Two major public art sculptures were installed last month at two of the future Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail stations.
North Carolina artist Thomas Sayres cast-concrete sculptures were fabricated at the site of the future Southeast Tacoma/Johnson Creek MAX Station.
In August, molds for the sculptures were dug directly into the ground, rebar reinforcement was lowered into place, and then custom-colored concrete was poured into the mold. The concrete cured for two months before the first of two sculptures was excavated this week. The second sculpture will be unearthed and installed next year.
The round sculpture is 28 feet in diameter, and its the first time this type of fabrication has been used on a TriMet light-rail art project. Sayre and team were assisted by PMLRs East Segment General Contractor Stacy and Witbeck.
The sculptures are a response to the industrialization and subsequent restoration of Johnson Creek and represent the influence of many different wheels upon the site, from a 19th-century sawmill on Johnson Creek to the wheels of the future light rail. Fabrication and installation of one of the sculptures occurred over a period of eight hours.
Seattle-area artist Elizabeth Conner and crew installed three abstract, mixed-metal sculptures called Trio at the Lincoln St./S.W. Third Ave. MAX Station. The steel sculptures were inspired by the theatrical and participatory work of choreographer Anna Halprin and Lawrence Halprin, the architect of the adjacent Halprin District. The sculptures range in height from 9 to 12 feet and 2 to 5 feet in width.
In designing sculptures for this space, I considered the Halprins radical advocacy for a wide range of participation in spaces that are truly public, Connor said. My artwork for this space is a respectful reference to the ephemeral nature of traveling from one place to another, with a glimpse of movement, light and shadow, out of the corner of the eye.
TriMets policy allocates 1.5 percent of every light-rail projects civil construction budget toward public art, so about $3 million of this projects overall budget of $1.49 billion is dedicated to art.