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Elephant sculpture proposal is inappropriate for Federal Way | Letters

Elephant in the room

(RE: “Elephant sculpture among Sound Transit’s proposed public artwork designs”) Designed by artists from New York and Denver under a past practice of “it’s not typical for a city council to be involved” and we get an elephant for half a million dollars. Nothing Federal Way about that.

Frank Witmer, Federal Way

Sculpture proposal is inappropriate for FW

I am writing to thank you for your article “Elephant sculpture among Sound Transit’s proposed public artwork designs” from the Oct. 23 edition of the Federal Way Mirror. I found the article informative and concerning.

I am opposed to the elephant structure in its current rendering as it reflects an animal in a non-natural position. Rather, the elephant is in a position that is usually forced upon it — as a trainer would “force” it to perform in a circus. This is a portrayal of animal abuse and has no place in our city, county or state.

I also echo Federal Way City Council President Susan Honda’s concern of the “dead tree” on which the elephant is perched. The only way this “dead tree” would be appropriate is if the Sound Transit Art program (STArt) was trying to represent the devastation of the forest fires that our state recently endured. I can only hope that is not the case.

Your article also discusses the other Sound Transit art projects that the STArt program officials have considered that do reflect the beauty of the area in which we live: the native great blue heron, the proposed artwork for the Federal Way Transit Center and the proposed artwork that will face our city’s Town Square Park. These sound like excellent choices.

A contorted elephant, unnaturally perched atop a dead tree, heron or no, is in no way symbolic of the richness and diversity of Federal Way. STArt has shown they can do better. I hope they find a more appropriate way to represent the beautiful and diverse area in which we live. I look forward to reading updates about this topic in future editions of the Mirror.

Valerie Wiebe, Federal Way


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