25 Feb Public Art on WES Commuter Rail

Sculpture for Commuter Rail station
At each station, including Tigard Transit Center, a table features 16 bronze heads expressing the full range of human experience, from comedy to pathos.

Working in collaboration with project partners, TriMet, located in Portland, Oregon, continued its commitment to public art with WES Commuter Rail.

The project allocated $500,000 to fund the WES Public Art Program based on 1.5 percent of eligible project costs.

The program was guided by an Art Advisory Committee composed of representatives from every station area. The committee selected artists Frank Boyden and Brad Rude to develop artwork for the stations.

Beaverton Transit Center Interactivator“The Beaverton Interactivator” (detail), 2008 Bronze and stainless steel Beaverton Transit Center Station
Hall/Nimbus Interactivator“The Hall/Nimbus Interactivator” (detail), 2008 Bronze and stainless steel Hall/Nimbus Station
Tigard Interactivator“The Tigard Interactivator” (detail), 2008 Bronze and stainless steel Tigard Transit Center Station
Tualatin Interactivator“The Tualatin Interactivator” (detail), 2008 Bronze and stainless steel Tualatin Station
Wilsonville Interactivator“The Wilsonville Interactivator” (detail), 2008 Bronze and stainless steel Wilsonville Station

Boyden and Rude created a series of five sculptures, called Interactivators, for the five commuter rail stations. Each sculpture features moveable, cast-bronze heads and a vehicle mounted to a stainless-steel table. The heads, which appear in different guises at each of the stations, symbolize a wide range of emotions, traits and conditions. Like the cross section of humanity that may be found on any train car, these sculpted archetypes serve as a metaphor for the human experience. The bronze vehicles each carry a sculpted scene of an animal representative of the station area where they are located.

The figures and vehicles are attached to the tables in a way that allows them to move within “tracks” cut into the surface of the table. The sculptures, in addition to being unique works of art, offer a potential game that can be played by one person or an entire station full of people. There are no winners or losers, but rather opportunities for infinite encounters that can create social connection, offer insight or produce a simple moment of pleasure.

Other artwork includes a mural painted on a wall at the Tigard Transit Station and a willow pattern etched in the windscreen glass at stations in Tualatin and Wilsonville.

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