Olympia WSECU transforms parking garage into public art

The Washington State Employee’s Credit Union celebrated the recent construction of a public art installation designed by internationally recognized artist Christian Moeller.

Moeller designed a large-scale art piece called “Buttons,” which can be seen in downtown Olympia at the WSECU headquarters parking garage. “Buttons” was inspired by the idea of community and shared experience, which can be found in a grandmother’s button box.

As a public art piece, both the artist and the credit union expressed their intention for the presence of this new garage façade to serve the neighborhood as a whole. Katy Powers, an employee at WSECU, has already noticed the impact of it in the community.

“This display is especially powerful, because it’s so visual and so massive,” Powers said. “It serves as kind of a reminder that we’re all in this together.”

WSECU CEO Kevin Foster-Keddie saw the large, blank canvas of the garage as an opportunity. Though private institutions in Washington aren’t expected to provide public art, Foster-Keddie said WSECU saw it as a way to bring the community together. The installation turned an otherwise drab concrete visage into something beautiful.

Cath Brunner of 4Culture, King County’s cultural funding agency, echoed his sentiment at the June 20 unveiling, in which she advocated for this kind of privately funded public art.

“What we build says a lot about who we are,” Brunner said.

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