the toyland project
randy bolander
a m e r i c a n   s c u l p t o r

In 2008, I received a 3 year commission to create and stage a sculpture show for kids and families in downtown Seattle. The show called Toyland Village "Through the Eyes of a Child", began as a  consultation  with the Downtown Seattle Associaton. DSA wanted to create Christmas displays to attract people downtown during the Winter  Holidays. It soon became evident that the project hit all my skill sets and I asked DSA if they'd allow me to bid on the project. After a competitive process, I was awarded the contract.

The premise of the show is that Santa Claus, while flying over Seattle, hit some turbulance and Christmas presents on his sleigh fell to the ground, creating Toyland Village.

In 2008, I created 40, 8ft. tall steel displays depicting children's imagery of toys, gifts and fantasy objects. Each multi-colored display housed an average of 150 linear feet of LED Rope Light. The rope light is attached to the 3/8" steel rod frames by 300+ plastic cable ties per display. Each  rope light display is attached to a concealed controller that enables the rope light to move in alternating patterns.

I've become quite adept at working in this medium, in fact my rope light supplier now use images from the show to teach their employees about the capabilities of the material.

In 2008, the original 40 displays were staged in various locations around downtown Seattle.

In 2009, the project was in jeopardy of being discontinued due to the city's concern that the displays constituted a pedestrian  hazard and a liability to the city. After intense negotiation with the city, DSA got the city  to agree to stage the show in one location, an urban park on the waterfront.

Waterfront Park on piers 57 & 59 became the new home for Toyland Village.

In 2010, I created 25 additional displays.

I have now moved on to other projects, but the 65 light sculptures have become a permanent fixture of the Seattle Winter Holiday landscape.

Partial panorama of Toyland 2009/2010.
Waterfront Park Piers 57 & 59
Castle Figures 
photo: Matthew Flor
Chess Pieces & Wind Up Toy
photo Matthew Flor
More Displays on Pier 59
photo: Matthew Flor