Food Chain: Silver Salmon and Pacific Herring - Pat McGuire

Where is it?

Concourse D

When heading down Concourse D after exiting the Central Terminal, Food Chain follows Michael Fajans' High Wire near Seattle's Best Coffee.

About the Art

Pat McGuire studies the Japanese art of fish printing, called "gyotaku," in order to portray the variety of forms and colors of the fish that are part of her life. Her pieces are created by painting a fish with ink, then placing a sheet of thin and delicate paper over the fish, and rubbing it gently until the image of the fish is transferred to the paper. Often the printed fish are combined using Japanese collage techniques in which the delicate transparency of the paper blends to give added depth and dimension to the work.

The Details


Pat McGuire




Print (gouache on paper)


Three panels, each measuring 3' 6" wide x 4' 10" high

Did you know?

The process of gyotaku is a centuries-old Japanese tradition. Because it was considered impolite and against the custom to brag about the size of their fish, fishermen perfected the technique in order to subtly commemorate their catch.

  • <p>© Pat McGuire</p>
  • <p>© Pat McGuire</p>
  • <p>© Pat McGuire</p>

About the Artist

Although working extensively with all the fishes of the North Pacific, McGuire's favorite subjects are the fish she knows best: the salmon of the Copper River Delta. The sheer size and power of the King Salmon, the fascinating metamorphosis of the spawning Red Salmon, and the voracious feeding frenzy of the Silver Salmon have all been captured in her large dramatic pieces. A resident of Cordova, Alaska, a fishing community on Prince William Sound, McGuire is a commercial fisher in the summer, while her winter months are spent in her studio.

Short Bio

McGuire graduated from the University of Washington with a B.A. in history and a Master of Education. She is a member of the Nature Printing Society and has traveled to Japan to study both fish printing and papermaking. Her work is well-known throughout Alaska where she has displayed in group, solo, and juried shows. She has won grants and awards from the Alaska State Council on the Arts and has taught printmaking in the Artists in the School Program.

Information courtesy of the artist

Similar Artwork

At the Airport

If you like these schools of fish, you should swim on over to the Caldwells' terrazzo floor in Concourse B. In the Connected Stories below, click on the STQRY link to find out more about Flying Fish.

Food Chain: Silver Salmon and Pacific Herring - Pat McGuire

Pat McGuire's piece reflects her passion for silver salmon and pacific herring.