SEATTLE, Sept. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Safeco Insurance (NYSE: SAF) announced
today it has reached agreement with the University of Washington on the
donation of Robert Sperry's "Safeco Sculpture" and the long-term loan of
the "Safeco Fountain" by renowned Northwest artist George Tsutakawa.
Sperry's sculpture is located just outside Safeco Tower, the company's
headquarters in Seattle's University District, at the corner of NE 45th St
and Brooklyn Ave. NE. Tsutakawa's fountain graces the plaza at Safeco
Tower. The University of Washington purchased Safeco Tower when the insurer
decided to move its headquarters to downtown Seattle. The move will take
place in the fall of 2007.
"Robert Sperry's 'Safeco Sculpture' was commissioned in 1991 as a
site-specific work," said Jackie Kosak, curator of Safeco's corporate art
collection. "We are donating this piece to the University of Washington
because it harmonizes with the design of Safeco Tower and demonstrates the
link between Robert Sperry and the new owners of the tower."
Sperry was a member of the university's art department faculty for 27
years, serving as head of the ceramics program for 22 of those years.
George Tsutakawa was on the UW faculty for 29 years.
"We are thrilled to have these pieces by two such distinguished artists
who were members of our faculty," said University of Washington Campus Art
Administrator Kurt Kiefer. "We have only a small Tsutakawa fountain on
campus so it's great to have this larger, better known piece as part of our
environment. The Sperry piece is a fabulous addition to our collection; it
was his first of any great scale and a great example of the unique ceramic
technique that he pioneered."
"The Tsutakawa Fountain has tremendous historic and sentimental value
to the Safeco family," said Safeco's Jackie Kosak. "In addition to being an
important work by a world renowned artist, it was the first commissioned
work for Safeco's Corporate Art Collection and was dedicated when we opened
Safeco Tower in 1973."
"We are very pleased that the fountain will remain in its original
setting during this time, and under the care of the University so beloved
by George Tsutakawa. Keeping the fountain in our collection is a symbolic
demonstration of Safeco's commitment to its original mission to its
employees and the community. One day Safeco may find a home for the
fountain at our new plaza, but in the meantime we are grateful to the
University for their stewardship of this incredible work," added Kosak.
Safeco also is taking the unusual step of upgrading and maintaining the
Tsutakawa Fountain over the course of the long-term loan. The company wants
to ensure the longevity of the fountain for the University of Washington
and the University District community. The work will include re-tiling the
fountain, upgrading the electrical work, and regular maintenance.
Safeco, in business since 1923, is a Fortune 500 property and casualty
insurance company based in Seattle. The company sells insurance to drivers,
homeowners and owners of small- and mid-sized businesses principally
through a national network of independent distribution partners. For more
information, visit http://www.safeco.com.
Paul Hollie Lee Somerstein
SOURCE Safeco Insurance