Image of an abandoned fort with the words 1909 KINZIE at the top, shrouded in fog

Perri Lynch Howard | On Our Watch

Image of an abandoned fort with the words 1909 KINZIE at the top, shrouded in fog, grass in the foregroundJuly 15-August 12, 2022

Visits by appointment, M-F, 10am-5:30pm
Call 206-634-0919 or email to schedule a visit

Opening Reception: Friday, July 15, 7pm
E-mail for reservations.

Youth and Family Workshop: Saturday, July 30, 2022
e-mail for more information or to register

On Our Watch is a multimedia installation by Northwest artist Perri Lynch Howard that harnesses the power of art to reveal the stalwart past and tenuous future of Seacoast Defenses in the United States. Through sound, image and storytelling, this new work explores the historical strengths and current vulnerabilities of The Harbor Defenses of Puget Sound, known culturally as “The Triangle of Fire.”

Visitors will enter a large darkened room where they will hear sounds panning through the space from a 4-channel system, recordings that Howard made at the decommissioned seacoast defenses—Fort Casey, Fort Flagler, and Fort Worden. They will also be immersed in three large-format video projections of black and white photographs in a slow moving montage. The experience offers a contemporary perspective of emplacements that share a military past, transitional present, and tenuous future in a changing climate.

The Modern Era Seacoast Defense System is a series of 72 forts that ribbon the coasts of the US. Built and retrofitted between 1890-1945, 80% of these emplacements have been decommissioned into state parks or historic sites, many of which have become stunning travel destinations. On the front lines of climate change, these sites face an unknown future due to sea level rise, and are symbolic of a new form of conflict that humans must address in order to survive extreme weather, on land or sea. The bluffs, bunkers, and batteries mirror the changes we are fighting for today. It is Howard’s instinct that art can play a role in illuminating this visualization.


Photo of Perri Lynch Howard in a blue shirt, leaning on a weathered white wall.

Perri Lynch Howard

Perri Lynch Howard is an artist dedicated to forging new narratives from the front lines of climate change. Working in the context of extreme environments is an essential aspect of…