Seattle 2016: Tour and Reception Assembly Point

The area around the North Tower escalators on the Westin Hotel’s Lobby Level will be used as the assembly point for all tour departures and transportation to the Welcome Party and the Convocation Reception.


Please assemble at this staging area 15 minutes before your scheduled departure.  Tour guides will have signs identifying themselves




If you prefer to take a taxi to the Welcome Reception at the Seattle Art Museum, they can be hailed from the porte-cochere on the Westin’s main entrance, located on Westlake Avenue, on the Sixth Avenue side of the hotel.

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Seattle 2016: Calling all volunteers!

Volunteers needed

The Joint Conference planning committee needs volunteers to assist with a variety of conference activities, such as:

  • Conference Bag Stuffing
  • Registration & Hospitality Desk
  • Guide attendees to Welcome Party & Convocation
  • Shepherd tours, along with the tour guide
  • Silent Auction set-up and wrap up

If you are interested and plan to be in Seattle, March 7-12, 2016, use the Volunteer Form to volunteer for the events of your choice. You will be contacted by the conference volunteer coordinators to confirm details, in due course.

If you have any question, please contact one of the coordinators below:
Suzanne Rackover (ARLIS/NA,
Tad Suzuki (ARLIS/NA,
Jasmine Burns (VRA,

Thank you for your consideration.


Seattle 2016: The Conference Co-chairs Speak!

As the co-chairs of the ARLIS/NA + VRA 3rd Joint Conference in Seattle, we look forward to welcoming you here in March 2016. Our committee based in the Pacific Northwest has worked hard to offer you an outstanding experience, both at the Westin and around the Puget Sound.

We have organized a variety of tours that will let you engage with Seattle and its region, making natural connections among art, architecture, urban life, and the green landscape. The local team has also developed an ever-growing set of online resources about Seattle, designed to help you confidently explore on your own or with friends. Don’t miss the About Seattle  section of the conference website as you plan your visit.

In the coming weeks, you’ll be hearing much more about Seattle from our joint conference publicity team. Topics will include help on using our public transportation system to reach the airport, enjoying local favorites like fresh seafood and craft beer, suggestions for day trips in the region, and how to dress for success in a downpour.

But, first things first: REGISTER! It’s already December 3rd! What are you waiting for?

Don’t just take our word for it; Perry Como thought you should come to Seattle, too.

Alan Michelson, Joint Conference Co-Chair, ARLIS/NA
Josh Polansky, Joint Conference Co-Chair, VRA

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