Sarah Kavage

Awarded 2022

I am a Seattle based visual artist who creates public projects that call attention to land, ecology, and place. Born into a back to the land family of DIYers, makers, and nature lovers in 1970s rural Ohio, I came to Seattle from NYC in 1998 with a BFA and burnout from waiting tables, seeking a new vocation through grad school in urban planning. Urban planning unexpectedly turned my art practice inside out, away from studio work and towards outdoors and community.

Seattle’s Duwamish River has profoundly influenced my work. I have been hanging around the river since the mid 2000s, making art and organizing other creatives, community members, and cultural
practitioners in support of the river. This began with The Living Barge (2006), continued with the Duwamish Revealed exhibition (2015) that included 40 art, performance, and community projects; and
with service as Tukwila Artist in Residence (2019-2021). It has evolved into partnerships with restoration efforts along the river. This year I completed a series of ecological artworks as part of the restoration of Riverton Creek, at its junction with the Duwamish.

In 2021, I built 16 temporary site-specific ecological artworks as lead artist for Lenapehoking~Watershed – an ambitious project which sought to activate the Delaware River watershed in the public’s imagination using art and culture. Centered on the Philadelphia area, the work spanned 3 states, and responded to ecosystems ranging from creeks and wetlands to mountains and forests.

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