Each of the major pieces of public art at City Hall represents a serious, unique work by a noted Pacific Northwest artist. Together, however, the artworks reflect much more — they tell a larger story of civic values and the democratic principles under which Bellevue’s government affairs are conducted.
“The Root,” a massive bronze casting of a cedar root painted silver, stands outside, in the plaza. Tilted and half-leaning as if it were alive, with a sprawl of roots, artist Dan Corson’s creation reflects a central idea in the City Hall design: making the work of the city transparent and accessible to everyone.
Down the stairs from the plaza, between the visitors parking lot and the building, stands another Corson work, "Longboat Reed Rookery." A network of building innards – including wrought iron, wiring, electrical boxes and plastic tubes, glowing green and blue – form what looks like a canoe, with nods to the reeds and heron's nests that mark the Mercer Slough Nature Park.
Inside, artist Linda Beaumont’s terrazzo floor runs the length of the public concourse, echoing the smooth and steady movement of a river current — a metaphor for the flow of ideas, dialogue and other activities within the building.
Outside, dominating the east side of City Hall, stands artist Alan Storey’s 63-foot tall compass needle. Designed to spin, with a viewfinder on the balcony that turns when the doors to City Hall open, “Compass” serves as a metaphor of how a community’s future is shaped by citizens who participate in the affairs of government.