Dedicated to Public Art

6 Nov

Sedum plants blanket this sculpture’s 6ft. diam. canopy which is insulated with roofgarden materials.

What: Dedication of Sempervivum
Where: STAR Center, 3873 S. 66th Street, Journey Hall
When: November 10, 2 pm
Cost: Free

Inspired by the natural history of Metro Parks’ STAR Center, Tacoma’s newest public art piece, Sempervivum by local artist Lisa Kinoshita, will receive its formal dedication on November 10. The Tacoma Arts Commission and Metro Parks invites anyone who is interested in learning more about this piece to meet the artist at this free, public event.

“My outdoor art installation pays tribute to the wetlands that existed in the area during its early-20th century heyday,” said Kinoshita. “This sculpture trilogy seeks to link the past to the future, celebrates South Tacoma’s fascinating natural heritage and highlights the sensitive balance between humans and their surroundings.”

Botanist Keith Shawe and fabricator Quinn Honan break ground for the Sempervivum sculptures at the STAR Center. Photo courtesy of Metro Parks.

Sempervivum, Latin for ever + living, consists of three large forms combining steel, live plants, and green roof technology, and pays homage to the natural history of STAR Center’s site. The area, which originally was covered by extensive wetlands, was home to elk and flocks of migratory waterfowl and was affectionately known as “The South Tacoma Swamp”. But, as the region industrialized and became an important commercial link for the railroads, the wetlands were filled in.

“It has been rewarding to work with the City of Tacoma’s Arts Program on this project, helping to increase public art opportunities for Tacoma artists and to increase art in our parks for everyone to enjoy,” said Tareena Joubert, manager of Cultural and Community Services for Metro Parks. “Lisa has been a delight to work with and her zest to create amazing and meaningful artwork for this community is impressive.”

Sempervivum, a $25,000 commission, was made possible through a partnership between Metro Parks and the City of Tacoma’s Public Art: In Depth (PA:ID) program which trained a group of professional Tacoma artists on best practices and provided hands-on experience for working in public art. Artists in the PA:ID program had the opportunity to compete for public art projects with Metro Parks, Sound Transit and the City of Tacoma.

The geometric pattern inside this huge floral hexagon was inspired by medieval gardens, says artist Lisa Kinoshita.

Lisa Kinoshita is an artist and jeweler who lives and works in Tacoma. Her artwork has been exhibited at the Tacoma Art Museum, Fife Historical Museum, Vetri Gallery, Fulcrum Gallery, Kittredge Gallery, Woolworth’s windows and other regional venues. She was a 2011 nominee for the Contemporary Northwest Art Awardsat the Portland Art Museum. In 2010, she received the Foundation of Art Award from the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation.

Metro Parks’ 32,000‐square‐foot STAR Center opened in April 2012 and is on track to achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver status. The Center is situated on SERA Campus at the corner of S. 66th and Adams with Gray Middle School and the Boys & Girls Club Topping HOPE Center. The facility itself features state-of-the-art fitness rooms, an indoor/outdoor children’s playground area, music and dance studio, performance hall, community spaces and a teaching kitchen. Its proximity to the school and Boys & Girls Club allows all three partners to provide shared resources to the community. The Center serves as a hub for Metro Parks’ adaptive and specialized recreation programs for those with physical and developmental disabilities. Programs and events for all ages and abilities – including drop-in fitness classes, ballroom dance lessons, visual and performing arts classes, senior programs, special community events and more – are also available at the Center. More information about STAR Center can be found at

One Response to “Dedicated to Public Art”

  1. Frank Zweegers November 16, 2012 at 8:03 am #

    The floral hexagon is cool!

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