Playable Public Art in the South Sound

This week in Gig Harbor Now, writer Jennifer Preston discusses the importance of not only public art in Gig Harbor – but PLAYABLE art as well.

Here at Two In Tow & On The Go, we have two playable public art pieces in the South Sound. Here’s a closer look.


Our first favorite piece of local playable art is Gig Harbor’s very own “Seaform” concrete shell installed at Crescent Creek Park off Vernhardson Street.

The eight-ton climbable mollusk shape was sculpted in 1975 by the late artist Oliver Tiedeman. News reports at the time, like the above clip from the Tacoma News Tribune, said Tiedeman intended for Seaform to be explored from all directions – inside and out.

Clara and Wyatt were immediately drawn to its curvy and cave-like structuressandlot at park with pink toys reminiscent of giant snails and seashells. More over, its construction in eight tons of reinforced concrete has lasted nearly four decades of climbing, crawling and exploring.

RELATED POST:  Two in Tow & On the Go: Get to know Crescent Creek Park at Gig Harbor Now

Crescent Creek Park is located at 3303 Vernhardson St. in Gig Harbor city limits on the east side. Known to longtime residents as “City Park,”  Crescent Creek is also home to picnic structures folks can rent for birthday parties and the popular Gig Harbor Maritime PlayZone’s boat, spin toy and swings completed in 2014.

Fat Tire #7

Our second favorite playable public art the kids love around here is located across the bridge at the fantastic Puyallup Pioneer Park (that’s well worth the 21-mile drive).

metal bike art with kids on it

The late Lance Carleton’s “Fat Tire #7” Climbing Sculpture is a bicycle crafted in repurposed steel. It’s outfitted with step-up foot pedals and seats for two, all to encourage the exploration of motion and art that Carleton said he loved so much. The bike artwork is located at the park, at 300 S. Meridian, along the concrete walkways between the splash pad/waterpark and the regular playground.

RELATED POST: All About Fat Tire #7 in Puyallup 


About Tonya Strickland

Tonya Strickland is a journalist and Instagram influencer in the family and travel niche. A former newspaper reporter, Tonya shares unfiltered #momlife content about places to go with kids. Her family moved from California's Central Coast to Washington state in August 2020. Their adventures now continue in the Pacific Northwest.

2 thoughts on “Playable Public Art in the South Sound

  1. You are terrific. What fun. You’ve hooked me with the Donkey Creek mystery. As a NW native I’m always curious a.d interested in our history…or even crazy colloquial anomalies.

    I’m currently Snobirding.

    Home soon if you want help scouring the maps and talking to old time Gig Harbor families.

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