By Alec Clayton
OLY ARTS readers and art lovers throughout the Olympia area will remember Kathy Gore Fuss’s floral installation “A Place to Mourn.” Beginning Sept. 6, Gore Fuss will have another floral installation in place entitled “A Place to Reflect.” As with her first such installation, this one will be a place of beauty, a place to sit and wonder, to think, to reminisce, perhaps even to pray. It can be and should be something different and special to each person to visit — and to visit is the proper terminology because her floral installations are not just to be seen; they are to be experienced as living works of art.
“A Place to Mourn” was a stone sculpture by artist Boucante situated on his property wrapped with fresh flowers by Gore Fuss and fellow artists. “A Place to Reflect” will be, in the artist’s words, “a very focused area that will be covered with flowers.”
The installation will not be on private property as the other one was, but will be in a public place. “This will offer a different level of experience to the community. No one individual ‘owns’ the piece of property, it was designed for neighbors and community members to gather,” Gore Fuss says.
The site is located at a pocket park in the Northwest neighborhood of Olympia just north of Garfield Elementary school. Gore Fuss and her team will install it Sept. 5, and the site will be open for visitors on Labor Day.
The new installation will have a portion of the flowers provided by a local farming family, Ojeda Farms. They have 20 acres about 45 miles south of Olympia that Gore Fuss recently visited.
Gore Fuss plans on continuing to create these temporary public installations over the next year in different sites in Olympia and elsewhere. “My team and I have been invited to make an installation for a retirement community in Seattle in July 2022, and I’m applying for several other opportunities in Tacoma and Seattle as well.”
“My intention behind these installations is to offer something of unabashed beauty that will provide a focal point during this very difficult time in history,” she says. “Each site requires me to rely on a group of artists who help me realize a vision that I couldn’t make alone.”
Gore Fuss continues, “This metaphor reflects much of what we are needing to do in the world right now — remembering how to rely on one another, learning how to trust again. It’s a reminder that we are all connected. Each action ripples out and engages the larger world, mirroring the faith and hope we crave and cherish.”
Primarily a painter, Gore Fuss has been making and exhibiting art throughout Western Washington for more than thirty years. In that time she has gone from assemblage-like paintings with surrealistic/humorous elements to plaster casts of friends’ faces, bodies and body parts, to En plein air paintings of forest scenes in Priest Point Park and of working vessels in the Port of Olympia to bird’s-eye-view drone photographs of Olympia neighborhood.
A Place to Reflect,” floral installation
Starting Labor Day, Sept. 6, and running until the live flowers are no longer alive
Pocket Park on the corner of Madison and Thomas near Garfield Elementary school
Kathy Gore Fuss on Instagram