PHOTOS: “The Passage” Leaves Burien, Begins Passage Back Home

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Story by Scott Schaefer
Photos by Michael Brunk

On Thursday (Dec. 17th), “The Passage,” the large, two-piece Mother/Daughter sculpture by Dan Das Mann that anchored Burien’s Interim Art Space, was de-installed, hoisted by crane, lowered and secured on a flatbed truck in preparation to be carted away.

The sculpture will return back to its “home” in California after spending a year as the centerpiece to an innovated and sometimes controversial experiment in community art.

Co-Curators Dane Johnson and Kathy Justin were there, along with volunteers and hired workers who, over the course of the last two weeks, have removed all pieces from B/ IAS, the one-year art project in a space on SW 150th that once housed Bartell Drugs and its parking lot.

Now devoid of all art, the place will return to its empty parking lot-like self, the chunks of asphalt no longer representing anyone’s artistic vision, but rather an uncertain future for this lot. There will be no more controversial “naked lady statue” (“Paradigm Shift” by Mike McGrath), no more worries by the Fire Department about the use of fire as “art,” no more loud dance music blasting out of speakers, no more smashing pumpkins, and no more “art” here.

Will it house a new cinema? Another section of Town Square? A park of some sort?

Or perhaps…another, new art installation?

Only time will tell, and we here at The B-Town Blog would like to tip our collective hats to all the artists, volunteers, workers, students, community activists, city officials, gardeners, developers, visitors and observers who were all brought together by this idea, and who shared numerous joyous, fun events over the last year.

Yet here we are repeating that scene, only in reverse – Photographer Michael Brunk stopped by over the last two days and documented the “de-installations” with this Photo Slideshow:

Click to View Michael Brunk’s Photo Slideshow

Also, as our salute to the ending of B/ IAS and the exiting of “The Passage,” we present an encore of our artist Danielle Burton’s vision of this sad ending:

And because we enjoyed covering the arts and events at this place, here are other Photo Slideshows and Videos we’ve posted about B/ IAS:

Click to View Michael Brunk’s Photo Slideshow

Click to View Scott Schaefer’s Photo Slideshow

Click to Play
Click to Play Michael Brunk’s SoundSlideshow

Click to View Scott Schaefer’s Photo Slideshow

On April Fool's Day, we showed off how much we suck at Photoshop with this lame doctored image of "vandalism" to The Passage. Everyone of course was fooled.

Read our previous coverage of B/ IAS here.

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10 Responses to “PHOTOS: “The Passage” Leaves Burien, Begins Passage Back Home”
  1. Bonnie says:

    I am going to miss this place so much!

  2. SallyB says:

    oh what a pity. I have loved looking at the art – it was unusual and made Burien feel more sophisticated with public art displays. Burien needs to allocate funds to purchase art for the citizens to enjoy. “The naked lady” was a sweet and tastefully nude statue that I wish the city would have kept on display by purchasing it.

  3. Jennifer says:

    Hats off the B/ias group. The art and events you hosted were amazing. I hope we continue some of these things in the future. Our family especially enjoyed the Arts A Glow.

  4. Michael says:

    @ Jennifer: I spoke with Dane and Kathy yesterday about some of the great events that took place on the B/IAS grounds this year and they assured me that several of them — including Arts-A-Glow — will still happen in 2010. They may happen in different locations but they will occur and you can be sure we’ll be writing about them and photographing them for our readers here at the B-Town Blog.

  5. Rob says:

    Sigh- I will miss the big lady and her child, I felt she always welcomed me when I came to water the community garden.

  6. colleen robey says:

    I watched the news today with great sadness and then anger as they dismantled the beautiful sculpture called Passage. I remember the day , I first saw the sculpture, I was driving and ended up driving right by it. I was awestruck as I stared at it. All I could think was WOW !! What a beautiful piece of art in the middle of Burien. I thought, boy, Burien has come a long way, to have its own art work. Fremont has the troll under the bridge and down town has the Hammering Man and Burien now has the huge mother and child sculpture. I thought the sculpture gave Burien a sense of community and a sense of pride and set it apart from other surrounding towns. Who decided that this artwork should come down? Was it voted on?, Or was it decided by a bunch of uptight morons who sit on some board.? I bet for every uptight moron who thought this artwork was too provocative or too trashy there were plenty more people who thought this artwork was beautiful and enjoyed it being there. All over Europe there are naked statues that grace their buildings and parks and they are considered master pieces . Shame on you, Burien for getting rid of the best thing that has ever came to Burien.

    • Sherry says:

      I think that if you followed any news in Burien, you would know that the “artwork” was borrowed, not purchased. It is going back to the owner.
      Personally, I thought they were awful looking. Glad to see them go!

  7. Darrel Jensen says:

    The unusual artwork gave the city center a soul and an identity. Are we going to sell our soul for another commercial business? This place was unique and set us apart from other communities. The public events were starting to bring the people together. Lets not let that die.

  8. Michael says:

    @Colleen – The interim art space where The Passage was displayed was a private effort on private property. The project was scheduled to last a single year and is closed down on schedule. While some of the artwork was indeed polarizing, the city itself had no role in displaying it or shutting down the art space.

    On the other hand, if you enjoy seeing public art on display in Burien and want to foster an art-friendly community, the best thing to do is get involved by communicating your wishes to the city council and participating in local organizations such as Burien Arts, SoCoCulture, 4Culture and others.

  9. colleen robey says:

    Thank you, Michael, Boy, Dont I feel silly!! I have to say , I did not know all the facts. I was raised in Burien but do not live there now. I still drive to Burien for shopping and to visit friends.So I was so impressed when I saw the sculpture and I even claimed some community pride for my home town. I thought the sculpture was a beautiful piece of artwork and its too bad that Burien cant keep it there.Sorry for calling your board members a bunch of uptight morons. I guess I bonded a little too much to the mother and child sculpture. Sincerely, Colleen Robey

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