Sonic Bloom - Now Open

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Seattle City Light and Pacific Science Center have collaborated on a new solar-powered art installation at the Science Center called Sonic Bloom.

Artist Dan Corson has created five flowers up to 33 feet tall that will glow when the sun shines through the petals during the day and light up at night. Each is equipped with solar panels that will power the lighting. As guests walk through the exhibit, just outside the Boeing IMAX Theater, the towering flowers will hum to life. The exhibit is accessible 24 hours a day, no ticket required.

"It is exciting to showcase solar electricity generation and utilization in ways that go beyond what is normally expected of solar projects," Corson said. "I am excited that Pacific Science Center and Seattle City Light partnered together to make this project happen and allowed me the opportunity to demonstrate my interest in merging nature and technology. I can't wait until we all see and hear the realization of 'Sonic Bloom.'"

Interpretive signage at the exhibition and inside Pacific Science Center will explain how solar energy works and how it is powering the flowers.

"Sonic Bloom is one way Pacific Science Center is bringing the science of sustainability to our community to help us understand options leading us to a healthier future for our planet. By bringing art, science and education together, this project will be a teaching tool and source of inspiration for all ages for years to come," said Bryce Seidl, Pacific Science Center's president and CEO.

The project is being supported by a grant from City Light’s Green Up program and in-kind donations. The program sets aside some of the money collected from participants to promote awareness of renewable energy.

"Sonic Bloom is a great opportunity to showcase in an artistic way how solar works in Seattle for the many visitors to Pacific Science Center and the neighboring Seattle Center," City Light Conservation Resources Director Glenn Atwood said. "We hope that it also will inspire people to consider how they might incorporate renewable energy into their homes or businesses."

Sonic Bloom also is another example of how renewable energy investments are building the green economy and creating jobs in Washington. The 270 custom solar panels that will power Sonic Bloom were made in Marysville by Silicon Energy. In addition to the solar panels, there were 16 other local fabricating companies and installers Corson worked with to create this project.

Seattle City Light is the 10th largest public electric utility in the United States. It has some of the lowest cost customer rates of any urban utility, providing reliable, renewable and environmentally responsible power to nearly 1 million Seattle area residents. City Light has been greenhouse gas neutral since 2005, the first electric utility in the nation to achieve that distinction.

The not-for-profit Pacific Science Center celebrated 50 years of discovery in October, 2012. Looking ahead to the decades to come, the Science Center is committed to repairing and refreshing its own historic campus so it can continue to inspire for generations to come while also increasing the public's understanding of environmentally sustainable options in their own lives and homes.

Dan Corson is an award-winning public artist and sculptor who served as Seattle City Light's first Artist-in-Residence for the City of Seattle’s % for Arts program in 2001. He holds a MFA in sculpture from the University of Washington, was a Skowhegan Scholar at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and a Pilchuck Scholar at the Pilchuck Glass School. Among numerous projects locally and nationally, he has created "Wave Rave Cave" under the Alaskan Way viaduct for City Light, the "Rain Drum Courtyard" at the Cedar River Watershed Visitors Center in North Bend WA for SPU and a number of projects for Sound Transit including the green and black striped “Safety Spires” at the ST Maintenance Facility