“Link” makes visible the connection between the rail lines and highlights how the Prairie Line Trail linked Tacoma to the communities of Tenino, McIntosh, Wetico, Rainier, Yelm, Roy, Hillhurst, Lakeview, and South Tacoma. Floating yellow orbs, iconic of the yellow and black railroad signs will re-enact the stops along the line that connected with these communities. Artists: Bret Lyon, Janet Marcavage, Holly Senn
Courtesy of Lisa Kinoshita
Temporal Terminus: Marking the Line
Temporal Terminus: Marking the Line is a temporary public art exhibit that celebrates the important transformation of the Prairie Line Trail from rail to linear park.
In 1873, the Northern Pacific Railroad fulfilled Abraham Lincoln’s dream that the transcontinental railroad reach saltwater. This historic achievement occurred right here in Tacoma where water would have first been spotted by railroad workers at about 17th and Pacific Avenue. Trains were still running on the tracks through the University of Washington campus and downtown Tacoma up until 2003.
Now the historic line is undergoing a new transformation. The proposed $5.83 million walking, biking and interpretive trail follows the historic rail corridor linking the University of Washington-Tacoma campus, the Brewery District, the Museum District, Thea Foss Waterway and eventually will connect with the Water Ditch Trail and South Tacoma.
The City of Tacoma received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to create a public art plan for the Prairie Line Trail and selected Todd Bressi and the team Thoughtbarn (Lucy Begg & Robert Gay) to create the plan and a demonstration project that will begin to bring attention to the project and the potential for its use. In partnership with the University of Washington-Tacoma, this exhibit is the first intervention to be explored along the Prairie Line Trail.
Thoughtbarn created one artwork and seven more sites were identified for Tacoma artists. Seven teams of artists who are participating in Tacoma’s public art training program have created site responsive works as well.