Lincoln High School will showcase student poetry, art and music Friday in the City of Destiny Poetry Slam: Lincoln edition. In this Historic Preservation month event, special guests will join students as they perform their own poetry, and the Lincoln drum line also will perform. In addition, artwork will be unveiled that is a collaboration between students and Horatio Law, the Portland-based artist who will create public art next year as part of the city of Tacoma’s Lincoln revitalization project.
The art piece is a temporary sculptural installation in the shape of an 8-by-10-foot cloud, made of large paper sequins that reflect the light. Law asked students to think about what was good in their lives, what could be better and what they could become, in order to spur deeper conversation and communication. The cloud symbolizes thought bubbles and speech, and the students’ words will be projected onto the paper.
“The idea was about how we communicate to each other,” says Law, who is talking with Lincoln District community members and businesses about the very same questions, applied larger to the neighborhood. “A lot of people text or talk about really mundane things. I wanted to challenge the students — what would you like to text or talk that’s really important?”
Law, who has a background of public art in Oregon, will apply the same concept to the larger permanent sculpture destined to sit on either side of South 38th Street in the middle of the Lincoln business district. The sculpture will consist of two “gateway” pieces, with three or four cloud shapes, each between three and eight feet high, in the middle. Like the Lincoln High sculpture, the clouds will be made of reflective sequins, but because they need to withstand the elements they will be of metal, similar to signage that seems to ripple as light catches it.
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Law is still in the planning stages of the artwork, which was commissioned by the city of Tacoma as part of the ongoing Lincoln revitalization project to enhance the district. He’ll begin work on it later this year, and installation will take place in 2017.