Two artists are building a great, if impermanent wall at Seattle Center — out of Jell-O.

Share story

When Lisa Hein and Robert Seng add a fresh row of bright, jiggly bricks to the Jell-O wall they’re building over the course of three weeks at Seattle Center, they see perfection.

Clean out of their bread loaf-size molds, the sides of each blueberry, raspberry, orange, cherry, or blackberry brick is smooth, fragrant and clean, they say. Mortared together with light gypsum they look like part of a stained-glass window.

But that’s not so much the case toward the bottom of the wall where, after a couple days, heat and time cause the bricks to chip and melt into a splattery mess as mold begins to grow.

And that’s how Seng and Hein like it.

Most Read Stories

Unlimited Digital Access. $1 for 4 weeks.

“Beauty is on top of decimation,” said Seng of the partners’ ever-changing art exhibit, “BRUISE,” that he and Hein were commissioned to build.

“I also love how the Jell-O starts out as being the structure and then relies on the mortar later on — I like the reversal of fortune.”

It’s also just a fun and funny thing to do, they said — especially when watching kids stare at it.

“We had a group of Boy Scouts here the other day, and they were so hungry — you could tell,” Hein said, laughing.

Seng and Hein started building the wall, now standing at about 5 feet tall, 5 inches wide, and 12 feet long, last week and will continue to build it through Sept. 8, the day of the Seattle Center Big Birthday Bash, part of the 50-year anniversary celebrations of the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair.

The Jell-O wall was commissioned by The Next Fifty, a collaboration of several groups and individuals behind Seattle Center’s anniversary celebrations.

Hein said they don’t know, and don’t care, how tall the wall eventually gets, but the artists bought 500 pounds of dried gelatin.

Passers-by can typically see the artists laying bricks and making the Jell-O in their makeshift kitchen — complete with a refrigerator and hot plate — in the late morning or early afternoon beneath the Monorail station, across from the Earth Portal exhibit.

But during Bumbershoot this weekend and during the wall’s last day on Sept. 8, they’ll be around from about 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. to see onlookers resist touching the top of the gelatinous wall.

Alexa Vaughn: 206-464-2515 or avaughn@seattletimes.com. On Twitter @AlexaVaughn.