Sound Transit to host community celebration of South Tacoma Manitou Trestle public art project

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Local artists Claudia Riedener, Chris Jordan, and Kenji Stoll transform railroad trestle defaced with decades of graffiti to vividly-colored art mural of South Tacoma history

Sound Transit and the South Tacoma community will celebrate completion of the South 66th Street trestle mural art project Saturday, Jan. 31 at 1 p.m. at the Star Center at 3873 S. 66th St. The event will commemorate the completion of the sixth public art project for the transit agency's Sounder commuter rail extension to Lakewood, which began service in 2012.

"The outstanding work of local artists Claudia Riedener, Chris Jordan and Kenji Stoll has helped transform a dilapidated structure into an engaging and evocative depiction of South Tacoma history," said Sound Transit Board Vice Chair and Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland. "As we continue expanding mass transit throughout the region, public art will remain an essential means of creating culturally relevant landmarks for the communities in which we operate."

Entitled "Manitou Trestle," the mural art project began last summer and is the result of a close collaboration between Sound Transit, the South Tacoma Neighborhood Council and City of Tacoma. A visual story of South Tacoma history, industry and personal experiences layered with images of native flora and quotes from the community, the mural provides a fresh entrance to an active neighborhood that includes the STAR Community Center, Boys and Girls Club of South Puget Sound and Gray Middle School. The project is part of a community effort to upgrade the trestle underpass, which has been the site of local tagging for decades.

"Manitou Trestle" is the second of many agency public art projects created for the Lakewood rail corridor. "Love Locks" by artist Diane Hansen, gives pedestrians the chance to show their love for someone by attaching artful, personalized padlocks along the A Street railroad underpass. A pedestrian art project along Pacific Avenue, and a project that will create a prominent gateway around the Pacific Avenue bridge, are under design by James Sinding and the team of Sean Orlando and David Shulman, respectively.

Other public artworks in the Lakewood corridor commissioned by the agency are "Wild Parcel" by Elizabeth Conner at the Tacoma Dome Station, "Landmark" and "End of the Line" by Ilan Averbuch at South Tacoma Station and "Flame" by Mark Calderon at Lakewood Station.