Light Rail Art Tour: Top 10 South Seattle Installations

Light Rail Art Tour: Top 10 South Seattle Installations

Light Rail in Southeast Seattle is more than just a functional transportation tool, it’s a permanent, world-class art show showcasing the work of many local artists. Lead artist and curator Norie Sato developed a theme of Culture Conversations to create a common thread throughout the pieces. Use this list to tour some of the highlights. What are your favorites?

1. Global Garden Shovel
Plants, fruits and vegetables from around the world intertwine to form Artist Victoria Fuller’s 36-foot- tall bronze shovel digging into the landscape, symbolizing new beginnings and new possibilities. NW Plaza, Alaska Street (Columbia City)

2. Come Dance With Me
These lyrical and flowing figures grew out of Artist Augusta Asberry’s passion for dress designing coupled with an interest in African art. Viewers are invited to feel the movement of the dancers and to listen for the silent beat guiding the flow of their motion. Artist Keith Haynes completed the painting portion after Asberry’s death. SE Plaza, Othello Street (Othello)

3. Rainier Valley Haiku
Is our culture becoming a melting pot or a tossed salad?  Is one condition preferable to the other? Artist Roger Shimomura asks these  questions in a 13-foot-tall sculpture of stacked objects that stimulates public interpretations about immigrant culture in America. N Plaza, Myrtle Street (Othello)

4. Parable
Set in the orchard-like plaza landscaping, Artist Buster Simpson’s still-life sculpture resembles a bowl of pears and wrecking balls, morphed into one. Parable provides an allegorical reference to the ordered urban landscape and the dynamically changing city. NE Plaza (Rainier Beach)

5. Rain, Steam and Speed
Artist Guy Kemper’s Vibrant blown glass colors are a counterpoint to Seattle’s grey and blue skies for both train riders and the surrounding Mount Baker neighborhood. Seattle Sunrise on the south face of the station recalls a joyful rising sun. Platform level (Mount Baker)

6. LightSticks
Riders approaching the Beacon Hill platform can see a flash of Artist Bill Bell’s playing cards through the train windows, and decide whether they have a good hand that day. Random images change throughout the day. Tunnel (Beacon Hill)

7. Cultural Storyboards
Lead artist Peter Reiquam worked with five artists from diverse backgrounds to translate their drawings addressing culture, community, change and journey into laser-cut metal banners. Contributing artists include Joe Feddersen, James Jaxxa, Chris Silva, Dionne Haroutunian, Sultan Mohammed. MLK between Henderson and Walden Streets (Mt. Baker to Rainier Beach)

8. How the Crow Created the World with Lightning
Considering a neighborhood filled with churches, the constant presence of crows and the electrical station that her artwork would shield, Artist Barbara Earl Thomas conceived a narrative in which crows harnessed lighting into their beaks, from which flowed a landscape of mountains, trees and water. MLK and Walden Street (Mt. Baker)

9. Sound of Light
Using sequential panels of primary colors and reflective geometric patterns, Artist Richard C. Elliott created a composition that makes up an ever-changing visual symphony. MLK and Hudson Street (Columbia City)

10. Garden Windows
Organic, plant-like forms illustrate the nature of all things to reach out. A human circulatory system, a freeway system, rivers and roots, all start with a central spine that branches out in different directions. Artist Juan Alonso’s windows subtly invite riders to “branch out” and explore. SE Plaza, Edmunds Street (Columbia City)

Rainier Valley Haiku at South Myrtle Street. Photo/GO: South Seattle


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