Norie Sato



Medium: glass, terrazzo, fabricated metal, cast metals, mosaics, stone, electronic, light

Artist Statement

I am an artist with experience in working in public art from big picture planning, conceptualizing and strategizing to the fabrication of small details. I am interested in the unexpected, the wonder and magic that artworks can create within the built and natural landscape. I am committed to creating a unique cultural experience, one that would incorporate art intelligence and details into the specific project. I look to make artworks with layers of meaning that can appeal to a diverse audience and artworks which go beyond one-liners or singular interpretations and will stand up to repeated encounters. I am committed to making individuals of all backgrounds and ages feel welcome and engaged through the “big” experience, but also the smaller details in the artwork and the site as a whole. I am interested how the artwork is situated holistically within a site and with landscape and environmental concerns. My work acknowledges the relationship of the specific place to its broader environment and expresses care for that connection.  Research is an important part of my process, looking into history, natural features, culture, geology, geography of a site, even if the specifics facts may not show up literally in the final artwork. As part of this research, I explore the community and community members’ stories to try to find resonant ideas to work with.  I have experience working in a variety of different contexts, from universities, civic structures, to infrastructure and transit. I have made work for Iowa State University, University of Wisconsin/Madison, and the University of Washington. I have worked in transit for Portland, Phoenix, Seattle, and Salt Lake City, and for airports in Miami, San Francisco and San Diego. I have worked on city halls, libraries, parks, art centers in cities such as Scottsdale, Cary (NC), and Seattle and on infrastructure such as roadways, sewer pump stations in Fort Worth and Seattle. I strive to create works that speak with an immediacy and intimacy of scale and texture to the user or passerby, yet holds its own in the greater context.

I have worked individually, collaboratively and on design teams on projects. I have worked in varying degrees of collaboration on systems of various types with other members of the design team as well as with other artists, the agency and the community on projects large and small.  I am committed to the idea of integration of the art into a site on 3 levels: conceptual, physical, functional. These allow for a great deal of flexibility, creativity and adaptability to the specific situation and can happen with differing levels of prominence depending on specific needs. The work therefore takes on different forms and ideas as it draws from the particular needs and desires of each particular project. I do not impose preconceived ideas or styles onto a particular project, rather, I work with the constraints and functions of the site and location as well as its specific opportunities in order to craft a work which integrates well into the site. I look to make artworks with layers of meaning that can appeal to a diverse audience and artworks which go beyond one-liners or singular interpretations that will stand up to repeated encounters. Rather than specializing in a particular material, I work in a variety of materials: metals, stone, glass, terrazzo, landscape materials, for example, selecting materials that will meet the functional needs of a project. I am interested in creating a memorable experience through an artwork to help distinguish a location as special. The ability to make a memory of place is increased by working together on a project to create a more holistic and total experience that participates rather than dominates. I look forward to having the opportunity to work with you to make an artwork that is uniquely for your particular project.