Council approves Miguel Edwards’ sculpture for new art installation

A rendering of Miguel Edwards’ sculpture, “Rise Together.”

The Mountlake Terrace City Council at its Thursday, June 29, meeting unanimously approved Miguel Edwards’s “Rise Together” art sculpture for the city’s new art plaza.

Recreation and Parks Director Jeff Betz said city staff have been working to hire an artist since October. There were over 30 art submissions and out of those, four finalists were chosen to submit renderings of their works.

“The artist was tasked with creating a visual connection to Mountlake Terrace with its past and also its future, and also seeing how that could connect with the adjacent light rail station,” Betz said.

The four finalists – BK Choi, John Fleming, Miguel Edwards and Tsovinar Muradyan – submitted ideas of various sizes, colors and shapes. However, the city’s Arts Advisory Commission liked Edwards’ work the best and sent his submission to the council for approval Thursday night.

Edwards’ “Rise Together” is a deconstructed sphere made from rolling steel square tubes that spiral together in the same direction, but are separated to “maintain their own uniqueness.”

“You will also see that the spirals are tied together with a piece spiraling the other way, offering cohesiveness, structure and stability,” Edwards said in his presentation of his piece.

The artist said his piece symbolizes each person’s uniqueness while also demonstrating how much stronger each piece of the puzzle becomes when put together.

Betz said the design and fabrication work should be completed by spring 2024 and installation is expected to begin by that fall.

In other business, the council unanimously approved the 52nd Avenue West street and stormwater repair project. Stormwater program manager Laura Reed told the council that the area of the road near the 7-Eleven is quickly wearing out.

“The pavement is settling where the bike lane is,” she said. “The reason for this settling is that there are two severely cracked and offset stormwater pipes in this location. The trees around have grown into the pipes. So the pipes need to be frequently cleared of roots in order to resolve the blockages.”

The proposed repair project would replace the two damaged pipes with one larger, sturdier pipe as well as fix the settling pavement in the bike lane and part of the sidewalk. Reed said the lowest bid estimate the city received was for roughly $496,000. However, she suggested to the council that they add a 15% contingency to that price in case of any unforeseen construction challenges. This would bring the total cost of the project to roughly $571,000.

The council unanimously approved this expense as well as a contract for a consultant to complete an updated stormwater Comprehensive Plan.

— By Lauren Reichenbach

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