The Artists Republic of Fremont

Lenin Statue (Seattle Pride version)

photo by Scott Beale

On the Sunday following Gnomedex, Niall Kennedy and I started exploring Seattle. We traveled north of downtown to neighborhood of Fremont as in The Artists Republic of Fremont aka the Center of the Universe. It’s a very interesting place that has changed quite a bit over the years, but it is still best known for it’s wonderful public art and offbeat character. Fremont’s motto is “Delibertus Quirkus” which translates to “Freedom to be Peculiar”.

Our first stop was the infamous Troll, who lives under the Aurora Bridge. The day we were there, a group of actors were doing a production of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” on and around the troll, which was part of the summer Shakespeare on the Troll series.

Our next destination was Emil Venkov’s notorious Statue of Vladimir Lenin from Slovakia. On that day, Lenin looked a little different. We just happened to be in Seattle during Seattle Pride and Lenin was dressed-up in drag for the weekend’s festivities.

After Lenin, we stopped by Fremont’s main landmark, The Rocket, which was created from an actual Cold War era rocket. Our final destination was Richard Beyer’s The Interurban Sculpture, which consists of five people and a dog waiting for a train that will never arrive. People like to dress up and decorate this sculpture for special occasions. When we were visiting, they were in between make-overs, but one of the statues was wearing a hat and necklace and reading a book about Technorati.

Fremont’s big annual event is the Fremont Arts Council Solstice Parade which coincides with the Fremont Arts Fair, both of which we just missed by a week. Maybe next year.

Photo Gallery: The Artists Republic of Fremont

Scott Beale
Scott Beale

Scott Beale founded Laughing Squid in 1995 in San Francisco and is currently based in New York City. When not running the blog, Scott can be found posting on Threads and sharing photos on Instagram.