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” <https://www.flickr.com/photos/bwmullins/365476335/> (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 Amazon.com), 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

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