Public Art on Commuter Rail
In collaboration with project partners, TriMet continues its commitment to public art with the Washington County Commuter Rail Project. The project has allocated $500,000, based on approximately 1.5 percent of the budget for visible elements such as rail vehicles and station buildings, to fund the Commuter Rail Public Art Program. A committee of representatives from each station area guides the program. The committee selected artists Frank Boyden and Brad Rude to develop artwork for the stations.
Frank Boyden is one of the region's most accomplished and versatile artists—equally at home with ceramics, printmaking and sculpture. He has received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and Governor's Arts Award and recently was the subject of a retrospective at the Hallie Ford Museum. Boyden and Washington sculptor Brad Rude collaborated on the artwork for Doernbecher Hospital and have teamed up again for Commuter Rail.
Boyden and Rude have proposed a series of interactive sculptures for the five Commuter Rail stations. Each sculpture will feature moveable, cast-bronze heads and a vehicle mounted to a stainless-steel table. The heads will appear in different guises at each of the five rail stations, and will symbolize a wide range of emotions, traits and conditions. Like the cross-section of humanity found on any train car, these sculpted archetypes will serve as a metaphor for the human experience. Each bronze vehicle will be a colorful invention, unique to each station and representative of the station area where it is located.
The figures and vehicle will be attached to the tables in a way that allows them to move within "tracks" cut into the surface of the table. The sculptures will set up the potential of a game that can be played by one or an entire station full of people. The game will not determine winners or losers, but will foster opportunities to create social connection, offer insight or produce a simple moment of pleasure.
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