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We've admired it, posed with it, even licked it (really). But since its appearance on the southwest corner of Fourth and Blanchard in early June, we've had no idea who built the Belltown popsicle.

Just that it looks ... delicious.

I was at my mom's house this weekend and she has a big giant bag of these, said 30-year-old Rachel McCutcheon, who stopped by the sculpture Wednesday so she and a friend could take their picture with it. I drive by it every night. It makes me smile every time I see it.

The 17-foot steel and apoxy dessert sits on property owned by commercial real estate developer Martin Selig -- no stranger to the oversized. He's built many of Seattle's most notable skyscrapers, including its tallest -- the 76-story Columbia Center, which he sold in 1989.

Selig is also behind some of downtown's signature commissioned office park art. Seen the bronze man and woman relaxing on benches across from the Cinerama? The aluminum runners frozen mid-step off Elliott Avenue? Earthy and metallic, these and other pieces in his public collection look nowhere as colorful -- or refreshing -- as his newest.

Whoever created this should be given the Nobel Prize for Awesomeness, Belltown blogger Igor Keller wrote about the popsicle. This is simply one of the greatest things ever made by human hands.

Nothing near the sculpture identifies its creator, though a plaque should appear there soon, Selig said.

How did Selig come to embrace an artist with such different tastes?

I guess I married her, he said.

'OMG - a giant popsicle!'

Catherine Mayer's art is all about first reactions. When she considered what should go on the corner of her husband's Belltown office building, her answer came quick.

I said, 'Oh. My. God. A giant popsicle!' she recalled. And he said, 'OK!'

Mayer, 61, married Selig in 2006 and has created art for the likes of Boeing, Microsoft and Pacific Place. A lifelong artist, she had one particular popsicle in mind for that corner. It was red, like the ones she got as a kid from the ice cream guy in New Orleans. It had two sticks, not one, like the ones she could split to share half with her brother.

Mayer has been working to make multi-sensory art that inspires positive reactions in the form of murals, animations and sculptures. The popsicle was perfect.

If you think of them, you can almost smell them and taste them, she said.

On Wednesday, Mayer watched several passers-by stop, smile, pull out a camera and pretend to have a taste. Much of Mayer's commissioned Seattle art hangs as paintings or murals in the lobbies of businesses and even hospitals. The popsicle is her first piece of outdoor public art in downtown Seattle, but it won't be the last.

It's the first of a series of things that went through my mind as I envisioned the popsicle, she said. Childhood things that made me smile that I loved.

Stay tuned: The next sculpture could appear somewhere in the city within a year.

And this time, we might just know who made it.


Related links:

More about artist Catherine Mayer

More about developer Martin Selig's public art collection

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