Totem Pole at the Pike Place MarketOften ignored or forgotten, the Market’s trove of murals, functional art, historic signs and sculpture are being rediscovered.

Art in the Market ?!?

Victor Steinbrueck felt there should be art for art’s sake. In 1983, he initiated the Market’s first artwork: two 50 foot totem poles and wrought iron decorative panels located in the park which now bears his name. Pike Place Market Foundation’s fundraising efforts gave birth to life-size iconic bronze piggy banks “Rachel” and her cousin “Billie”.

Function found art in the form of colorful murals to discourage graffiti in the parking garage, custom benches to provide rest, and manhole covers with a map of downtown Seattle. Artists who lived in the Market left their creations in collage, acrylics and whimsical pieces.

Murals were commissioned to honor the Market and its history, including the Japanese-American farmers interned during World War II who never returned to the Market. Finally, there are historic signs like the Public Market Center neon sign and clock that have attracted shoppers from the foot of Pike Street for over a hundred years.