As Sound Transit Federal Way Link Extension project begins to transform downtown Federal Way, temporary artwork by local creators has been installed to add color to the streetscape while highlighting South King County communities.
Sound Transit’s Art Program (STart) often involves artists in creating temporary artwork around construction sites to create positive experiences for neighbors and pedestrians during the long construction process, according to Sound Transit.
STart features artworks by nationally known artists and emerging public artists, many of whom live in the community or in the Pacific Northwest, according to the website.
Near the construction site in Federal Way, murals conceived by five local artists are now on display. Murals are located along 21st Avenue South and South 320th Street in Federal Way.
The vivid art pieces, some hand painted on canvas, feature messages of social and racial justice, place a spotlight on the diversity of Federal Way, and capture the serene beauty of the surrounding nature landscape.
In the coming weeks, the STart display will be home to 47 murals created by seven artists. On display now are the works of artists Toka Valu, Sabah Al-Dhaher, Tiffanny Hammonds, Jasmine Iona Brown and Lauren Iida.
Their work represents a diverse range of style, scale and perspective that creates welcoming and engaging places, Sound Transit previously said.
The temporary mural project will span both Federal Way and Kent/Des Moines stations’ construction sites, featuring the works of 11 artists across both locations.
“All of these communities have seen so much change, and Sound Transit itself is a symbol of change and opportunity,” said Sarah Kavage, artist in residence for Sound Transit’s public art program.
Kavage was hired in 2017 to familiarize herself with the project areas and coordinate artwork that speaks to, and of, the local communities.
When talking to people who live and work in the Kent/Des Moines and Federal Way communities, many people told Kavage they are most proud of the cultural diversity of the area.
The diversity is an asset that also needs to be part of this change, she said. Artists, such as Federal Way’s barry johnson, were selected to embed the community in the Link project.
Kavage hopes the Federal Way community enjoys the art and feels proud when they see the honest reflection of the community through these creations.
The 7.8-mile extension will bring light rail into South King County, serving three stations in Kent/Des Moines, South 272nd Street and the Federal Way Transit Center. Services is expected to begin in 2024.
For more information, visit soundtransit.org.