Client: Sound Transit Art (STart)
Location: Tacoma, WA, United States
Completion date: 2018
Artwork budget: $300,000
A site-responsive gateway artwork complementary to Sound Transit’s renovated commuter Pacific Avenue rail extension. The sculpture was developed in conversation with local industrial workers and community members, inspired by nearby classic railroad truss bridges and the mythical 600-pound octopus said to dwell in the submerged ruins of the Tacoma Narrows bridge.
“This gateway artwork that Sound Transit commissioned is part of a larger capital project that has reshaped the south end of downtown Tacoma,” said Tacoma Arts Administrator Amy McBride. “When Sound Transit extended its Seattle-Tacoma Sounder commuter rail line from the Dome District to South Tacoma and Lakewood, a new entry to the southern edge of our museum-rich downtown area was created and commemorated with this gateway piece."
Lead Artist Sean Orlando and Project Manager David Shulman collaborated extensively with the City of Tacoma Arts Division on this transit hub gateway piece commissioned by the Sound Transit Percent for Art Program (STart).
Gertie's Ghost is inspired by classic railroad truss bridges and the mythical 600-pound octopus said to dwell in the submerged ruins of the Tacoma Narrows bridge. Eight octopus tentacles rise out of the ground; an abstract representation of the "Ghost of Galloping Gertie, " climbing straight out of the city's historical roots and into the future.