Bolt 40 Ledger[32]

Expanding Public Experience with the Arts: 50 Years of Seattle’s Civic Art Collection

Presented by Seattle Office of Arts & Culture

Date & Time:

Saturday, July 29, 2023
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM


Seattle Art Fair Christie's Theater

Join curator, lecturer, and writer Negarra Kudumu as she interviews ARTS Curator and Collections Supervisor Blake Haygood about Seattle’s Civic Art Collection. The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture and its 1% for Art Program has been at the forefront of commissions with diverse artists to create Public Artworks and works for the City’s Civic Collection. Since the inception of the 1% for Art ordinance in 1973, the Seattle Civic Collection has grown to include 4,112 artworks, 3,674 of which are displayed throughout city buildings in city offices and public areas. The remaining 438 works are permanently sited in neighborhoods, parks, public buildings, and along roadways all throughout the city. Come learn about Seattle’s civic arts history and its future.   

Negarra A. Kudumu is a globally recognized art professional, business strategist and coach. Working at the intersection of art and healing with a focus on contemporary art from the Pacific Northwest, Africa, South Asia, and their respective diasporas, Negarra empowers her clients to maximize and reach their full personal and professional potential. Trained in international relations and diplomacy, Negarra has collaborated with diplomats, high level UN professionals, subject matter experts, as well top contemporary artists and curators. She is adept at navigating situations requiring a significant amount of discretion while remaining solution oriented and mission focused. 

Her curatorial expertise includes a group exhibition for the 2022 edition of the Neddy Award Exhibition, an installation for Lisbon-based gallery MOVART at the 2021 ARCO Madrid art fair, four exhibitions during her tenure as curator at Center on Contemporary Art (CoCA Seattle), a 2018 solo exhibition of works by Mike Wagner at Bridge Protections, and a 2017 group show at Mariane Ibrahim Gallery. In 2021, Negarra was one of four curators to receive the inaugural Marian Goodman Gallery Initiative, conceived by British film director Steve McQueen, and established in honor of the globally renowned curator, Okwui Enwezor, a fellowship given with distinction to emerging curators of African descent.  Negarra regularly lectures, participates in talks, and moderates panels on various topics relating to contemporary art and business strategy. She has spoken in Calgary, Toronto, Amsterdam, Harare, and Venice on a range of topics including arts education, artistic practice, gallery operations, cultural praxis, and the intersections of visual culture and spirituality. Most recently, Negarra delivered a paper at the second Loophole of Retreat conference held in Venice, an event connected to artist Simone Leigh’s participation in the 59th Venice Biennale.   

Blake Haygood is the Curator and Collections Supervisor for the City of Seattle where he manages and maintains more than 4,000 artworks as part of the Civic Art Collection, he assists in curating exhibitions and oversees the purchase of new artwork on behalf of the city. Before coming to the city, Blake worked as an installer and preparator for 4Culture. In 2004 he co-founded Platform Gallery and travelled to art fairs in Portland, Miami, London and Los Angeles. Haygood is a self-taught artist, learning most of his craft through trial and error and has participated in exhibitions both nationally and internationally. His paintings, drawings, and prints focusing on entropy, disorder, randomness, and unpredictability in a manner that promotes hope and humor.   

Blake has exhibited nationally, and is represented in the collections of the Henry Art Gallery, City of Seattle, Tacoma Art Museum, City of Seatac, City of Kent, King County/4Culture, Washington State Convention Center, Washington Art Consortium, Washington State University and Peninsula College, and is represented locally by G. Gibson Projects.