo, and town car services operate from the 3rd floor of the Parking Garage.

Amtrak train station
View of King Street Train Station from southeast, felix_s, 2007.

Attendees arriving by Amtrak in Seattle will need to travel from the King Street Station to The Westin.

Travel distance is approximately 2 miles to the Westin and will cost around $10 by taxi.

There are also a number of buses that travel from the vicinity of the King Street Station to the downtown area near The Westin Hotel. Use Metro’s Trip Planning for options.

Stadium Station

For attendees traveling by Greyhound, the terminal is located .37 miles from the Westin. Travelers can expect to pay approximately $10 by taxi to travel to the hotel.

The Greyhound Terminal is also on the Link Light Rail Line, Stadium Station stop.  From the Stadium Station stop, travel to the Westlake Center Station and follow the signs to 5th Ave in the direction of Olive and Stewart.  The Westin Hotel is across the street at the corner of 5th and Stewart.

Those driving to Seattle can use the Westin’s own driving directions.

Angela Weaver,   University of Washington, Local Arrangements

Seattle 2016: ARLIS/NA + VRA 3rd Joint Conference, March 8-12

Image of downtown Seattle showing Space Needle, Mount Rainier
Tiffany Von Arnim “Downtown Seattle” <> (CC BY 2.0)