A crowd gathered in the Mountlake Terrace Library Thursday night to see renderings and hear presentations from four Pacific Northwest artists who are finalists for creating public art at the city’s new Civic Campus.
Assistant City Manager Stephen Clifton told those gathered that all four of the artist proposals specify that their art would be located in the future Town Center Park/Plaza, which will be between the new city hall and 232nd Street Southwest and 58th Avenue West.
Among those attending Thursday’s presentation were members of the Mountlake Terrace Arts Advisory Commission and selection panel.
Under city policy, the Civic Campus redevelopment project — which includes a new city hall, police station addition and park/plaza area — requires that 1 percent of the construction budget fund visual art.
The four artist finalists were selected to present their designs to the community following an extensive Call for Artists process. Artists were tasked with utilizing innovative methods to create installations that help enliven and activate the Civic Campus, and take into account the architecture of building renderings and design of the park/plaza. All four artists have been called to create an iconic image for Mountlake Terrace, unique to the setting.
A final recommendation by an artists selection panel will be forwarded to the Mountlake Terrace Arts Commission, which will then make a recommendation to the city council for consideration.
Here’s a summary of each artwork proposal, with links in each to full written presentations and renderings:
Andersen Studios proposes a piece “inspired by the history of Mountlake Terrace, and thematic design elements of the campus redevelopment. The artwork is intended to expresses a timeless quality, referencing the mid-century development and incorporation of the city.”
Made of mixed metals and tempered glass, terraced pillars ascend upward, inspired by the roofline that “speaks to the city’s bright future,” the proposal notes. The pillars support three circular windows created in stainless steel and colored tempered glass. The artwork will utilize the continually changing natural light, projecting color and shadow across the architectural features and landscape of the plaza.
The height of the artwork will be determined by the final sighting of the installation, respecting the scale of surrounding architecture, landscape and sight lines.
C.J. Rench proposes a project titled “Mountlake Natives,” with sculpture designs inspired by native grasses from the Mountlake Terrace area. “The final two designs will have a grouping of three grasses in a variety of heights, branches and leaves,” the proposal states, adding that the groups can be installed on street corners against a wall or even in one of the open areas.
“The colors, size and scale will create a big artistic impact with a total of six individual sculptures between 16 – 25 feet tall, welcoming all to this wonderful new park/plaza,” the proposal adds.
Materials would be stainless steel and mild steel. Using mild steel that is set to naturally patina or rust, combined with both stainless steel and acrylic leaves, “creates a durable, maintenance-free, climate-appropriate year round sculpture for Mountlake Terrace,” the proposal says.
“The artwork we envision is inherently fun and inspires engagement and interaction. It’s an invitation to passersby to interact and play in safe and unexpected ways,” the proposal states.
“Taking cues from the natural surroundings of the Pacific Northwest, each character would have its own distinct hue with
a secondary pop of metallic gold and sprinkle of brightly colored glass,” the proposal adds.
Louise McDowell proposes three-dimensional figures that reflect the family-oriented spirit of Mountlake Terrace and the community’s diversity and the “Circle of Life.”
The three life-sized, cast bronze groupings are aimed at visually demonstrating “the value of coming together as a community,” “the importance of a gathering place,” and the “generational impacts on the growth of the community and its members,” the proposal states.
The sculptures “will add visual interest to the Plaza,” the proposal adds.
You can learn more about the Civic Campus project here.