5. Babe, The Phoenix Fairy & The Magic Grove, 2006

5. Babe, The Phoenix Fairy & The Magic Grove, 2006

Mandy Greer created three works for the Faye G. Allen Children's Center based on themes found in the folklore section of the Central Library.

Where Are They?

Once you enter the Children's Center, turn right and you will see The Magic Grove up on the wall to the right of the bathrooms. Walk past the bathrooms to see Babe. Go back a few paces to the play area. Phoenix Fairy is at the far end of the play area.


Seattle Public Library – Central Library,
1000 4th Avenue,
Seattle, WA 98121, USA

About the Artworks

Mandy Greer created these sculptures for the Children's Center based on a series of folk tale themes found in the folklore section of the Central Library in 2004.


Babe is a large portrait bust of a royal blue ox whose horns are bejeweled with a random pattern of beads, buttons, sequins, and embroidery on a felted wool background. According to Greer, Babe refers to discovery through investigation of one's surroundings.

The Phoenix Fairy

The Phoenix Fairy is perched upon a red, patterned branch above the librarians' information desk. The feathers that make up the majestic bird are individually sewn from different patterns and shades of red fabric, each one layered with a translucent red fabric, sandwiching a variety of sequins and glitter. Yellow and turquoise tail feathers cascade from the back of the bird. According to Greer, The Phoenix Fairy represents the continual rebirth of knowledge.

The Magical Grove

Inspired by a Persian folktale, The Magical Grove is a stylized canopy of hand-sewn branches, adorned with various shades of pink flowers, that appears to grow from a column next to the mirrored wall in the Children's Center. According to Greer, The Magical Grove symbolizes the expansion of the "seed" of an idea.

From the Artist

"The work for the Childrenʼs Center seeks to honor the very first interactions we have with the library, as we learn it is a place for personal exploration... Each piece serves as a metaphor for a different idea of research... The Phoenix Fairy, is the metaphor of the continual rebirth of knowledge while at the same time staying constant. For Babe, the metaphor is that history is a past that rests just below the surface of things; rich discovery is waiting to happen if we just investigate what resides around us. For The Magical Grove, the metaphor is the expansion of a seed of an idea planted within us into the ongoing flourishing of our life."

Funding Source


Funded by Libraries for All Bond 1% for Art.

Office of Arts & Culture | Seattle

Seattle was one of the first cities in the United States to adopt a percent-for-art ordinance in 1973. For 40 years, our public art program has been integrating artworks and the ideas of artists into a variety of public settings, advancing Seattle's reputation as a cultural center for innovation and creativity.

Directions to the NEXT STOP

Exit the Children's Center and walk past the elevator banks (on your left) until you reach the Literacy/ESL/World Languages Floor.